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COUNTY MAY RID ITSELF OF IDLE LAND BY GIVING IT TO COMMUNITIES TO DEVELOP

A couple of dozen parcels of undeveloped land in the county inventory may eventually go to two municipalities that can turn them into assets.

Sloan wants a chunk of former railroad land at the edge of the village.

The Village of Lancaster is eyeing two lots along Cayuga Creek in the business district as well as abandoned paper streets.

Joseph Maciejewski, deputy commissioner of the county's Division of Real Property Taxation, supports giving the land to the villages.

"The county is looking to reduce its inventory in the spirit of regionalism," said Maciejewski. "The individual villages have better resources and can spend the time needed to find good uses for the properties."

Maciejewski proposes giving Sloan 3.4 acres, which once belonged to Conrail, adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railroad.

There still is an active track nearby, but Sloan Mayor Kenneth Pokorski visualizes using the land in some way for residents.

"The rest of Sloan is only one square mile," said Pokorski. "If you put in five more houses, you would take the land from people with double lots. This is the last land available. Hopefully, we'll find some good way to use it. There are several hundred ideas going around."

Pokorski has tentatively asked the New York National Guard to use the site as an exercise area.

He wants to work with county planners to find recyclers to convert demolished concrete into road materials and the clean wood into molding.

"It's free materials for them, free cleaning for me," he said.

Pokorski is not fazed by the Norfolk Southern expansion, which may increase truck traffic to 27 vehicles a day just behind the area.

"We've lived here with the noise," said Pokorski. "The cars move and squeak and cry all night. I'm mot sure we enjoy it, but we kind of block it out."

Dan Baccari, director of community development for Lancaster, said two parcels along Cayuga Creek may become park, recreation and festival areas.

A number of undeveloped pieces of county land could be foreclosed. Some are paper streets that belong to no one.

Baccari said developers of subdivisions frequently pulled up stakes when their work was done without deeding paper streets to the village.

"There is no one to maintain them," Baccari said.

The village may sell paper streets to owners of abutting property or, if a lot is large enough, may sell it to a developer.

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