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CUMBERLAND – Developer Ross Silva says his family has decided to donate the wetlands property at the center of a development proposal on Canning Street.

The Breeze first reported on the situation more than a month ago, and town officials recently initiated legal action over the state's approval of a home on a 45 Canning St. parcel that is more than 90 percent wetlands. Town leaders and neighbors had questioned how the project could receive state approval after the town had so vehemently opposed it.

"In 2017, members of my family signed a purchase and sales agreement on a small lot on Canning Street in Cumberland to build a family home," said Silva, who is the son of Gov. Dan McKee's Chief of Staff Tony Silva, who was originally said to be behind this project. "Over the past four years, the application process to obtain a building permit has been in the capable hands of the town and the DEM. Unfortunately, and much to our disappointment, this process has resulted in unintended consequences that have created a distraction for my family and everyone concerned."

The Silva family has lived in Cumberland for more than 100 years, noted Silva.

"I am a life-long resident, as are/were my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents," he said. "As a result, we feel badly that this has manifested itself to this point and also understand the concerns of town officials and our neighbors on Canning Street. Therefore, my family has decided that it is in the best interest of everyone that I donate the parcel of land located at 45 Canning St. to the Town of Cumberland to be preserved, in perpetuity, as open space. My family is happy to resolve this matter in a positive and amicable way."

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