The gate to the Marion Carll Farm in Commack. Carll's...

The gate to the Marion Carll Farm in Commack. Carll's heirs have sued to get back the property from the school district. (Aug. 23, 2012) Credit: Ed Betz

The Commack school board is divided over a proposal to create a committee to look at what the school district should do with the Marion Carll property.

Board newcomer James Tampellini proposed the committee, which he said would have district residents participate in deciding the fate of the site.

"The whole goal is to move forward with this piece of property and to figure out how to get it off the responsibility of the district," Tampellini said at the board meeting Thursday night.

Board president Peter Wunsch said he believed it was "premature" to organize the group because of the lawsuit the district is embroiled in with relatives of Carll. The heirs sued in 2011, seeking the return of the roughly 9-acre farm that dates to 1701.

Wunsch said he has been approached by someone willing to buy the property, but the district can't make any decisions about the site until the lawsuit is resolved. He would not identify the would-be buyer.

Carll deeded the farm to the district in 1969 on the condition that it be used for a historical museum and educational farm. But the property, by the Hamlet Golf and Country Club, has remained unused except for a period in the 1990s, when it was leased to the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

In 2010, the Holiday Organization, a Plainview-based developer that developed the Hamlet golf course community that surrounds the farm, moved to purchase and develop the property. Voters rejected that option.

Tampellini was one of four residents who filed a motion last year to intervene in the lawsuit -- a move the district opposed and a State Supreme Court judge denied. The board didn't vote on Tampellini's proposal last week.

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