Environmentalists angered over decision to develop North Hills forest preserve

A judge decided Thursday to lift a temporary restraining order against the development of an 18-acre forest in North Hills.

Grace Forest is among the last undeveloped significant land in Nassau County and one of only two areas designated by the State as a ground water protection area. The village of North Hills and the owner of the land decided 17 years ago to preserve the forest, but the mayor and owner recently agreed to change their minds and develop the land. The issue has been in court since September.

Environmentalists are outraged over the change of plans, and they consider the property vital in protecting the countys drinking water. Since the clearing of the forest is scheduled to begin in the next few days, opponents expressed anger that a possible court appeal would come too late to make a difference.

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