Cooper One Step Closer to Preserving DeForest Williams Property in Cold Spring Harbor
CENTERPORT, NY—Following the overwhelming approval of his bill at today’s meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature, Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) came one step closer to preserving the DeForest Williams property in Cold Spring Harbor.
The proposed acquisition is comprised of 28 acres of heavily wooded hillside land, sloping downwards to Shore Road. Filled with old-growth trees, freshwater springs and open meadows, it has several trails which offer connectivity to the northern trailhead of the Nassau/Suffolk Greenbelt Trail. The property is home to a wide variety of birds, other animals, trees, plants and wildflowers.
“This important property provides significant natural assets, open space and historic value,” stated Beth Baldwin, Associate Director and Counsel of the North Shore Land Alliance. “We believe that acquisition of this parcel would provide the greatest protection and benefit to not only Cold Spring Harbor, but also to western Suffolk. Acquisition of the open areas of this property would provide watershed protection, harborshed protection and natural resource protection.”
Cooper’s adopted resolution authorizes the County’s Division of Real Estate to now begin taking all preliminary planning steps towards the acquisition of the undeveloped portion of the DeForest Williams property, such as performing appraisals, preparing a site survey and doing an environmental audit. This parcel was included on Suffolk County’s 2004 Master List of environmentally sensitive open space recommended for acquisition by the County. After all these actions are completed, an acquisition resolution will come back to the Legislature for final adoption.
In these days of shrinking municipal budgets, Cooper’s proposal is made more attractive because it includes a three-way public-private partnership between Suffolk County, the Town of Huntington and the North Shore Land Alliance. The County would foot 50% of the final acquisition costs, with the Town of Huntington putting up 25% and the North Shore Land Alliance raising the remaining 25%. Cooper’s resolution calls for funding the acquisition of this open space under Suffolk County’s newly revamped Drinking Water Protection Program, which Cooper championed in 2007 and was adopted via a public referendum.
“Open space is a critical component of our quality of life in Huntington, which is why I’m so glad we are one step closer to protecting this truly spectacular property,” Cooper said. “This pristine parcel has been largely untouched since Indians walked the land more than 300 years ago. It is a breathtaking and irreplaceable property that must be preserved for future generations.”