The Town of Oyster Bay is trying to seize a 65-spot parking lot near Hicksville’s Long Island Rail Road station.
Attorneys for the town launched legal action to seize the property at 47 West Barclay Street using eminent domain, Newsday reported. The attorneys asked the state Supreme Court to condemn the property so it can remain available for commuter parking.
The town board had unanimously voted in favor of condemnation in November.
The parking lot is less than a half-acre, but it has long been of interest to the town, which has been leasing it for years. In 2020, town officials agreed to a one-year extension for nearly $50,000. The town leases the property month-to-month now, though, and said it could terminate the lease at any point.
A lawyer for the lot’s owners said an offer made by the town was rejected; it’s not clear how much the town offered, but it was not satisfactory to the owners. In November, a spokesman for the town said it expected to pay $800,000 for the property, according to Newsday. The owners are evaluating their options, the attorney said.
It’s not clear if town officials fear they will lose access to the lot or are just trying to save money by condemning it. The owners have apparently not filed plans to build on it.
Parking has always been a challenge at the Hicksville train station, one of the more significant stops on the commuter line to New York City. According to court papers, the town is concerned about a “projected shortfall in the number of available commuter parking spaces” stemming from the LIRR Third Track project, which will increase passenger capacity.
Making matters worse, the town and the MTA couldn’t agree on a plan to build parking garages near the station. The town recently agreed to move forward on plans that would build a pedestrian walkway and expand a local park, at the expense of 80 parking spots.
There are efforts underway to revitalize the area around the train station. Last year, developers received preliminary approval from Nassau County to build a 141-unit mixed-use development, which will span 240,000 square feet.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner