Hempstead Town Extends Building Moratorium on Development of Golf Course Properties

Working to preserve community character, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino, along with Councilmen Bruce Blakeman and Anthony D’Esposito, and the Town Board today passed legislation that extends a temporary building moratorium on residential development on certain privately-owned golf course properties.  In specific, private golf courses that are near or adjacent to residential properties in incorporated villages are the subject of the extended moratorium which is focused on maintaining the continuity of residential development on the golf courses with that of surrounding homes in local villages. Having disparate types of residential development on properties that are in very close proximity to each other could adversely impact community character, residential nature and home values, according to many residents who would be impacted by residential golf course development near local homes in villages. The legislation passed by the Town Board today, May 9th, will extend the original 180 day moratorium that went into effect on December 5, 2016 for an additional 90 days.  

“The Hempstead Town Board’s goal is to ensure that the local residential nature and area character of our neighborhoods is preserved when a private golf course decides to develop a portion of its property,” stated Santino.  “Our consulting engineers have been looking at lot sizes of golf course parcels that are the subject of residential development proposals to ensure that any such home construction would complement surrounding village residential properties.”

The moratorium prevents building permits from being issued for new residential development of privately-owned golf course properties that are adjacent to or within 500 feet of incorporated villages, many of which have stricter zoning regulations than unincorporated areas governed by the Town of Hempstead. While most of the town is fully developed, private golf course properties leave open the possibility of large developments that could potentially change the character of local neighborhoods. By not issuing permits during the moratorium, the town and its engineers are able to study the implications of property development at affected golf courses, especially as it relates to nearby village residential homes.  Without the moratorium, properties could be developed in a manner that is completely inconsistent with that of nearby villages. 

“We have found that our engineers need a bit more time as the town studies the possibility of enacting new legislation to ensure that local residential nature, area character and property values are preserved for the benefit of town residents,” said Blakeman. “A key component of the town’s zoning review during the moratorium has been focused on ensuring that substantial new residential development would be on lots that are consistent with the surrounding residential homes.”

 “Residents who settle in incorporated villages have a right to expect that their neighborhoods will maintain their character just like all town residents,” stated D’Esposito.  “The prospect of drastically different home development occurring on a neighboring golf course could totally decimate the harmony of a local neighborhood.”

Since the moratorium has commenced, the town and its engineers have been conducting a full review of the layout of existing homes and the current area-based zoning regulations set forth in the zoning codes of adjacent villages. Hempstead Town may consider enacting new lot size regulations and other restrictions that would apply to these potential development areas once the moratorium has ended.

“We need to carefully consider the harmony between town zoning provisions and that of villages when contemplating the issuance of permits for large sections of unincorporated land that some golf courses comprise, especially when a golf course is next to homes in area villages,” concluded Santino.   “This extension will allow for us to be sure that some of the last undeveloped properties in Hempstead Town are not developed in a way that is inconsistent with the suburban character of local neighborhoods.”