Abandoning Skytop Road: Plans headed to town voters

Voters will be asked to legally abandon the undeveloped portion of Skytop Road as a town highway.

The selectmen voted on Sept. 5 to send the road abandonment proposal — which was initiated by the Conservation Commission — to an Oct. 10 public hearing and an Oct. 24 town meeting.

“This is to eliminate the road completely?” asked Selectman Bob Hebert during the discussion.

“On the map,” said First Selectman Rudy Marconi. “...It’s not the developed road.”

Skytop Road, off Bennetts Farm Road, is part of an old town road dating back to the 18th Century, once known as Bogus Road.  

There’s a paved portion known as Skytop Road that provides access to a number of houses developed in the area back in the 1950s — and this portion would continue as a town road.

But there’s also an unpaved remainder to the old road, leading into the town’s Hemlock Hills open space — and the Conservation Commission wants this formally abandoned as a town roadway, so it can be permanently closed off.

The undeveloped roadway is currently closed by a lock and chain, but the lock is periodically broken, and the old abandoned roadway becomes a route by which ATVs enter the open space refuge and roar around in the woods. The ATV access to the open space is what the Conservation Commission hopes to be able stop, by better closing off the entrance once the path in the woods is no longer legally a town road.