Woodsburgh implements ban on subdividing

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Woodsburgh residents will have to wait at least six months to subdivide their property. On Oct. 29, the village board voted to implement a 180-day moratorium on the subdivision of land in the small municipality.

Melville-based environmental planning firm, Nelson, Pope & Voorhis was hired to conduct a survey to study the possible effects of major alterations to the Woodsburgh landscape, including changes to drainage, infrastructure, traffic, the historical aesthetic. “We want to make sure that the status quo is maintained,” said Brian Stolar, Woodsburgh’s village attorney. He added that the trustees limited the moratorium to subdivisions because, “We didn’t want to extend it so far that everyone applying for a permit would have to wait.”

The survey will look at the entire village, however as Woodsburgh has a minimum lot size of 1 acre, the only lots that could be subdivided are 2 acres or larger. It is not known how many of those size lots exist in the village. “Most residents don’t own an acre,” Mayor Lee Israel said, noting that subdividing property will most likely be rare.

Stolar explained that the study would be looking at the potential effect of subdividing any plot of land that could be divided into smaller lots while still meeting the village’s required minimum size of 1 acre, which includes the portion of the Woodmere Club that is in Woodsburgh.

A slice of the 118-acre club is located in Woodsburgh, and Weiss Properties and 2020 Acquisitions, the companies that bought the club in 2017, have shown interest in building housing on the site. The club is expected to close in 2021. Weiss Properties principal Robert Weiss said previously that they intend to, ““introduce new, in-demand luxury housing to benefit the neighborhood.”

Many residents and civic organizations such as the Five Towns Civic Association vehemently oppose the possible residential development of the club’s land, citing concerns ranging from increased traffic volume to an already densely populated area to an increase in flooding as a good portion of the open land would more than likely be paved to create infrastructure for any new development.

Mario Joseph, a Woodsburgh resident and president of the Five Towns Civic Association, said that he wants the area to remain as its exists now. “Dividing the lot would forever change the Five Towns,” he said. “In all the years that I have lived here, I have never heard anyone say ‘gee, we need to get rid of the last remaining green space in Woodmere’, or anything comparable … Five Towns should retain spaces like that as aggressively as possible. We are losing those things that set our community apart from others.”

Nelson, Pope & Voorhis did not return requests for comment by press time.

Have an opinion about village moratorium or the potential development if the Woodmere Club? Send your letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.