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TOBAY Pursues Properties for Allen Park Expansion

The town wants to acquire two Heisser Lane parcels to expand the Farmingdale park.

The Town of Oyster Bay is negotiating to buy two Heisser Lane properties for the proposed expansion of , town officials said at Tuesday's board meeting.

According to the town attorney's office and a consulting firm, 53 and 57 Heisser Lane would add one acre to the park and are necessary for the planned park layout after decades of cleaning up the neighboring for recreational use. 

During a public hearing on the acquisitions, the homeowners of one property and legal team for the other site expressed that the amounts offered, around $290,000 for the home and $80,000 for the site, were inadequate, but that they are open to negotiations. The town board held the vote to allow for additional discussions.

"We're willing to move if we can find a place to park our trucks...or we are compensated fairly," said Jorge Vanegas Jr., who lives at 57 Heisser Lane with his extended family. Vanegas said that the family needs the driveway space for their landscaping business trucks.

The other site is an empty lot with a garage owned by Caryl Associates. Attorney Michael Zapson said that the offer made by the town is based on an old assessment and that the property is valued at more than $200,000 more than the town has offered. 

TOBAY Supervisor John Venditto responded that there was definitely "room to talk" but made clear that the town needs these parcels that sit adjacent to Allen Park. Both sites currently do not meet the zoning code and the town supervisor said they will condemn the properties to acquire them via eminent domain if they have to.

"We're not looking to hurt you," Venditto said, adding that the town will help the family relocate. "But after the long road we've been down for decades now, I can't imagine this would get in the way of ultimate development of the property." 

Town consultant Michael Spinelli said that his firm identified Farmingdale, Plainedge and North Massapequa as areas in the town most underserved in terms of recreational space. In total he said the town offers just half the acres of parkland the National Recreation Association recommends. 

At the meeting there was also a public hearing to change the zoning of part of the park from "Light Industrial" to "Recreational" that the board also deferred vote on.

"We fought so hard to get to this moment," Venditto said. "Nothing can stop us now."

Cosmo March 28, 2012 at 04:55 PM
How much of our tax dollars are being spent on this park? Not needed, it already is a good facility for our community.
John Rennhack March 28, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Whoa! I'd love to see more park space but to use the threat of eminent domain is horrible. And would probably cost the Town alot of time and money in legal fees.
Kevin March 29, 2012 at 03:02 AM
And to think I grew up in the 60's playing in the sumps around Massapequa, we did have parks. Small plots (about 100 X 200 with a swing set and monkey bars. Ever look at the parks line on your tax bill, it's way out of hand.
Elliott April 01, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Don't believe that the right way to get these properties is by threatening the owners. Mr. Venditto it seems to me you are devaluing the worth of these 2 properties for your benefit. Perhaps when all of us in Farmingdale fight our assessments for tax purposes we can bring you in as an expert witness to testify for us.
Dick Blair September 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
A done deal...thanks!

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