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May 23, 2013

Whipple Hill neighbors want town's help in preserving Danvers woodland

(Continued)

“At this point there is no subdivision plan,” Marquis said. The parcel is known as the “Park-to-Clark” connector in the Open Space and Recreation Plan, Marquis said, because it links Endicott Park with Clark Farm, which is owned by Selectman Bill Clark. The town owns the development rights for this family farm property. Parcels listed in the open space plan are those the town is eligible to buy to prevent development.

“Our primary concern is that this particular piece of property is probably the last pristine forest type area left in the town of Danvers,” Bayberry Road resident Normand St Cyr wrote in a letter to the Boston Archdiocese and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, asking for assistance to keep the property as open space.

“I think a lot of people on Bayberry Road have trouble with water,” St Cyr told selectmen this week. He said he was the first homeowner on Bayberry Road 44 years ago, and the problem of a spring running under his basement cropped up soon after he moved in. He said he knows other homes in the area are also dealing with water from an underground spring.

If the property is developed, access to the land would most likely be from Sandpiper Circle, an offshoot of Bayberry Road, St Cyr said.

Selectman Dan Bennett said he heard this past winter the church was planning to sell a portion of its cemetery property, but so far there is no concrete information.

“Unfortunately, it’s their right to sell the land; they own it,” Bennett said of the church.

“‘Save Whipple Hill’ sounds like a good flag to get behind, so keep going,” Bennett told the residents.

“I’ve lived and played in those woods all my life,” said Clark, whose family farm on Hobart Street abuts the cemetery, and who said he has heard there are plans to put 15 homes on the hill, which he said has been untouched for more than 60 years. He described the land as a linchpin parcel, forming an emerald necklace that links with other open-space parcels in the neighborhood, including Endicott Park to the west.

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