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Wood Road Property

The story that won’t go away

This lot, on the corner of Arrandale Avenue and Wood Road, has been unkempt and virtually abandoned by Nassau County for years. Once in a great while, after angry complaints from neighbors, county workers would come and do a half-hearted attempt at cleaning the litter strewn parcel. Once a load of tires was dumped into the mix, making it a mosquito breeding ground.

 

A potential solution to the unofficial dump began in the early days of the Suozzi administration back in 2001. On a tour of Great Neck, he waved at the parcel and declared, “The county should just give it to the community ... it can’t be developed ... it would save us money if a local branch of government took it over.”

 

But when Suozzi handed the idea over to the county’s real estate office, visions of sugar plums and cold cash evidently danced in the heads of someone in the office and the parcel was offered to the park district for $1 million.

 

After the park district commissioners had rescued their jaws from their desktops, scratched their individual heads and laughed in shock, they said some version of, “No, you must be kidding.”

 

The small property has the topography of a vortex. It is a part of the drainage system for this portion of the peninsula, so much so, that the county has a sump in its heart.

 

Could it be developed? Certainly, if some homeowner would like to maintain a county sump and have a house on stilts. Great Neck has any number of developers who snap up undeveloped parcels, but none of them have shown interest in acquiring the Wood Road property. 

 

It is adjacent to the Parkwood Sports Complex, a very busy and heavily trafficked headquarters with myriad facilities, including an ice skating rink and community swimming pools.

 

Negotiations on a resolution to this matter have stopped and re-started so many times, it is hard to keep score. In 2004, the Nassau County Planning Commission reviewed the proposed sale to the park district and found that there would be “no negative environmental impact” if the district acquired the property and used it as a passive park, “kept in a natural state.”