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ALBANY — The state Legislature has approved a bill that provides a compromise for the use of Kings Point Park, two years after New York’s top court blocked the Village of Kings Point from expanding a public works facility.
The Assembly gave final passage to the measure late Wednesday. Sponsored by Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury) and Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Port Washington), it would allow the village to use the park for public works services — but on a much smaller scale. Some neighbors had opposed it, saying it would destroy woodlands.
The measure now will go to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo later this year for signature or veto.
Under the bill, 1.1 acres would be set aside for local-government use. The village, for decades, used about three acres of the park but sparked opposition in 2008 when it proposed to expand its footprint to 5.5 acres. That would’ve involved cutting down trees, paving a section and constructing a new public works building.
Neighbors sued and won after a six-year court battle. In 2014, the state Court of Appeals said the land is clearly “dedicated parkland” and cannot be used for other purposes unless “authorized by the State Legislature.” The village had been using a three-acre section of the park for vehicle storage and other purposes for about 70 years.
The Martins-Schimel bill authorizes village use of the land, but limits it.