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Suffolk to purchase 27-acre preserve

David Weinstein says his property borders the 27-acre

David Weinstein says his property borders the 27-acre DeForest Williams tract in Cold Spring Harbor. Part of the tract is seen behind him. Weinstein is involved with other community activists to get Suffolk County to purcase the land. (Oct. 18, 2011) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The Suffolk County Legislature has agreed to pursue the purchase of a 27-acre preserve in Cold Spring Harbor that some residents fear would be used for new homes.

Lawmakers Tuesday approved a resolution allowing the county to use funds from its Drinking Water Protection Program to buy the so-called DeForest-Williams property near the Nassau County line.

Suffolk would provide 50 percent of the undetermined purchase price, with the Town of Huntington and the nonprofit North Shore Land Alliance each contributing 25 percent.

“This is the one last chance to save this... preserve,” said Ed Schermerhorn, whose property abuts the watershed land.

Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) sponsored the resolution, calling the preserve “spectacular.”

Should the land be subdivided for 12 homes — as was discussed — there would be major concern over stormwater runoff into Cold Spring Harbor, said a local civic leader.

“The water is something taken very seriously in Cold Spring Harbor,” said Clayton Prugh of the Cold Spring Harbor Civic Association.

Above: David Weinstein says his property borders the 27-acre DeForest Williams tract in Cold Spring Harbor. Part of the tract is seen behind him. Weinstein has been involved with other community activists to get Suffolk County to purcase the land.

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