Town creates Roslyn Heights park district

The Town of North Hempstead wants to turn The Town of North Hempstead wants to turn the former Roslyn Country Club into a town park with completely renovated swimming and tennis facilities. (June 07, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/Danielle Finkelstein

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Board members in the Town of North Hempstead this week voted to create a new park district around the shuttered Roslyn Country Club in Roslyn Heights.

"We'll bring a Class A park to what is now, as most of you have seen, a hole in the ground with weeds growing out of it," Councilman Thomas Dwyer said.

The Levitt Park at Roslyn Heights park district approved Wednesday covers 727 homes and eight nonresidential plots of land in and around what is known as the Roslyn Country Club development.

Properties within the district will pay an average of $800 to $1,000 per year in taxes, and will in return receive automatic membership to the facility. Town residents outside the district will be able to buy a limited number of memberships, the proceeds of which will be used to offset the annual operating costs of the park, Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman said.

While the price of outside memberships has not yet been established, Kaiman said the cost would be at least as much per year as district residents pay in taxes.

The town will buy 7.385 acres of the country-club property from owner Manouchehr Malekan, using $2 million from the town's Environmental Legacy Fund. The property will be upgraded at a cost of $7.5 million, which will be bonded out and paid for by district residents, and will include an outdoor heated pool, spa, playground and tennis courts.

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The unanimous vote was met with cheers by the largely supportive audience, after 90 minutes of public testimony.

"A reopened Roslyn Country Club would be a magnet, drawing all of us together," said Todd Zarin, president of the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association.

But a few residents, including Pat Gilmore, objected to the plan. "People should not be forced to pay taxes for a membership they don't want and won't use," she said. "Perhaps these persons should be excluded at their own request from the added taxes you are anticipating."

Kaiman said the town would look for ways to assist those who might not be able to afford the added taxes.

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