Fiorentini Signs Conservation Restriction for West Lowell Anton Farm

Neighbors spoke, and Mayor James J. Fiorentini listened: The 26 acres of farmland on Haverhill’s West Lowell Avenue will be preserved in perpetuity after the city chief formally signed off on a conservation restriction Tuesday night, preventing any building on the property now and forever.

Fiorentini’s approval comes one month after Barbara A. DiSalvo and Janice D. Anton of The Anton Family Trust appointed Essex County Greenbelt to act on their behalf to formally protect the land in exchange for a sizeable tax credit. Speaking at Tuesday night’s Council meeting, Greenbelt’s Director of Land Conservation Chris LaPointe underscored the importance of such a restriction.

“The land can’t be converted into other uses: It can’t be turned into houses, it’s to be used as it is,” LaPointe said. “Frankly, one of the strengths of our county and of Haverhill is the diversity of landscapes that we have and that we still have working farmland available in these communities.”

In agreeing to preserve the parcel at 996 West Lowell Ave. near the Haverhill-Methuen border, Fiorentini said the eco-conscious effort fits well with Haverhill’s long-term Master Plan open space plan.

Conservation Commission Vice Chairman Ralph Basiliere joins the chorus of locals praising Fiorentini’s decision to go green.

“I appreciate the Mayor and Greenbelt working together to get it done. I applaud the Mayor for signing it in an effort to preserve the people’s resources,” Basiliere tells WHAV.

Backed by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the conservation restriction’s terms were evaluated for the public good and agreed upon by several stakeholders before making it to the Conservation Commission’s desk in February.

A similar agreement was reached in 2012 when the Bailey family worked with the Greenbelt land trust nonprofit to protect 60 acres of farmland on Kingsbury Avenue in the city’s Bradford section.

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