Land-Use Study Conducted

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The land use study revealed the possible redevelopment of the Engineers Country Club. (Photo by Caroline Ryan)

The Roslyn Harbor Board of Trustees (BOT) held a public meeting on July 23 to host a presentation on the first planning analysis study conducted in 20 years.

According to the documents, the study has two purposes. The first is to establish the nature and locations of potential development in the village under the current zoning and land use regulations, and the second is to determine whether the current zoning and land-use regulations continue to be adequate to ensure that all such future potential development will be in keeping with the established character of the village. After extensive research throughout the last year, the study, which was conducted by Frederick P. Clark Associates, released information regarding existing land-use, the environment as well as the potential for development within the Village of Roslyn Harbor.

The study found that while the community is almost fully developed, “the Engineers Country Club represents the greatest potential for new homes that could be generated in the village. While the club is still operating at this time, there is no guarantee that in the future this will be the case. There are a very large number of golf courses in the area and in Nassau County in general, and it is likely that this property may be subdivided and developed in the future.”

In 2017, RXR Realty purchased the 210-acre property. According to Joseph Graziose, the executive vice president of residential development and construction for RXR Realty, the land was purchased with the intent to develop the property. RXR Realty purchased the country club when it was on the verge of bankruptcy and has put more than $5 million into maintaining the business.

“We want to figure out a way to keep as much open space as possible,” said Graziose to the audience.

Residents who spoke at the meeting had differing opinions regarding the study and possible development. One resident had concerns regarding the amount of time it takes to get through the village due to traffic. According to the resident, most of Roslyn is composed of a one-lane road in each direction. In the case of a medical emergency, the amount of time it could take to get through the village might be life threatening to someone suffering from a stroke or a heart attack. This resident shared the need for an amendment to the traffic study to include the amount of time it takes to get from one place to another.

Another resident shared her love for the Engineers Club, but stated that she would like to feel there will be a place she can move to within the community when she gets older and is no longer able to care for her home.

According to the study, the potential development of the Engineers Club property “may result in adverse effects such as the loss of recreation opportunities and open space views and vistas that are currently available, plus the addition of the many vehicles to the village’s roadway. Other adverse environmental consequences are the loss of mature vegetative cover and habitat and the potential for degradation of subsurface water quality and the water quality of Hempstead Harbor from stormwater run-off and sewage.”
The study recommends that the village may want to consider “adopting additional statutes pertaining to the regulation of lands that are environmentally constrained and/or where the impacts of development have the potential to cause adverse environmental consequences.” The regulations included steep slope, wetland and flood plain protection, as well as the possible creation of an architectural review board. It was also recommended that the village review the regulations on clustering homes.

The study suggested that any future development should be “designed and built in a manner that protects the public health, safety and welfare to the maximum extent reasonably possible and that before any plans should move forward an extensive environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement would need to be prepared.”

A decision regarding plans for the future of the Engineers Country Club has not yet been made. The next board of trustees meeting will be held in September. To view the planning analysis documents, visit www.roslynharbor.org.

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