With an ongoing moratorium on development of The Woodmere Club golf course set to expire in August, the Town of Hempstead is now looking to utilize zoning changes to prevent its golf course properties from being overrun by residential building, according to Newsday.
Hempstead is currently exploring its options at The Woodmere Club, a century-old private golf facility in the Five Towns area that has been at the center of a debate among club owners and local residents since the club was sold last year. Area homeowners have spoken out in opposition to developmental plans that could include several hundred new homes in addition to related traffic and environmental issues. Meanwhile, the developers filed a lawsuit against the town in May in response to the moratorium.
While no specific building plans have been announced, the developers said they plan to keep the course open until 2022.
One option Hempstead is considering is the creation of a "golf course coastal residence district" that would restrict residential development due to environmental issues like flooding and impact on area wetlands. This district would also cover two other coastal golf courses -- the private Inwood Country Club and the privately owned Golf Club at Middle Bay in Oceanside. Among other options are the creation of a park district to keep much of the club as open space, or purchase of the club for conversion to a municipal golf facility.
The Town of Hempstead is not the first Long Island municipality to turn to zoning to protect golf properties. Last year, the Town of Brookhaven created a zoning designation called "golf course district" in order to prevent residential, office or retail development on course sites. Three municipal and privately owned golf courses are currently zoned under the new category.
[PICTURED: The Golf Club at Middle Bay, located on the water in Oceanside, would be included in Hempstead Town's proposed golf course coastal residence district.]