Freeport residents look to save field that could be taken down for redevelopment
A decades-old field in Freeport could soon be destroyed for development.
Residents in the area are fighting back against plans to take down Cleveland Avenue Field, which has been standing in the area for over 70 years.
Miles Hollingsworth, 18, says he and his friends are part of the latest generation to benefit from the field. He is concerned about plans the village has to redevelop the space to build a distribution center.
"Stripping that by the removal of this park is something that will degrade this community and put a stain on Long Island as a whole because this is one of the few green spaces here in Freeport," Hollingsworth says.
The state Legislature recently gave Freeport the power to discontinue use of certain parklands. That could pave the way for the village to sell Cleveland Avenue Field to a developer.
Residents are calling on the governor to veto the bill.
"The village has misled our state elected officials to think that we are in support of his plans and reality is, we don't know what his plans are," says Kiana Abbady.
An attorney for the village of Freeport says they plan to spend millions of dollars to renovate Cow Meadow Park to give children an even better place to play.
"We see it as a win-win," says Chris Browne, Freeport Village special counsel. "Taxpayers get a reduction in property taxes, village taxes. [The] school district moves to a brand facility at Cow Meadow Park."
Hollingsworth says if the bill is signed and the field is sold to a developer, the battle won't be over. He says they will bring that to the ballot box in the November election for governor and for the next election for village officials.