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Solebury voters approve funding for land preservation

Solebury residents on Tuesday gave the nod to the next round of borrowing for the township’s Land Preservation Program.

Nearly 75 percent of Solebury voters — 2,139 people in all — approved the measure on Tuesday’s ballot, with 716 opposed.

The referendum authorizes the township to issue bonds for up to $12 million over the next several years for the Land Preservation Program to continue in its mission of preserving Solebury’s landscape and protecting its natural resources.

With approximately 38 percent of its acreage under some form of conservation, Solebury has sought over the years to preserve its working farms and protect open spaces from development.

Town leaders credit land preservation with helping keep Solebury’s water clean and its finances stable.

A 2014 Comprehensive Plan survey indicated that residents consider preservation of open space as one of the top three reasons to live in Solebury.

The authorized $12 million of additional borrowing will occur over a period of years, the township said. They estimate that under current conditions, the next $5 million of borrowing for open space purposes will increase taxes for the average Solebury Township household by about $50 per year.

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