During Tuesday night’s board meeting in Manhasset, residents voiced their opinions about having the town acquire the Roslyn Country Club via eminent domain after shared some insights.
“If the Town acquires the property, we would want to make sure that we did so in a manner that only the people who use the property would cover the cost,” Kaiman said.
The Malachit Group of Mineola, now known as Corona Realty, purchased the club and property in 2003.
Stephen Morris of North Hills was the first person to suggest a vote on the country club.
“There’s a feeling that you're leaving the community out of this,” Morris said. “We would think that the best thing would be to let the Town decide, to let all of us vote.”
This suggestion was met with applause. Morris suggested that a flyer be sent to all families in the Town of North Hempstead to ask about how many people would join the club at whatever the cost is.
Dr. Dimitrios Kostopoulos noted that about a week ago a CNN report showed that Nassau County is slated to have the third lowest rate of increase in real estate in the next five years.
“We have to do something to reverse that,” he said.
Robert Hersh picked up on what was said earlier in the public hearing and at the last hearing that this project “is designed to be tax neutral.”
“The Town has experience in doing projects like this, in owning and operating parks and recreations facilities,” Hersh said. “Nobody who isn't going to use the park is going to have to pay for it and to say the contrary is basically to doubt your expertise, your experience, your knowledge of what you're doing.”
Jared Shapiro mentioned that the Town needs to think about how it will attract future families to the area and how this country club will impact that.
“For the Roslyn Heights community to grow and prosper, what we need are young couples; young couples looking to grow a family,” Shapiro said.
He added that affluent couples are especially needed and ones who will join this country club. He also noted that the Roslyn Heights area needs a park that can compete with the East Hills park and what it has done for that area.
Some residents who spoke at the meeting were frustrated by the lack of information given about the project.
While giving projections about numbers for the facility, New Hyde Park’s Jim McHugh said that he’s heard from people outside of Roslyn Heights that this will not be a “revenue neutral” program. Councilman Thomas Dwyer said that, “you have the commiment of this board that the numbers will be transparent.”
“You don’t have any councilman,” McHugh responded. “You don’t have any; how can they be transparent?”
Others were frustrated about the divisiveness in the community that this issue seems to be causing.
“I pay for everybody else’s pool,” said Sandy Tankoos.
Louise Sobin said she was “insulted by people who want a referendum,” adding that she is "ashamed we can't all be a community.”
The issue will be on the August 23 agenda but will then basically be adjourned to sometime in September.