City Planner David B. Sulkis told the Planning and Zoning Board at its Aug. 6 meeting that a lot line adjustment is allowing the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to acquire a 24.58-acre parcel off Nells Road for open space.

Sulkis said the lot line adjustment for the James Beard property at 0 Nells Road is permitting the land transfer to take place. Sulkis said the DEEP plans to preserve this land as open space.

Sulkis, noting that the DEEP has long been interested in acquiring the property, said about nine homes abut it and over time they were encroaching on the parcel with garages, sheds and fences. He said Beard could have used “the tools at his legal disposal” to remove the enroachments, but decided there was enough available land that he gave the land to the homeowners, hence the lot line adjustment.

Beard said the property passed from his grandfather to his father, and then to him and his sisters.

“After a long and arduous process, we were able to sell it to DEEP for open space,” Beard said. “Because of encroachments by the neighbors and other easement issues with the city, it got very involved.”

Sulkis said the city has a right of way through the property for one of its main trunk lines for the Housatonic Wastewater Treatment Plant, but the easement was not properly recorded on the land records. He said the easement map has been corrected.

According to the city GIS map, the treatment plant in question is the Beaver Brook plant, located on Birch Street near one of the main channels for the Charles E. Wheeler Wildlife Management Area; the channel connects the Housatonic River to Beaver Brook.

The property is located west of the treatment plant and most of the property is tidal marsh. The full property prior to the lot line adjustment was 28.6-acres.

There are nine houses on the west side of Nells Road, numbering from 27 to 75. The GIS map shows land near these properties with the encroachments that are located on solid ground.

The GIS map show a 30.33-acre property the DEEP owns with an address of 90 Kay Avenue, which is on the northwest side of this property, bordering Beaver Brook.