Pownal man subdividing property for familial use, open space preservation

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POWNAL — A longtime resident is subdividing his property with the goal of keeping the land open space and providing for future generations.

William Westerhoff Jr., of 9 Mason Hill Road, clarified Tuesday that his application for subdivision review with the Development Review Board technically classifies his project as a major subdivision, but no commercial building is planned.

"A lot of people hear the term subdivision, they think, `oh, he's breaking up the land,'" he said. "The intent of the whole thing is to keep it as open spaces, within the control of three members of one local family."

Westerhoff's hearing on the application has been scheduled for Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m.; Westerhoff told the Banner on Tuesday that that will have to be rescheduled, as he plans to withdraw the application for subdivision review and resubmit it.

That's because he now plans to sell 40 acres of his 150-acre property to a man who lives near him — not 30.

"...We're going to revise it a slight bit," he said. "That will leave me with nine acres, which my kids will inherit."

The application originally calls for a 30.8-acre subdivision, which Westerhoff planned to sell.

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The subdivision is connected with the third sale of parcels of land from Westerhoff's property.

He said he's already sold 66 acres of that land to a man, and 27 acres to that man's son.

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Westerhoff said he decided to sell the 40 acres, rather than 30, as the new owner — the man's other son — could then have two access points from two different roads.

"In a sense, subdivision is a very poor name for what I'm doing, " Westerhoff said. "These pieces of property will be connected to one another, so the family and their kids coming along will be able to go through one another's property. It will all be adjoining."

He declined to name the family.

Westerhoff said he wants to "keep the woods as they are" and give a family and grandchildren many years of enjoyment in selling pieces of his land.

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"We're trying to preserve the land as it is with a family that's born and raised here, a family that now has children coming along," he said.

Westerhoff has lived in his home in Pownal since 2000, when he moved from Connecticut.

"My kids have no interest in it," he said of his property. "They have their own lives. I didn't want to see the property go to hell, I didn't want to see the term subdivision apply to it, where it would be chopped into little tiny pieces."

It will probably take about a month to revise the subdivision review application, Westerhoff said.

"The sale will go through eventually," he said. "It's just being improved."

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@benningtonbanner.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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