A Special Town Meeting in Rockland voted unanimously to buy the 36.3-acre McCarthy Farm to maintain it as open space and keep it from being developed for housing.
The Sept. 13 vote authorizes selectmen to spend $930,000 on the purchase — contingent on the town getting a $400,000 state grant. The rest of the money would come from the town’s rainy day and Conservation Preservation funds. No tax increases would be needed, according to Town Administrator Douglas Lapp.
The current owners of the farm have a purchase and sale agreement with Hingham developer Tom Hastings, who had planned to build cluster housing on a portion of the site. The town has the right of first refusal to buy the land, however, because it received tax abatements as agricultural property.
The land is located on the Rockland-Hanson line in the northwest corner of Rockland and is one conservation parcel away from Whitman.
“I’m very happy,” Open Space Committee Chair Donald Cann said after the vote. “It fits with our open space plan, which is to create a green ribbon around town and connect with our neighboring towns’ open space. It really works.”
Over the years, the farm has had sheep, pigs, chickens, and some beef cattle, Cann said. Most recently, the farm sold eggs and horticultural products, including sunflowers.
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.