PORT WASHINGTON - Port Washington residents say they're ready to battle the Town of North Hempstead over plans to build an apartment complex on top of a local park.

According to residents, the nearly two acres of land behind Harbor Homes low-income housing units is Avlan Petrus Park. However, town officials say that the space was never a park and that they plan to build 48 apartments for senior residents with a median income of $103,000.

Sean T. Rainey, the executive director of the North Hempstead Housing Authority, released a statement saying that the area in question was unmanageable and fraught with crime and vandalism. He says that it would be irresponsible to ignore the land as a suitable option for development.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night at North Hempstead Town Hall. Residents say they plan to share pictures and memories of the park during the meeting.