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Scenic Roads

Scenic roads give people visual access to significant natural or cultural features of a town – agricultural land, historic buildings – or afford vistas of notable natural or geologic features – marshes, shoreline, forests of mature trees – or others which singularly or in combination set the road apart from other roadways as distinct.
Old Saybrook
Over the past decade, our town has designated several of its rural two-lane highways as scenic roads – Route 154’s coastal loop, Ingham Hill Road, and Schoolhouse Road. This designation not only encourages sightseeing along the road but also helps preserve it from modifications that would detract from its appearance, such as overly widening or removing stone walls or mature trees.
Over the river and through the woods…
  • Notice to Property Owners. Record on the land records a list of the properties with frontage abutting a scenic road to notify purchasers of properties of their obligations under the Town Code.
  • Certificate of Contribution. Collaborate with the Old Saybrook Historical Society to assess how the characteristics of any particular property’s frontage along a scenic road contribute to the overall sense of place.
  • Town Code Update. Revise the Scenic Roads chapter of the Town Code to define a process by which the Town can examine unauthorized alterations to scenic roads and prescribe appropriate restoration or restitution.
  • Baseline Survey of Scenic Resources. Conduct baseline survey of each road’s scenic resources to preserve.
  • Corridor Management Plan. Create an individualized plan for each scenic road.
  • Signage. Place discreet signage to identify roads as designated as “scenic”.
  • Restoration. Re-establish over-improved parts of scenic roads (clear-cutting, stormwater infrastructure, exotic or invasive trees or shrubs).
  • Enhance elements of scenic quality (trees, plants, restoration of stone walls).
  • Visual Access. Create scenic overlooks or viewing areas with wayside interpretive signage.
  • Sidewalks. Expand sidewalks along Route 154’s coastal loop.
  • Multi-use Trails. Develop a multi-use trail along narrow portions of local scenic roads.
  • Tree canopy. Conserve vegetated/landscaped buffer along scenic roads.
  • Old-fashioned Road Materials. Use sand-colored aggregate and water-based sealant when chip-sealing scenic roads to create the appearance of an unimproved, dirt road; keep width of travel lanes to a minimum.