WOODMERE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A court decision to finally resolve what will happen to a South Shore country club that has polarized a Long Island community was rendered Thursday.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the ruling should jump-start a stalled solution.
Homeowners in the hamlet of Woodmere passionate about preserving their century-old golf course were dismayed to learn of a judge’s ruling that lifted the moratorium on developing its 120 pristine acres.
“We’re all really stunned because, as you can see, it’s beautiful, and it’s just amazing to look at. It’s one of the reasons why we all moved out here,” resident Eitan Libin told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
The developer, who refused CBS2’s request to go on camera, has scaled back his proposal from 350 to 121 homes on half-acre and one-acre plots abutting Reynolds Channel.
“We live in this community because of its beauty and nature, not to have a whole building complex,” resident Illana Rachel said.
For months angry residents have been challenging their elected officials, accusing them of protecting the interests of developers.
The Woodmere Club, with waning membership, was sold, but it is under contractual obligation to remain a golf course until 2021.
“There’s not going to be any shovels or tractor trailers pulling in to start digging up the Woodmere Club any time soon,” Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said.
Supervisor Laura Gillen is appealing the judge’s decision, which may not be resolved for another year.
“We have to look at the impact on infrastructure, on traffic. There are environmental concerns as well,” Gillen said.
Gillen said the Army Corps of Engineers is studying the marshy land to determine if housing is even viable. Other options include zoning changes to create a public golf course, an open space park and a coastal residence district with bigger lots, limiting the number of homes.
Councilman Bruce Blakeman said the judge’s ruling will jump-start action.
“We are going to come to a conclusion very soon, make a recommendation to the town board,” Blakeman said.
Once various proposals are vetted, community meetings are promised to be held in the Five Towns and at Hempstead Town Hall within six months.
The Five Towns Civic Association is demanding to be an integral part of the Hempstead Town Council’s plans.