Click here for the full story by Dennis Hoey of the Portland Press Herald.
Carlton and Ann Comstock bought their 97.9-acre farm in 1965, when there was plenty of open space in western Scarborough. But now, as their son Chris wants to take over the family’s small cattle farm, the land is much more valuable for house lots. Now, however, the property will remain farmland forever under a land conservation deal approved last week by the Scarborough Town Council. Councilors voted to spend $270,000 for a conservation easement that establishes public access across the farmland and ensures that the woods and fields will never be developed for housing. Placing an agricultural conservation easement on 90 acres of the property means the Comstocks’ right to develop the land for housing will be permanently extinguished. Maine Farmland Trust will hold the conservation easement on the farm. The Comstock Farm is an important parcel because it abuts land along the Nonesuch River — one of the major rivers that flow into the Scarborough Marsh ecosystem. Since 2000, Scarborough residents have voted in multiple referendums to authorize more than $5 million in land bonds.