Jepsen looking into Costco's land purchase

Nick Rees Jun. 13, 2011, 2:13pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is seeking more information about a proposed sale of a portion of New Britain park land to Costco.

Under the proposed sale, Costco would buy a portion of Stanley Park. Jepsen wants to ensure that the sale is in compliance with the terms of the 1927 deed that originally donated the land to the city.

"The time for us to get involved is now, before the project moves too far ahead," Jepsen said.

The state attorney general, under state law, is given the oversight responsibility in ensuring that property dedicated to public or charitable use is be used in perpetuity according to the true intent and meaning of the grantor.

Assistant Attorney General Karen Gano, in a letter written on Jepsen's behalf, asked the city of New Britain's corporation counsel for copies of any deeds and maps for the park property. The letter also requested the steps the city took in determining that the land proposed for sale was not needed for public purposes.

"In this instance, Alix W. Stanley expressly gave the city authority to sell a certain portion of the Stanley Park land in the deeds by which he conveyed the land to the City," Gano wrote. "Portions of land... can be sold if a determination is made that those parcels are not needed, nor likely to be needed for the public purpose of park, play ground, public golf links or an open air school."

Jepsen is also seeking details about a proposed special revenue fund or trust that would be created to hold the proceeds from the sale of the Stanley Park land. To be in compliance with state law, the money must be held in trust to produce income for the development and maintenance of Stanley Park.

Currently, New Britain's Common Council is considering a zoning change that would be required for the sale of the property.

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