Higgins-MacAllister Preservation Project
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Our CPC project for Fall 2011 is the Higgins-MacAllister land containing approximately 31 acres on Holly Crest Road off Booth Hill Road in the west end of Scituate. This land abuts the Scituate Rod and Gun Club on Route 3A and other town owned Conservation lands in the Bates Lane Conservation Area. Maxwell Conservation Trust (MCT) has been working on preserving this unique unfragmented forest of 400 acres for quite a few years now. The Higgins-MacAllister parcels represent another “piece of the puzzle” in the preservation of this Bates Lane area in the West end of Scituate.



Detailed Description of the Project

• The land proposed for preservation is composed of 2 large parcels, designated as Parcel I & II on the plan drawn by W. Higgins in 1969 as well as building lot #5 shown on plan 27659A by Stenbeck and Taylor dated June 27, 1957. Hollycrest Road, a private way, has been developed up to Lot # 8. The remaining building lots are being sold within the families. Public access for this land is from Hollycrest Road and a parking area for the public to use could be developed on Lot #5.

• This heavily treed property is comprised mainly of uplands. It is an extensive ridge with an intermittent stream meandering along the edge right behind the house lots. When flowing, this stream flows toward the Rod and Gun Club and eventually empties into Bound Brook which flows into the Gulph River. The other side of this ridge abuts town owned conservation land and an additional stream that also flows into Bound Brook.

• A brief history of the Higgins-MacAllister family involvement in this property is as follows. The entire property was purchased by Milton Higgins in 1946 from Brown. In 1954, Higgins sold to George and Howard MacAllister giving each a 1/3 share in the property while Milton retained the other 1/3 share. Then in later years, each of the 3 owners granted ownership to their children as outlined in a letter from Attorney Irwin Golden dated May 24, 1966. As you will see when reviewing the Purchase and Sales Agreement, there are 5 signers on this document and they represent all the legal heirs. 2 of the signers, Wayne Higgins and Richard MacAllister, currently live on Hollycrest Road with the other 3 signers living out of state.

• Please note that the P&S allows the CPC the time necessary for grant applications if they choose to apply for land grants from the State.

• We have included with this application a land evaluation prepared by Bob Murphy of Conservation Consultants, a Danena Company.

• The acquisition of these parcels will benefit the town of Scituate as follows: This acreage will be part of the largest remaining unfragmented forest in Scituate. Currently, there are approximately 300 acres of conserved forest in the Bates Lane Conservation Area. This would add another 31 acres bringing the total conserved to 331 acres and further protect this very important greenway area for passive recreation and wildlife habitat. Since drainage from these parcels flows toward Bound Brook, preservation of this land will help to keep the Brook, with it’s three fish ladders, a much healthier environment for the state and local herring restoration project that includes it.

• This project is consistent with and supports the goals of the Scituate Open Space and Master Plans.

• The amount of $17,000 per acre requested has historically been the amount supported by CPC appraisals for open space acquisition in this area.

• The applicant requests that Maxwell Conservation Trust hold the Conservation Restriction for these parcels.

• In the past 10 years, the property has been offered for development on the real estate market a few times. We believe that given the current down turn in the housing construction market, this a great opportunity to conserve another piece of this unique unfragmented forest.

Project Budget Information

• Included in this project is reimbursement to Maxwell Conservation Trust for legal costs associated with this project, up to $5,000.

• The applicant is requesting that any surveys required by CPC be funded by the committee.