Google Earth view of the Peninsula Golf Course in East...

Google Earth view of the Peninsula Golf Course in East Massapequa. Credit: Google Earth

The owner of a private golf course in East Massapequa continues to discuss its sale to a Florida company despite Oyster Bay officials raising the prospect of the town purchasing it or seizing it through eminent domain.

"We’re still having discussions on finalizing the matter with the Florida company," Nicholas DeSibio, P.G.C. Holding Corp. company president, said in an interview Friday. "Let Oyster Bay tell you whatever they want to tell you but I don’t think Oyster Bay is going to be in a position to purchase this property."

Last week the Oyster Bay Town Board retroactively approved paying $5,000 for a March 24 appraisal of the approximately 50-acre, nine-hole Peninsula Golf Club.

When Nassau County sold the golf course to the Peninsula Golf Club Inc., a predecessor of the current owner, in 1946 for $1, it restricted its use in perpetuity as a golf course. On March 18 shareholders voted on the sale of the property to a Florida company that DeSibio said intended to keep it as a golf course. DeSibio declined to share the outcome of the vote but another shareholder, Robert Siriani, of Mastic Beach said shareholders had approved the sale for $4.4 million.

Oyster Bay Town Attorney Frank Scalera, speaking at last week’s town board meeting, said a purchaser of the golf course could "build a hundred plus homes on that property. They could develop that property because it is zoned residential."

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, who lives about six blocks south of the golf course, said at the meeting that area residents had expressed concern to him about the property’s future.

Scalera said the appraisal was a first step toward the town’s possible purchase or seizure of the property but didn’t mention the restrictive covenants on the property. This omission drew criticism from resident Arthur Adelman of Sea Cliff who said in an email to town officials that Scalera’s representation was "inflammatory and can install fear into the hearts of local residents."

The 1946 deed on file with the Nassau County Clerk’s office states that the property is "subject to a covenant to be perpetually used as a Golf Course" and that "no building shall be erected there at any time for residential or business use" except for the operation of the golf course. The deed states that the covenant runs with the land and "shall bind all future owners."

Scalera, responding to Adelman in an email, pointed out that according to the deed, Nassau County could release the covenants.

Nassau County spokesman Michael Fricchione said in an email to Newsday, "neither the Town nor the property owner has yet to reach out to the County regarding this matter."

Town ownership doesn’t necessarily mean land will be protected in the future. In 2013 the town purchased 50 Engel St. in Hicksville from a company controlled by the Lizza family for the stated purpose of building a park or community center. The town never put the land to public use and it later became the focal point of bribery charges brought against contractor Elia Lizza and several former town officials. The town sold the property to a busing company in 2018.

Limited to golf

The restrictions on Peninsula Golf Club property:

1. Property must remain a golf course

2. No residential or business construction unless necessary to operate golf course

3. No farming

4. No business uses other than golf

5. Restrictive covenants run with the land

Source: 1946 deed between Nassau County and Peninsula Golf Club Inc.

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