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Newton has compelling interest in preserving college-owned woods

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File/Globe Staff

Re “Newton in legal fight to seize woodland” (Metro, Oct. 1): The important question is not whether the City of Newton dropped the ball years ago when offered a chance to purchase wooded land currently owned by Boston College; rather, it is whether Newton should protect the woods now.

This wooded parcel has been at the top of the city’s open-space acquisition list for years. It is surrounded by city-owned woods to the north and state-owned woods to the south, constituting the largest contiguous open space left in Newton, and it offers unique recreational opportunities. If the city does not take steps to protect it, Boston College has the right to develop the parcel and irreparably damage the quiet beauty of these woods and jeopardize the existing public investment in them.


As to claims that a taking by eminent domain is unfair, the college bought the land knowing the compelling public interest in preserving the woods, and in any event it would be paid fair market value for that land, as decided by a jury.

Ken Kimmell