By Jenni Culkin
A parcel of wooded land next to Cordwood Landing County Park in Miller Place is up for grabs, and the community isn’t letting the land be developed without a fight.
The 5.4-acre parcel, which backs up to the more than 64-acre county park off of Landing Road, has value to the residents of Miller Place, and according to Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai), constituents have been making it clear that the land needs to be preserved.
A website and Facebook group, operating under the name Friends of Cordwood Landing, was launched a few months ago, and the group has been advocating for the land’s preservation. A representative from the group could not be reached for comment.
Back in December 2014, Anker began the process of acquiring the land from its owner, Rocky Point developer Mark Baisch, of Landmark Properties. The legislature unanimously voted to start the acquisition process so that the county could protect the area, which Anker described in a phone interview on March 17 as “residential,” from possible commercialization or industrialization. The county has hired appraisers to determine the land’s worth. According to law, the county can’t pay any more than the appraised value.
Anker said she would like to see the land become a part of the waterfront property of Cordwood Landing.
“I am a true environmentalist,” Anker said. “I will do everything I can to advocate and move this parcel forward through the acquisition process.”
According to Town of Brookhaven planning documents, Baisch submitted a request for a subdivision back in January. In a recent phone interview, Baisch said he would like to build homes on the land. However, if the county’s offer is sufficient, he said he would sell the land.
Anker said the proposal to acquire the land is currently in its early stages and is awaiting approval from the Environmental Trust Fund Review Board. If approved, the proposal will head to the Environmental, Planning, and Agriculture Committee, of which Anker is a member. She expects the proposal to get there by April.
In 2013, the county tried to purchase the land from its original owner, but the owner refused to sell.