SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Thousands of Southington residents went out to vote for a controversial referendum on Tuesday.
The future of the town’s green space was on the line.
Ultimately, residents voted to preserve that land.
Residents had to decide whether the town should spend $4.5 million to acquire developmental rights to the Southington Golf Course. Town officials said 2,418 people voted yes while 719 said no.
“It’s so important that we as a community preserve the land we have, and that’s what we saw today. The people spoke,” said Victoria Triano, Southington Town Council Chairperson.
Town officials say now that a majority of voters have said yes, the Southington Country Club’s green space will be preserved.
The town is buying developmental rights from the owners of the country club, which means current and future owners won’t be able to build subdivisions on the property.
Just years ago, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal to build a 114-lot subdivision on the property.
“I think all open space purchases are necessary to preserve the ecology,” said Jane Cwikla.
Supporters of the acquisition say a new subdivision would have meant more families and possibly an overcrowded school system.
“Sometimes we can overdevelop an area and then we’re taxing our educational system,” said Marco Ingriseli.
Those who oppose are worried about taxes increasing.
“I personally don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Valentino Guarino.
The golf course owners still own the country club, but they lose the rights to build subdivisions on the property. Town officials say the next step is meeting with the owners and finalizing the development rights.