County Legislature approves purchase of Beagle Club property

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The Beagle Club's sign was in the barn in 2005.

The Suffolk County Legislature approved the acquisition of the 150-acre Beagle Club property in Calverton Tuesday night.

The vote was 14-4 in favor of the $8.9 million purchase.

The wooded Edwards Avenue site will be acquired as open space using money from the voter-approved quarter-percent Drinking Water Protection Program fund.

The purchase is subject to a final survey of the land. The resolution approving the acquisition says the proposed use of the land is “passive recreation use, specifically, hiking on existing trails.”

The county plans to retain the use of one existing building on the land as an environmental program meeting facility, and as an apartment for a caretaker. Two smaller buildings will be used for storage, and an existing unpaved parking area also will remain.

The property was at the center of a debate among County Legislators earlier this year over the future of the open space preservation program, but the opposition faded by March 20, when a key committee of the legislature recommended the acquisition be put to a vote of the full legislature.

The Long Island Beagle Club, founded in 1932, used to train beagles on the property for hunting. In 2006, a developer was under contract to buy the land and create 73 clustered residential lots on the property. That proposal later fell through and the county has since taken steps toward acquiring the site.

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