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Oyster Bay holding eminent domain hearing on golf course whose owner rejected town's $4.4M cash offer

The shareholders of owner P.G.C. Holding Corp. agreed

The shareholders of owner P.G.C. Holding Corp. agreed in March to sell the Peninsula Golf Club in East Massapequa to Florida-based Great American Properties for $4.4 million. Credit: Morgan Campbell

The Oyster Bay Town Board plans to hold a hearing Tuesday on using eminent domain to seize a private golf course in East Massapequa that the owner agreed to sell to a Florida company.

The 50-acre, nine-hole Peninsula Golf Club has been protected from development for 75 years by a restrictive covenant imposed by Nassau County that requires the property to remain a golf course and prohibits development.

The shareholders of owner P.G.C. Holding Corp. agreed in March to sell it to Florida-based Great American Properties for $4.4 million.

County Executive Laura Curran said in an April letter to Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino that the county would uphold the covenants and "would seek to enjoin any future use of the property that does not maintain its long-standing status."

The two lots that make up the golf course had a combined property tax bill in 2021 for county, school, town and fire district taxes of $77,462, according to the county property information website.

Town officials have said the presumed purchaser could try to develop the property and that it had developed residences on golf courses in the past. Officials have not responded to requests to provide evidence supporting those assertions. Oyster Bay offered to match the purchase price in April for the golf course but would not agree to all the seller’s conditions.

Richard Schaub Jr., owner of Vero Beach, Florida-based Great American Properties, the presumed private buyer, did not respond to requests for comment. Schaub and his father developed several properties in Vero Beach in the 1980s, according to news reports.

P.G.C. Holding president Nicholas DeSibio declined to comment.

A 2010 town report on open space preservation on the South Shore submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said that while acquiring property gives the town "full control" over property, "full ownership can be quite costly and drain Town resources."

The report listed several methods to preserve open space, including restrictive covenants, zoning, creation of overlay districts, easements and the purchase or lease of development rights. The report said eminent domain "is not commonly used for the acquisition of open space and usually used as a last resort only when the acquisition of the land is absolutely imperative and other approaches have failed or are infeasible."

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