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Judge to Roslyn Country Club residents: Go to trial or have lawsuits dismissed

The Roslyn Country Club, seen on June 7,

The Roslyn Country Club, seen on June 7, 2012, shuttered eight years ago. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

A bid to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits filed by Roslyn Country Club residents when their recreational facilities were shuttered eight years ago has been denied by a Nassau County Supreme Court judge.

The country club, built in the 1950s, closed in 2007 after Corona Realty Holdings owner Manouchehr Malekan unsuccessfully sued community residents in an attempt to scrap easement rights from 1959. The easements granted residents use of the pool and tennis courts for a $100 annual fee.

About 400 residents of the neighborhood, also known as Roslyn Country Club, then sued Malekan and Corona Realty Holdings, arguing that the club's closure violated their rights. Actions against Malekan have been dismissed but those against the company remain.

The lawsuits are holding up North Hempstead's plans to purchase a 7.2-acre portion of the roughly 10-acre property for $2 million and create a special park district.

David Jaroslawicz, a Manhattan attorney representing Malekan, said he asked Judge Norman Janowitz to "let them [the residents who sued] either go to trial or dismiss it. They just can't leave this hanging and keep the town from building a new facility."

On Friday, Janowitz issued a ruling ordering Jaroslawicz to send the plaintiffs certified letters notifying them that within 90 days of receiving the letter they have to either go to trial or have their cases dismissed.

"We're going to bring it to an end," Jaroslawicz said in a telephone interview Tuesday. He said the letters would be sent Tuesday and the property would not be sold with lawsuits pending.

Todd Zarin, president of the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association, said all but two residents are ready to drop their lawsuits if they get the new park in return.

Elizabeth Botwin, town attorney for North Hempstead, said in an emailed statement that she believes the judge's decision paves the way for the park project to proceed.

"The town is thrilled that the court has laid out a clear path to the resolution of the lawsuits so that we can close on the contract and proceed with building the park," she said.

In addition to the tennis courts, a new main pool, clubhouse, decking, food court, basketball court and playground would be built. Construction on the proposed $14.2 million renovation is expected to begin this year if the town is able to purchase the land. Completion is targeted for 2017.

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