Endorsement: Yes on Butterfield Park District site purchase
Butterfield Park District and those who enjoy programs at Greenbriar Park have a keen interest in what will happen to the unoccupied lot on the northeast corner of Butterfield Road and Route 53. Any development on the former gas station site certainly would change the character -- and possibly the environment -- of the adjacent Greenbriar Park. Faced with a buyer's plans to build a gas station with a store and car wash on the 2.4 acres, Butterfield officials worked with the Conservation Foundation, which bought the lot to stave off development and give the park district until next summer to buy it. In its first property tax referendum, the district is asking voters for permission to borrow $2.985 million to buy the property for $1.5 million; spend $500,000 to develop trails, gardens and nature play and education at the site; and invest $985,000 (possibly more with matching grants) to improve and update the district's other parks. The plan would cost the owner of a $200,000 house about $54 annually for 20 years. If voters reject the proposal, the park district would not have the money to buy the land and it would be sold. If residents truly want to block commercial development on the site, we recommend they take this opportunity and vote yes.