OAKWOOD BEACH — Land taken over by the government after it was devastated in Hurricane Sandy could be transformed into sports fields under a new proposal.
"Fields are always in need," Oddo said.
"Maybe there's a way of using this new government owned property in a productive way that fills another need."
The plan would call for the section of land above Mill Road in Oakwood Beach to be cleared and replaced with several fields, either run by the Parks Department or a non-profit, Oddo said.
The voluntary buyout program was offered by the state to several neighborhoods devastated by Sandy. It gave homeowners the pre-storm value of their houses, with the government taking ownership of the land.
The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) said it was open to Oddo's plan and has been working with the city to figure out the best use for the land while it continues to demolish Sandy-damaged homes there.
"We’re a temporary agency, we’re not going to be in existence in a few years when we fulfill our mission. We’re looking for government agencies to be stewards of the land," said Rachel Wieder, GSOR's director for the buyout and acquisition programs.
"We’re starting to plan out to sort of various areas in Oakwood Beach to see what would be the best use."
Wieder said the agency is in the beginning stages of planning what to do with the property, but added ideas being considered are recreation areas north of Mill Road and restoring the section south of the street back to its natural wetland.
Currently, GOSR has acquired about 300 homes from owners in Oakwood Beach, with another 10 expected to be closed on. About 200 have been demolished, Wieder said.