Waitsfield has created a study committee to assess potential future uses of the 12.2-acre Munn field that the town owns.
The field is located on the west side of Route 100 roughly across from the Valley Professional Center. The town purchased the property in 2000 for $126,000 with the intention of using it for a simple or ultimately tertiary wastewater disposal as well as possible gravel extraction, recreation and a scenic project.
Town voters rejected a proposal to create a single townwide wastewater system in 2008 and the land has been idle – other than being hayed – since that time. Recently the select board has revisited town ownership of the field and asked for citizens and leaders to form a study committee to determine whether the field should be sold, what its recreational opportunities might be, whether it could be used for housing or agriculture and what deep restrictions or other limitations would need to be considered.
The select board appointed Waitsfield Planning Commission member Bob Cook, former select board member and Mad River Rec District board member Logan Cooke, Waitsfield Development Review Board member and Mad River Valley Planning District Housing coalition member John Donaldson, Waitsfield Conservation Commission member Ted Joslin, Mad River Valley Food Hub founder Robin Morris, Vermont Land Trust Mad River Valley representative Liza Walker and adjoining landowner Neil Johnson.
The group is tasked with organizing itself with a chair, vice chair and secretary and familiarizing itself with the zoning, deed, easements, covenants and permits that dictate how the site can be used. After reviewing past studies and conclusions the group will be asked to prepare a summary of findings in addition to soliciting input from the community about appropriate uses of the parcel. There may be public site visits and tours.
Other responsibilities include conducting a cost-benefit analysis if the town sells the land. The select board would like a report back from the committee by October.