WOODSBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A proposal to turn part of a golf course into housing is driving a wedge between residents in Nassau County.

CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported The Woodmere Club – a private country club – said it needs the money as opponents fear overdevelopment.

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The country club has been a South Shore jewel for more than a century, but hard times are prompting the private country club to sell off nearly a third of its 33-acre golf course to generate income.

“It’s beautiful here, it’s picturesque and they’re going to put up townhouses? Everybody is up in arms,” said Woodsburgh resident Nicole Spivak.

Many Five Towns residents teed off a petition that was launched to stop “The Woodmere Club from becoming overbuilt housing,” even before a developer has bought the land.

One deal recently fell through, but residents fear dense housing.

“They were proposing 150 to 200 new houses and transitioning this beautiful neighborhood into a mini-Brooklyn,” said Woodsburgh resident Jeff Smith.

“You can’t call it Meadow Drive if it’s not a meadow,” said Woodsburgh resident Brandon Margolis. “It’s a little bit of a shock.”

There was no comment from the club, but a letter to members pitched the sale as providing “financial stability for generations.”

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Club members said they’re trying to preserve a beloved institution.

“We want to do anything that the club will survive, that’s all we care about,” said Margo Rabinoff.

“We are a family and we are doing what’s best for the club,” said Marilyn Stern.

Petitioners suggest neighbors can help turn club finances around with a business plan that attracts new members and doesn’t pave over part of paradise.

“We appreciate what the club is and would like to see it continue for another 100 years,” said Smith.

The club abuts three villages.

Woodsburgh, Lawrence and Cedarhurst, along with Nassau County, will all have a say on whether this private club can create a housing subdivision here.

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Opponents are lining up their shots, with legal counsel ready for a challenge.