Brookhaven officials have rezoned two town-owned golf courses in an effort, they said, to make them more appealing and profitable.
Single-family housing will no longer be allowed to be developed on the Mill Pond course in Medford and Rolling Oaks in Rocky Point, said Town Councilman Dan Panico, who sponsored the two resolutions that create golf course districts. They were unanimously adopted at Thursday’s town board meeting.
“It’s a very positive step in the right direction for residents and the Town of Brookhaven,” Panico said after the meeting, adding that the zone change will allow enhancements such as spas, restaurants and catering halls.
Town officials created the new zoning category last year to help preserve the courses at a time when use is down. A Shirley golf club has closed and a Shoreham course is set to shut down.
Brookhaven officials had planned to rezone some privately owned courses in town but shelved those plans after some course owners worried that more restrictive zoning would make it tougher to obtain bank loans.
Rezoning the courses in Medford and Rocky Point effectively bars construction of homes on those properties.
Town officials said they became alarmed in recent years as some golf clubs closed or struggled to stay afloat.
The Links at Shirley shut down in 2011 and became a housing development; an 18-hole course in South Setauket was reduced to nine holes to make room for homes; and Tallgrass Golf Course in Shoreham is expected to close this year to become a solar farm.
Several Long Island golf clubs struggled in the wake of the 2008 recession, officials have said.
Panico said many residents enjoy golf courses not just for the sport, but also for their open space.