Work will begin next year on renovating and reopening the Roslyn Country Club -- shuttered eight years ago in a dispute over usage fees -- said North Hempstead officials.
"The Roslyn Country Club property is a centerpiece of this community," Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. "I believe the town is now at the point where we will be able to make this property an asset of the community once again," Bosworth said.
On Monday, Bosworth, Councilman Peter Zuckerman and the Roslyn Country Club Civic Association released postcards sent to local residents inviting them to two public meetings, Thursday and Sunday, where the project will be discussed.
"It is my hope that through these meetings we will begin to work toward community consensus to support the redevelopment of the Roslyn Country Club property," Bosworth said.
But one attorney in the dispute over usage fees is skeptical the work will begin without more of a court fight because two residents have refused to drop their legal action.
Residents were granted easements in the 1950s -- access to a pool and tennis courts for $100 a year -- when Levitt & Sons, builders of Levittown, built Roslyn Heights, which includes the country club.
About a decade ago, some 400 residents sued Manochehr Malekan -- owner of Corona Realty Holdings LLC, which owns the country club -- and Corona Realty, over increased usage fees. Actions against Malekan have been dropped.
Two years ago, the town agreed to purchase the 7.2-acre country club for $2 million. They planned to create a special park district called Levitt Park, and the town council approved a $7.5 million bond to fund repairs there. The board also agreed to spend $75,000 on architectural fees.
Under terms of the sale, Roslyn Heights residents would pay an average of $800 to $1,000 annually for debt service on the $7.5 million bond. Nonresidents would pay membership fees. The park would be available to the nearly 730 Roslyn Heights households and about 500 town residents.
But Roslyn Heights residents Joel Buckstein, a private businessman, and Manhattan attorney Andrew Rothstein are unwilling to drop their lawsuits.
In a phone interview Wednesday, Buckstein said he wants "to be compensated for my easement rights -- the value should be around $30,000."
Also reached by phone, Rothstein said, "Mr. Malekan has unlawfully closed the club for eight years, and there's damages he owes the residents for doing so."
David Jaroslawicz, whose Manhattan firm represents Malekan, said he expects the matter to continue in Nassau Supreme Court. "Just to stop all this craziness, the courts are going to have to rule," he said.
The public meetings are scheduled for Thursday at 7 and Sunday at 2 p.m., both in the auditorium of The Wheatley School, 11 Bacon Rd., Old Westbury. For more information, call 311 or 516-869-6311.