Digimonday refer 6-12-21 (copy)

The Mount, home of Edith Wharton Restoration, has revised the size of the land it hopes to be given as part of its Laurel Lake shorefront farmhouse transfer.

LENOX — In response to concerns voiced by town officials in Lee, The Mount has proposed reducing the acreage of the Laurel Lake farmhouse property to be transferred to historic site if voters in Lee and Lenox approve a warrant article at their upcoming annual town meetings.

The farmhouse, part of the Edith Wharton Park, was built in 1906 and is jointly owned by the two towns. The Mount was Edith Wharton’s estate from 1902 to 1911.

If approved by a two-thirds majority of voters in each town, the sale would allow The Mount to restore the deteriorating property.

The issue raised in Lee concerns the 3.4-acre size of the parcel, including about 960 feet of waterfront on Laurel Lake. Susan Wissler, The Mount’s executive director, is now proposing to reduce the size of the parcel to be transferred to just under 1.4 acres, limited to the land immediately surrounding the farmhouse, with the towns retaining most of the shorefront.

“A number of Lee Town Representatives reached out to me to express concern about the extent of shoreline to be transferred,” Wissler stated in a prepared announcement. “This new proposal is in direct response.”

“I appreciate the generosity of the towns’ original proposal of the land to be transferred,” she added. “But The Mount’s Board Chairman Dan Kasper and I walked the property on Thursday and we feel that the 1.39-acre lot is sufficient for The Mount’s purposes of saving and restoring the farmhouse.”

Wissler said she has reached out to Lee-Lenox Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Ketchen to suggest an amendment to the warrant article in each town.

The Lee annual town meeting for elected representatives is on June 24; Lenox voters assemble at 5 p.m. June 29. Approval of the sale to The Mount, in addition to the two-thirds approval by each town, also requires a future two-thirds favorable vote from both houses of the Massachusetts Legislature.