The Suffolk Legislature’s environment committee voted Monday to have a 21-acre Middle Island former KMart parking lot appraised, but held off on appraising a 28-acre parcel lot because New York State has expressed interest in purchasing it.
Planning Director Sarah Lansdale told the committee that the state has contacted the county about purchasing the undeveloped portion of land to combine it with the 6,000 acre Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area. Lawmakers tabled appraising that land until it has a better picture of what the state is doing.
A spokesmen for Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who is working on the purchase, didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation sent a letter to the county August 26 that said it plans to start the appraisal process in the early fall.
Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine told county lawmakers the town would take the 21-acre lot if the county buys it and build baseball fields, soccer fields, a walking trail and playgrounds, before turning it over to the Longwood Youth Sports Association to operate.
“We’re not interested in maintaining it,” Romaine said.
Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) compared it to Heritage Park, in Mount Sinai. The KMart land has been vacant for at least 15 years, she said. “It’s a win-win, not only for the developer, but also the children,” she said.
Both parcels are owned by developer Wilbur Breslin.
Gail Lynch-Bailey, president of the Middle Island Civic Association, said local youth sports are desperate for field space. If the state buys the wooded 28 acres, it could free up more money for the county. “This is ideal,” she said.