The North Hempstead town board likely will vote next month on its proposal to take over the 10-acre Roslyn Country Club through eminent domain and turn it into a membership park for all town residents.

After a nearly four-hour meeting Tuesday night, the board decided to continue a public hearing on the issue July 12. "We would probably make a decision at that meeting," Councilman Thomas Dwyer said yesterday.

The town is considering condemning the club at the heart of a 668-home development built by Levitt & Sons Inc. in Roslyn Heights in the late 1940s. The club has been shuttered for several years, although the Royalton Mansion, a catering service in the club's mansion, continues to operate.

If it condemns the property, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, the town would build a heated swimming pool and renovate the tennis courts and grounds.

Rather than creating a park district that only district residents would support through taxes, the town would float a bond to pay for it, and park membership would be open townwide, Kaiman said. He estimated the annual fees would be $1,000 to $2,000 per household.

But the club's current owner, Manouchehr "Manny" Malekan of Mineola, said at the meeting that eminent domain was reserved for "public use -- for public benefit." He questioned Kaiman's preliminary cost estimates and suggested that all town taxpayers would see their property taxes go up to pay for a club that mostly local residents would use.

"For me to live in Port Washington, [for instance,] and pay taxes for having a pool club in Roslyn does not make any sense," he said Tuesday.

Wednesday, Malekan called the eminent domain issue "an election hoax." He said Kaiman and the town officials running for re-election in November were "hoping to get more than 2,000 votes from the country club" residents.

Kaiman said that if 500 to 700 families were to join, the costs of acquiring and running the park would be "borne by those who would use it." If the project "would not have an impact on the general taxpayer in the town," he said, "my recommendation would be to go forward."

The town's proposal comes after years of conflict and litigation among the owner, residents and the town over easements, landmark preservation, property values and fees.

Heather Schwartz, president of the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association, at the meeting presented a stack of hundreds of letters from residents of the immediate area and throughout North Hempstead in support of the proposal.

"We recognize the value of a community facility for the many purposes that it will achieve -- improving the quality of life, preserving open space, building a sense of community," she said. "That's what we moved here for."

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