Old Lyme Finalizes Purchase of 300-acre McCulloch Farm

Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall


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OLD LYME — On Tuesday, the town closed on the $600,000 purchase of the McCulloch Farm, a 300-acre parcel that includes two three-acre sites designated for affordable housing.

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder announced the purchase of the farm, established by the McCulloch family in 1927, at Board of Selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night.

“I am very pleased to report that this afternoon at about 4 o’clock, we closed on the McCulloch family open space parcel that we have talked about for so long, so now we are the very proud owners of about 300 acres of wooded land that I have to tell you is absolutely pristine,” she said. “I really want to thank very much the McCullochs for their generosity.”

At the May 20 Annual Town Meeting, residents unanimously approved the $600,00 purchase using Open Space Acquisition funds.

CT Examiner reported on June 18 that the sale of the farm property was delayed by the complexities of creating an agreement that involved three family estates as well as the formalizing easements never written down and spanned back generations.

The agreement includes two three-acre “building envelopes” designated for single-family affordable housing, comprising about $100,000 of the total price. Located on Flat Rock Road, the parcels are adjacent to land the McCulloch family previously gave to the town for affordable housing.

The town has five years to create affordable housing on the two parcels, after which the acreage will revert to open space, said Reemsnyder.

The Open Space Commission, with the help of the Old Lyme Land Trust, is planning to develop trails through the property.

“There are some absolutely gorgeous parts of this and they will be announcing a celebration and kickoff with some guided trails on property in the future,” Reemsnyder said.