After six years of discussion, Dedham has been presented with a grant of easement by the property owners at , allowing permanent access to the Striar property and setting in motion the process to develop it as recreation space.
"People can not state how important it is," said selectman Michael Butler. "...[The property] will be carefully planned and developed into a terrific recreational property."
Peter Zahka, the attorney for the property owners, presented the easement to the Board of Selectmen at the board's meeting last Thursday. Though DPW trucks have been allowed to access the property through the property for the last year on a temporary easement, last week's action is permanent and will allow the town to build a road to the property.
The town has owned the Striar property for over 10 years and has been working to obtain the easement since 2006. At 24.6 acres, it represents a significant amount of developable space. It has been discussed as a site for a and . It has also been mentioned as a site for the .
Jim Maher, a multi-term member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, had worked with Zahka for several years in order to secure the easement.
"I'm glad to see it's finally come to fruition," he said.
The property, Maher said, provides what has become a rare opportunity to develop recreation space in Dedham.
"It will probably be the last parcel of land Recreation will develop," he said, "because as we know, land isn't falling off trees in Dedham."
A public meeting will be held June 12 to brainstorm ideas for the property. More details will be released as the meeting approaches.