New Suffolk waterfront land preserved

New Suffolk Waterfront Fund members Barbara Butterworth, Barbara Schnitzler (left) and Diana Schwatka (right) join Tim Caufield and John v.H. Halsey of the Peconic Land Trust after the completion of the preservation sale of a bayfront property in New Suffolk.

It’s a done deal.

The Peconic Land Trust and the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund on Friday to title to a 3.4-acre bayfront property that had been the location of several development proposals, including condominiums, over the years.

The site, which the Peconic Land Trust had acquired, will instead become a place for recreational and cultural activities as well as waterfront access.

“The New Suffolk waterfront has the potential to become again the heart of the community,” said Barbara Schnitzler, New Suffolk Waterfront Fund chair.

“We hope that the community and others will stand strong with us as we launch our second phase of fund-raising to appropriately improve this property over the next few years.”

The waterfront fund organized in 2005 to purchase the property and preserve. To help achieve that goal, the Peconic Land Trust bought the parcel in December 2007 to give the waterfront group time to raise funds to buy it. On Friday the land trust and waterfront fund closed on that sale. Both groups plan to place a conservation easement on the property to set aside a substantial portion of the land be set aside as open space.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to assist the community in realizing a dream to protect this waterfront, long a source of community pride and interest, and to make it available to them while they undertook a fund-raising initiative to acquire it,” said Tim Caufield, land trust vice president. “We wish the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund all the best as they take on the next phase of life for this important, historic property.”

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