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Hartland Board OKs Turning Road Private

Hartland — Telecommunications executive Michel Guite’s wish to turn a public road leading to his property into a private one has been granted.

The Hartland Selectboard voted in February to discontinue the 0.2-mile long Ayers Lane. On Monday night, it reaffirmed that decision, 3-2.

“What we really were voting to do was not undo that previous vote,” said Gordon Richardson, Selectboard chairman.

Richardson supported the change, which he called “a reasonable request,” as all of the property surrounding the short road belongs to just one person, and “no one else was involved.”

He based his vote on the question of public good, Richardson said.

“There was no harm to the public good, as far as I could see,” he said. “No one needs to get there except the landowner, and the landowner is part of the public... He had his reasons why he wanted it to be discontinued.”

Guite did not attend the meeting. In the past, he has said his main concern with the road was privacy. Also, he wanted the road’s status to change because it cuts through a farming field he is reviving.

Martha McGlinn and Thomas White also voted in favor of discontinuing Ayers Lane. Mary O’Brien and Richard Waddell were opposed. A call to Waddell yesterday afternoon was not returned.

Guite owns the land on both sides of the road, which leads only to his property. He previously won a three-year Vermont Supreme Court legal battle to exhume graves from the Aldrich Family Cemetery, which was situated on the 164-acre property.

Ayers Lane will become private after the paperwork is finalized, Town Manager Bob Stacey said yesterday. A report is due to the town clerk by June 1. As a private road, it will no longer be maintained by the town or serve as a right of way.

Aimee Caruso can be reached at acaruso@vnews.com or 603-727-3210.