Oyster Bay officers had already made two multimillion-dollar gives to purchase a personal golf course final month after publicly saying the city was in a fact-finding stage, in accordance with correspondence obtained by Newsday.
Shareholders of P.G.C. Holding Corp., proprietor of the Peninsula Golf Membership, voted on March 18 to promote the property to Florida-based Nice American Properties for $4.4 million or to anybody making a higher supply, with sure circumstances hooked up, in accordance with a shareholder decision. The proprietor despatched the decision to Oyster Bay officers in response to the city’s inquiries into buying the property, in accordance with correspondence obtained by way of a Freedom of Info Regulation request.
The city provided to match the $4.4 million sale worth for the nine-hole, roughly 50-acre property in East Massapequa in an April 13 letter to P.G.C. Holding president Nicholas DeSibio.
“The City has acquired an appraisal of the topic property and is ready to enter into the Contract of Sale with the intention to buy the property,” the letter from city lawyer Frank Scalera and deputy city lawyer Harold Mayer said. The supply was conditioned on city board approval, the transferability of the title and “ordinary and customary circumstances of property transactions in Nassau County.” The letter mentioned the city was ready to pay “all money” and “anticipates closing expeditiously.”
The general public first discovered the city was contemplating buying or seizing the property by way of eminent area when a $5,000 fee for a March 24 appraisal appeared on the agenda of the April 20 city board assembly. Sea Cliff resident Arthur Adelman questioned why the city was appraising land it didn’t personal, why it will take land off the tax rolls if the city deliberate to purchase it and why the appraisal was to be authorized retroactively.
Supervisor Joseph Saladino mentioned, “No choice has been made on this property.”
Scalera mentioned on the assembly that discussions with the proprietor had been preliminary.
“We haven’t bought something again but,” Scalera mentioned. “We simply put our intent on the market.”
Saladino added on the assembly that city officers have been “at present gathering info to make selections from there.”
By this time P.G.C. Holding had already despatched its company decision to the city and the city had responded with a second supply.
Saladino mentioned in an interview that his statements on the April 20 assembly had been in response to Adelman’s questions concerning the appraisal and downplayed Newsday’s inquiry concerning his public statements that the city was “fact-finding” when the city lawyer’s workplace had already made conditional gives to purchase the property.
“I answered the query for the resident that we’re spending the cash as a part of the negotiation to find out what we’re coping with,” Saladino mentioned. “Considered one of them is to seek out out what’s the worth of the property.”
Saladino mentioned the city is “nonetheless gathering info and any type of any conversations with the house owners can be thought of gathering info to make last selections.”
Scalera mentioned in an interview “the supply shouldn’t be the top of the transaction, it’s the start of the transaction.”
Oyster Bay Democratic chief David Mejias mentioned the city’s Republican officers “ought to have been sincere with the those that they have been going to spend $4.4 million . . .”
“Their thought of transparency is that they get caught mendacity and the reality popping out,” Mejias mentioned.
Below a restrictive covenant imposed by Nassau County in 1946, the property should stay a golf course in perpetuity. Saladino mentioned that the city desires to protect the land as open area and that there isn’t a assure the county received’t elevate the covenant sooner or later.
Final month, Nassau County Govt Laura Curran wrote to Saladino that the county would implement the restrictive covenant to maintain the property as a golf course.
“The residents have requested for this open area … for the continuation of a assure of the continuation of the golf-park useful resource,” Saladino mentioned. “It’s an essential environmental part of the city and it protects the group in a flooding scenario.”
The circumstances set by the house owners for the sale embody retaining the membership’s present employees for 5 years and free tee occasions for the 68 shareholders for 10 years. The customer would additionally agree that if the property was developed, the shareholders of P.G.C. Holding would get an extra $60 million.
On April 19, city officers once more wrote to P.G.C. Holding, stating Oyster Bay “is ready to satisfy the asking worth of $4,400,000 and can commit to keep up the property as a public golf course” however couldn’t comply with the opposite circumstances. Scalera mentioned in an interview that for authorized causes the city can’t enable a gaggle to make use of the amenities without spending a dime. Saladino informed Newsday that it will be unfair to taxpayers to vow to maintain all employees reasonably than decide the easiest way to run the golf course, if the city acquired it.
In an April 28 letter to P.G.C. Holding, the city wrote that “a few of the circumstances from the Company Decision that you just forwarded can be tough or unattainable for the City to adjust to” and instructed instead that the property be rezoned for recreation.
Scalera mentioned that the proprietor received’t comply with altering the zoning code to recreation from residential, which might add one other layer of safety towards growth. Huntington-based lawyer Christopher Modelewski mentioned cities don’t essentially want the assent of householders to rezone property.
“If it [the town] thinks it’s a good suggestion and it’s in line with the grasp plan, they’ll simply go forward and do it themselves,” Modelewski informed Newsday.
On the April 20 assembly, Scalera mentioned that primarily based on the dimensions and zoning, an proprietor might construct greater than 100 homes on it, however didn’t point out the county’s restrictive covenant.