WILLIAMSTOWN - The Conservation Commission will continue collecting information on two town properties, in anticipation of being asked to release them for affordable housing.
"We'll accept to leave the matter open for further documents that appear relevant to the commission at a future date," Chairman Philip McKnight said.
Selectmen initially requested the commission release the 30-acre Lowry and 136-acre Burbank properties from its care, custody and management to be considered for affordable housing on July 8. The properties were placed into the commission's care by Town Meeting in 1987.
But the board withdrew its request on Aug. 12, citing the need for a non-controversial site that could accommodate Spruces residents.
The town has a limited timeframe to implement a $6.13 million FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant awarded in March.
The commission spent several meetings this summer collecting documents, testimony and reports, as Chairman McKnight stressed repeatedly the commission could have to defend whatever decision it made in court.
McKnight stated Affordable Housing Committee Chairwoman Cathy Yamamoto requested to attend a future meeting to present more evidence.
In an email on Friday, Yamamoto said she felt much of the information shown to the commission was from those opposed to developing the two properties.
"While the argument against development may be compelling, the argument for limited and thoughtful development, for an accommodation of conservation, recreation and housing together, is equally compelling," Yamamoto wrote.
The discussion in favor has been ongoing for years, she continued, before and after the 1987 vote.
In other business, Conservation Agent Andrew Groff updated commission members on work being done at Margaret Lindley Park. The commission received $65,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to drill a new well on the property and replace fixtures in the bathhouse.
The contractor has drilled down 140 feet, Groff said, and found an aquifer that could provide 30 gallons of water per minute, much more than the site would need.
"Hopefully all the work will be completed by the time winter sets in," Groff said.
The park, located at the base of the Taconic Trail (Route 2), has been without a potable water supply for nearly a decade.