Greenfield mayor postpones Stone Ridge Lane auction to October

  • During a meeting last week, the Greenfield Conservation Commissioned presented a heat map based on GPS signals of people using the trails running through the two properties up for auction on Stone Ridge Lane. Trails in yellow indicate higher recreation traffic. Screenshot

Staff Writer
Published: 9/21/2021 7:30:17 PM

GREENFIELD — Following requests raised by several interest groups, Mayor Roxann Wedegartner has decided to postpone to Oct. 6 the public auction of 87 Stone Ridge Lane and an adjacent parcel, which abuts Rocky Mountain Park.

“I was willing to do whatever I could to facilitate additional conversation around how we might accomplish both the goal of the city as well as the goal of the people who want to have it maintained as conservation land,” Wedegartner said of the decision Tuesday afternoon.

The land, which has been privately owned for decades, contains a network of trails that previous owners have left open to the public. Concerns about the auction of the land — originally scheduled for Wednesday on Court Square — were initially raised by the Conservation Commission in a letter to the mayor that was drafted during a meeting last week.

The letter, which stated the commission’s desire to postpone the auction so more public discussion could be held on ways to ensure the land is conserved and remains available for recreational use, was one of at least two letters the mayor received this week. The New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) and the MassBike Connecticut River Valley Chapter also sent a letter to Wedegartner with a similar request.

During the Conservation Commission meeting last week, Stephen Woodbridge, the most recent owner of the parcel, said the city is seeking $56,000 for “taxes, interest and attorney fees.” The auction listing has 87 Stone Ridge Lane assessed for $258,400 and the adjacent parcel for $49,900.

Woodbridge, too, expressed a desire for the next owner of the land to continue the legacy of allowing the public to use the trails.

Earlier this week, Wedegartner said she would “happily postpone” the auction, provided she has the legal authority to do so.

Ultimately, after conferring with Treasurer-Collector Kelly Varner, who spoke to a lawyer, Wedegartner agreed to postpone the auction to allow the Conservation Commission time to find interested buyers.

“It does have to be (sold by) auction,” she clarified. “There’s no option there.”

Wedegartner noted she has been contacted by private buyers since news of the auction became public, and there remains the possibility of a private buyer being OK with leaving part of the property with its system of trails.

Conservation Commission Chair Travis Drury said Tuesday that he’s happy the mayor is giving the commission more time to look into how the city can preserve the land.

“Now, we have two weeks — which is a bit of a tight deadline — but hopefully we’re able to come up with a good option,” he said.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne




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