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Letter: Land Trust can preserve open space

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Don McDanielMy children attended a small country preschool in the western part of Flower Mound. We were drawn to the school for a number of reasons, not the least of which was its location. We loved the quiet country atmosphere as the setting for the beginning of their education. As the stay-at-home parent, one of my greatest joys was driving them there early in the morning and sitting with them waiting for the school to open.

Our town is a special place and has a unique resource in the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District (CTCDD). It is something that most of us cherish and want to preserve for future generations. The pressure that exists from developers and land owners to develop the properties in the CTCDD is ever increasing and is understandable. This is a desirable place to live with many qualities that make it so and land owners in the district are aging and need to realize the financial benefits of their investment. The good news is that our town has put measures in place to ensure that the land can be developed in a way that preserves some of what makes it so unique.

I think it is time that we reach even further to preserve even more of this beautiful land in a way that makes it a truly accessible resource for all of the citizens of our town. I propose a Municipal Land Trust that could secure parcels in the CTCDD for permanent endowment to this goal. There are many models of this sort of land trust in the country. I would like to see the town appoint a committee to research the options and legal aspects of such an endeavor. As our town expands to the west, we are going to need more park land for the recreation and enjoyment of our new and established citizens alike.

There are many ways that such a trust might be funded and properties procured: planned giving, private and corporate donations, public contributions, bond elections and others. No one should be required or coerced to place their land in the trust; it would merely be an additional option that would expand the avenues available when the time comes to sell or develop. This would give all the citizens of our town a stake in what happens in the CTCDD. An individual’s interest in preserving land in the CTCDD could be matched by their involvement in the trust. Individual contributions would not be limited to financial or land contributions. There would be plenty of opportunity to volunteer time and expertise for things like fundraisers, campaign drives, information dissemination, beautification and maintenance and many more.

I see this as a way to further deepen the connections that we all have to our town, each other and our environment. If you agree, please support my campaign and reach out to our current town leaders to let them know your thoughts.

Don McDaniel
Candidate for Flower Mound Town Council, Place 3
Flower Mound, TX

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