The 25-acre parcel is located on Gloucester Hill Road. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

NEW GLOUCESTER — A group of residents, called Save the Opportunity Farm View, hopes to raise $250,000 to purchase “a jewel” property in town.

The lot has been for sale for months. Jane Vaughan / Lakes Region Weekly

The 25-acre lot is located on the east side of Gloucester Hill Road across from the Morrison Center, formerly known as Opportunity Farm. Peter Bragdon, who is part of the effort, said people use the site for “sledding, they take pictures, sit and talk, clear their head. We would hate to see that area developed.”

The parcel’s owner, Warren Gerow, recently received approval to build a house on the site after the Planning Board conducted a site walk and public hearing.

At the public hearing on Sept. 3, residents voiced their concerns about preserving the open hillside and historic views from the top of Gloucester Hill.

Because the site is located in the town’s historic district, Gerow’s request had to meet more stringent requirements and be approved by the Planning Board and Historical Society.

“As part of marketing it for sale, (Gerow) wanted to have approval for a single-family house so that he could market it as buildable,” said Town Planner Scott Hastings.

Although Gerow has not yet sought a building permit, Hastings said, “he has approval to build a house.”

Bragdon acknowledged Gerow’s right to do what he wants with the land, but said he worries that the construction of a house would tarnish the pristine landscape and open the door for further development.

There’s the potential for more than one house lot” on the site, he said. 

Gerow said he bought the parcel in 2017 and has been trying to sell it for six to eight months. He declined to answer further questions.

Save the Opportunity Farm View has been collecting names and pledges but not funds. Bragdon said the group hopes to create a land trust so that the parcel can be protected.

“It’s a treasure for the town,” Bragdon said. “We want to keep it so it’s not developed so people in the public can use it.”

Cheryl Trafford, who is spearheading the group, could not be reached for comment.

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