Last week, I was pleased to announce that the town of Brighton has signed an agreement to purchase approximately 26.3 acres of open space on Westfall Road, east of Buckland Park. I anticipate that closing will take place late in 2018, and at that point, Buckland will be the largest town park, with about 147 acres. Today, Buckland Park has many opportunities for active and passive recreation. Buckland Park contains lodges, trails and ball fields; meadows and wetlands. Buckland Park is home to Brighton’s Veterans’ Memorial, with its striking eagle welded by local artist Mary Taylor. Buckland Park is home to the Buckland House, the oldest home standing in Brighton that was constructed using Brighton Bricks, the bricks made in Brighton during the late 19th and early 20th century. It is also the site of our community garden, where nearly 100 families grow flowers and produce, in a pastoral and organic setting, each year. Plans are well under way for Buckland Park to become the home of Brighton’s Winter Farmers Market.
This land that will be purchased by the town, was recommended for purchase in the town’s Open Space Acquisition and Development Plan. With this purchase, the town’s park system will consist of over 530 acres of land, located throughout Brighton, as well as several miles of trails.
The total purchase price is just over $1.2 million. The town will pay for a portion of the purchase price with funds currently on hand, and borrow the remainder. The annual cost to the average Brighton homeowner will be under $5.50 per year, less than the cost of a latte a year.
As I have discussed in previous columns, much of the town’s parks system, including Buckland Park, exists only because of amenities granted to the town through incentive zoning. Buckland Park, Meridian Centre Park, the Frankel Nature Park and Brickyard Trail and others were acquired and/or developed, in whole or in part, thanks to incentive zoning. Thanks to incentive zoning, the town has ensured that development projects support community services, like our award winning schools, police department and public works departments, by paying their fair share of taxes, as well as providing community amenities that benefit all Brighton residents. This is a win-win for Brighton taxpayers and makes it possible for us to provide the level of service that Brighton residents have come to expect.
We are proud that Brighton has been named the Best Place to Live in New York, and we recognize that our parks and our recreation programs are important to families considering moving to Brighton as well as to our current residents. We are confident that this new land acquisition will make Brighton more attractive than ever!