The ongoing saga of the Roslyn Country Club took another turn last week. Town of North Hempstead officials, who have jurisdiction over Roslyn Heights where the property is located, were disappointed to learn that a pending lawsuit that has been holding up progress on the project has been transferred from a State Supreme Court to the Nassau County District Court.
Peter Zuckerman, the town councilman who represents the Roslyn Heights district, expressed frustration over the decision, especially over the fact that the time line of the new court proceedings remain unknown. However, he did say that the town is pursuing other avenues to jump-start the project by exploring the possibility of a condemnation of the property.
“The transfer is a setback,” Zuckerman told The Roslyn News. “The town is not party to the lawsuit. However, we still want to make it happen. We want the country club to be the jewel of the Roslyn Heights community. For now, our hands are tied.”
Zuckerman was referring to a lawsuit between the country club’s current owner, Manochel Malekan, and Andy Rothstein. He added that in order for the current owner to sell the property to the town, its easement would have to be released to the town. The lawsuit, Zuckerman added, has held up that process.
Since there is no known timetable for the protracted legal proceedings, town officials, Zuckerman said, have reached out to both parties in the lawsuit, hoping to stop the legal action and to allow the town to close on the property. Zuckerman said that, at first, both men refused, but later that Rothstein changed his mind. So, for now, the town’s options are limited, but they do exist. The town, Zuckerman added, is currently conducting an appraisal of the costs of a condemnation project. Such a project would allow the town to move forward to capture the project and then get to work. Before that can be considered, the town, Zuckerman said, will communicate with residents of the Roslyn Country Club community about the condemnation process. That neighborhood, he added, has been designated as a special park district. As such, the rest of the town’s residents would not be affected by any condemnation work and only the Country Club residents would bear the cost. The town, in time, will let such residents know the value of the best appraisal cost they can secure. Zuckerman also emphasized that Country Club residents would decide on whether to go through with the condemnation process.
In the past, town officials have set 2017 as the opening date for the renovated Roslyn Country Club for residents of the neighborhood of that same name in Roslyn Heights. Zuckerman speaks of the renovated property, which would include a swimming pool and tennis courts, as a potential crown jewel. Indeed, Roslyn Heights residents have hoped that the renovation will result in the same boom that accompanied the spectacular Park At East Hills in that village. Town officials remained committed to that goal.