Oyster Bay votes to seize East Massapequa golf club via eminent domain

Prospective buyer agreed to purchase course for $4.4M

Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the Peninsula Golf Club at 50 Nassau Rd in Massapequa (Oyster Bay, Peninsula Golf of NY)
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the Peninsula Golf Club at 50 Nassau Rd in Massapequa (Oyster Bay, Peninsula Golf of NY)

Owners of the Peninsula Golf Club in East Massapequa and the Town of Oyster Bay may soon be swinging golf clubs at each other.

The Oyster Bay Town Board voted on Tuesday to seize the Nassau County golf club through eminent domain, involving the forced sale of private properties in the name of public interest. Newsday reports the vote was unanimous.

Eminent domain is being used so the town can expand its park system. According to Newsday, one councilmember previously predicted the seizure of the club would spark litigation.

The town said seizure would be necessary to prevent development on the site, but there aren’t current indications development was in the plans.

For starters, a restrictive covenant with Nassau County has barred development on the land for 75 years. Town officials fear the county may remove the covenant in the future, Newsday reports.

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Additionally, an incoming owner has said the golf course won’t be redeveloped. P.G.C. Holding agreed to sell the course to Richard Schaub Jr. of Great American Properties in March for $4.4 million. Schaub has even offered to enter into a written agreement to keep the 50-acre land as a golf course.

“Our intention was to, if anything, improve the golf course and make it a real showcase for the town of Oyster Bay,” Schaub said after this week’s vote.

Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said the town reached out to Schaub about rezoning the property for a park and was rebuffed. Schaub, for his part, said the conversation never happened.

The town supervisor hailed the potential $4.4 million price point of the 9-hole golf club as a boon for taxpayers, referring to it as “1970s prices.” That may not be the ultimate price for taxpayers, however, depending on the result of any potential litigation.

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[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner