Acres of green space where Roslyn Harbor residents tee off and bogey could be converted into large homes and condos under a preliminary plan from the land’s owner.
Uniondale-based developer RXR Realty wants to build a housing development on a portion of the golf course at the 140-acre Engineers Country Club. RXR bought the land when the Village of Roslyn Harbor had a subdivision moratorium in effect, preventing company officials from formally submitting development plans. The moratorium was lifted in June.
The development would sit on a 10- to 12-acre space that is subdivided into 80 parcels, said RXR executive vice president Joe Graziose. The goal is to make sure golf activities have little impact on the country club's potential new residents, Graziose added.
“If you’re going to stick housing in the middle of a golf course, obviously you want to make sure golf balls aren’t hitting your house,” he said. “But, more importantly, you want to be concerned about noise.”
The country club is most known for its 18-hole golf course, the site of the 1919 PGA Championship and the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1920. In recent years the course has hosted the Long Island PGA and the Long Island Amateur Championship.
RXR said there are two ideal locations for the housing plan, but no final decision has been made. Graziose said he’s mulling which location would have the smallest impact on the golf course and also could accommodate the installation of an underground public sewer line.
“I don’t want to diminish the value of the course,” Graziose said, adding that RXR has invested $4.5 million in renovating the club.
Homes on a golf course aren't coming soon, Roslyn Harbor officials said. The village would first need to pass a law allowing a property owner to cluster multiple homes on a subdivided lot, then grant RXR the ability to subdivide part of the golf course. Lastly, the village would have to issue building permits.
RXR’s plan comes weeks after an independent planning firm cautioned village officials about how more housing could exacerbate Roslyn Harbor's traffic congestion. During the subdivision moratorium, Roslyn Harbor officials hired Rye-based Frederick P. Clark Associates to study potential uses of vacant land. Clark Associates submitted a final report that states RXR's development plan "will result in a significant increase in traffic on village roadways, which cannot be accommodated by the roadway system currently in place without some level of mitigation at controlled intersections."
"The traffic from the potential future development of the Engineers Club property will have an impact at its site access location and on local roads within the village that are already operating above capacity," Clark Associates concluded in its report. "The development of this property will likely require mitigation to accommodate not only vehicular traffic, but pedestrian activity as well."
Village attorney Peter MacKinnon said Roslyn Harbor trustees have requested specifics on how RXR wants to develop the country club. Trustees won't make any decisions until they understand all the details, he said.
"Before any formal village action is considered on the project, the public will have ample opportunity to review and comment," MacKinnon said.
Milestones at Roslyn Harbor's Engineers Country Club:
March 1917: The Engineers Club of Manhattan purchases the land that will become its country club.
September 1919: The second PGA Championship is held at the country club.
January 2011: Donald Trump backs out of a $20 million proposal to purchase the property.
November 2017: RXR Realty purchases Engineers for $14.5 million
September 2019: RXR proposes building large homes and condos on the property.