Doggett Brook Farm to remain agricultural, board agrees

ROCHESTER – Selectmen have agreed with the Buzzards Bay Coalition that Doggett Brook Farm should remain agricultural.

Allen Decker, director of land protection for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, visited the Rochester Select Board to request two conservation restrictions for about 60 acres of land off Marion Road. The restrictions were approved unanimously.

“We’re interested in seeing it stay in agricultural use, and we’ve found a buyer who will.” As part of the deal with the potential buyer, the Buzzards Bay Coalition asked the buyer to protect the property, which the restrictions will ensure.

Doggett Brook Farm, known to some in Rochester as “the old airport” because the site once housed an airfield, is about 60 acres.

The property is home to agricultural soils, woodlands, and Doggett Creek, which is a tributary of the Sippican River. The Buzzards Bay Coalition bought the property last year with the intention of preserving the land.

Decker noted that the property is well suited for agricultural use and that the Buzzards Bay Coalition wanted to prevent it from being developed for other purposes, such as business or residential lots.

“We want it to stay in agriculture, buyers want to grow it, that’s the primary use,” he noted. “The soil is well suited for agriculture.”

The first restriction describes an area of ​​the property which may be used for agriculture under the direction of an agricultural plan which must be approved by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Rochester Land Trust. There will be one acre where landowners can build a house, but otherwise the property will be set aside for agricultural use only.

“No further subdivisions will be allowed,” Decker said. He explained that once the restrictions are in place, the only thing the land can be used for is agriculture. Even if the new owners were to sell it, the restrictions would remain in place.

The second restriction provides a buffer zone between the farm and the creek edge. “This area will be used for vegetative restoration and habitat restoration for the benefit of the creek, Decker said.

He also noted that they plan to work with the new landowner to place a parking area along Marion Road and establish a walking path that will be open to the public.

“It’s a critical natural landscape,” Decker explained. “Our values ​​speak to protecting this property for its potential for habitat diversity.”

“It’s really nice to see this land stay in agriculture,” coach Paul Ciaburri said.