In 2001, the Hazelett and Unsworth families offered the Town of Colchester the opportunity to purchase a 14 acre parcel of land with road frontage on Blakely Road and East Lakeshore Drive and 470 feet of lakeshore frontage. The property was appraised as high as $2 million dollars and the Town agreed to pay $1.1 million dollars for the property if approved. In 2003, the item was placed on the ballot for the voters of Colchester to decide. The item was defeated by 31 votes.
Several community members solicited the Colchester Select Board to put the item back on the ballot and provide more information on the project. The Select Board then tasked the Planning Commission with researching the community’s interest in investing in the 14 acre parcel. The Select Board asked the Commission to gauge the community support for purchasing the property. The Select Board also asked the commission to provide specific recommendations for the use of the land.
The Commission held a public forum on October 7, 2003 and prepared a list of recommended uses from input at the meeting and surveys. The most popular recommended use is a multi-generational community recreational center. On January 13, 2004, the Commission transferred their findings to the Select Board. The Select Board unanimously voted to place the item on the ballot in March 2004. This ballot item was subsequently approved by the voters.
Bayside Property Quick Facts
Approximately 14 acres
470 Feet of Frontage on Lake Champlain
Purchase Price $1.1 million
Road Frontage on Blakely Road and East Lakeshore Drive