Braintree will receive 12,100 square feet of land in East Braintree, after two small parcels were donated to the town for conservation.
The two parcels, located in a residential area off Cliff Road, lie behind Brookside Avenue and are just outside of Weymouth Landing.
According to town officials, the land is not only valuable because it would protect the area from development, but is also in an area of existing conservation land, and would increase the block of contiguous preserved space in the area.
Town councilors discussed the issue at a Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday night, where all councilors except John Mullaney agreed to accept the land from Rockland resident Jeanne Adams.
According to Mullaney, the outstanding taxes on the land – more than $500, should be paid off before the land is donated to the town.
“I would like to see this under the condition that they pay their back taxes,” he said.
Other councilors disagreed with the logic.
“If these people left the land and walked away, we would take it by eminent domain and would collect it anyway…it’s a gift giving well in excess of taxes. Therefore, I’m happy,” Councilor Henry Joyce said.
According to a memo from the town, the land is assessed at $27,900. Since that would be donated, the taxes wouldn’t have to be paid, Joyce said.
Councilors voted to recommend the acceptance in a vote 4 to 1, with Mullaney voting in the negative.
During the full council meeting, Mullaney again voiced his concerns about the land, saying that these small lots are not buildable and often become a dumping ground for locals because no one takes care of the land.
Despite his concerns, the full council voted to accept the land in a vote 7 to 1. Councilor Ron DeNapoli was not present at the meeting.