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Disputed land gets N. Hempstead's attention

North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman. (May 24, 2011)

North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman. (May 24, 2011) Credit: David Pokress

A disputed piece of property in Port Washington may get a closer look by the Town of North Hempstead.

At a meeting Thursday night, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Fred Pollack met with residents upset about a 1.5-acre parcel where the North Hempstead Housing Authority once wanted to build affordable senior-citizen housing. Residents said for years the site had been used as a park.

Kaiman and Pollack said they would put resolutions on the town board's July 12 agenda to do a legal and environmental analysis of the property, which is next to the Harbor Homes affordable-housing complex off Port Washington Boulevard and Harbor Road.

The land is operated by the North Hempstead Housing Authority. Plans for a 48-unit complex were withdrawn in February after community members complained, saying the area was parkland and the only nearby place where kids can play.

The housing authority said it legally can not use land for anything other than housing.

The legal analysis will examine which restrictions apply to the property and what remedies may be available, as well as look at the environmental impact of siting a park there.

“We need to know the legal status of the property and what the options are,” Kaiman said.

Nearby residents, many from the Hands of Change Civic Association, asked that the fence around the property be removed, but Sean Rainey, the housing authority's executive director, said that’s not possible because of liability and safety concerns.

Above, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman

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