The June 14th article “Town reaches agreement on country club” cites the town’s deal to purchase 7.3 acres of the 10-acre Roslyn Country Club.
However, it does not mention the fact that the 668 homes in the Roslyn Heights Country Club community hold exclusive rights to access the club, as well as the fact that the town and Mr. Malekan have not made a “deal” to purchase those easement rights.
The easement rights in past years have been valued in the aggregate at approximately $10,000,000 – or $15,000-plus per home.
Actually, just this week, the president of the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association, Todd Zarin, stated “Because restrictions on the land now limit its use to pool, tennis and catering, the owner is willing to sell for less than 10 cents on the dollar.”
That being said, the parcel of property that the town proposes to purchase for $2,000,000 is worth a minimum of $20,000,000 without the easement-rights restriction. Therefore, the current value of the easement rights, using Mr. Zarin’s figures, is at least $18,000,000, or $27,000 per home.
It should be noted that the entire 10 acres of the Roslyn Country Club, by a judgment of the Supreme Court, and affirmed by the Appellate Division, “shall be restricted so as to be used for no purpose other than a country club”, including allowing the building on the premises to be used for catering. If the remaining three acres, which includes the catering hall, would remain privately owned and re-zoned to “commercial” as proposed by the Town of North Hempstead, this would not only violate the court decision but would open the property to future undesirable development.
It was in the infinite wisdom and intent of the courts to have this property remain open space, and not have any portion of this property turned into a commercial venue.
Another issue is the approximately 250-car on-site parking area, which cannot accommodate a 1,000 family membership plus guests attending functions at the catering hall. The facility is located in the center of a residential area, making it difficult and unsafe for the streets to accommodate both the additional street parking and the influx of massive traffic that will be produced.
Furthermore, the $1,000 fee (which does not include use of the tennis courts), is almost four times the cost for the Town of North Hempstead Manorhaven Beach Park ($280, Including tennis) as well as the special park district Clinton G. Martin Park ($250, including tennis). The exorbitant fee proposed by the town would make the Roslyn Country Club Park an exclusive club rather than a town park. Town parks should be welcoming to, and inclusive of, all town residents, and not priced so as to exclude the majority.
In addition, if the quest for a 1,000-family membership does not materialize, all town taxpayers, whether or not they have the financial ability to obtain membership in the park, will in effect be non-members paying additional taxes to cover the shortfall in order to subsidize those who can afford membership.
Robert and Sheila Kushner
Roslyn Country Club Residents