Lawrence village opposes Woodmere Club plan

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Two issues currently dwarf all others in the Village of Lawrence and both were somewhat addressed at the Oct. 10 board meeting.

The trustees approved a resolution that reads: “Though open to additional and/or different information, from what we know of the project at this point in time the Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Incorporated Village of Lawrence opposes the proposal for the disposition of the Woodmere Club as currently presented by the developers to include 285 single residences.” The vote was 4-0-1 with Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin being the abstention.

“Due to a three-decade friendship with one of the owners, I have recused myself from any votes or decisions regarding the Woodmere Club,” Fragin said, referring to Efrem Gerszberg, who owns the 111-year-old club with Robert Weiss. “While I favor the preservation of open space, both at the Woodmere Club and at the site of the former sewer plant, I believe that an abstention is still appropriate.”

In September, the Nassau County Planning Commission approved the outline for the developers to create what is called the draft environmental impact statement. It examines the possible effects of proposed development on the natural and physical environment, and in relation to people. The developers’ current proposal is to build 285 single-family homes on 114.25-acres of the club’s 118 acres: 248 in Woodmere, 24 in Woodsburgh village and 13 in Lawrence.

What to do with the sewer plant is the other recurring issue. On Rock Hall Road, the 4.35-acre site has been a bouncing ball for the past two and a half years since Nassau County ceded the land to the village. Lawrence owns 3.83 acres and studies have come and gone on what to do with the property from the possibility of building a multipurpose community center to placing residential co-ops on the site.

Another resolution presented by Mayor Alex Edelman to construct up to eight single-family homes, once again failed. No trustee seconded the motion, so no vote was taken. Edelman believes that selling the land would generate roughly $7 million in revenue for the village. The other trustees, lead by Fragin and Uri Kaufman think that building up to 13 homes would serve the community better. The village has spent close to $40,000 on two studies.

“I asked at the last meeting for a study of a different plan,” Fragin said. “Doing my own research seven or eight homes is the not proposal for the most revenue.” Edelman countered that they have done studies and “seven or eight houses would do very well.”

Other village issues

Up to 60 residential sidewalks have been repaired and another 60 are expected to be fixed, according to Edelman, adding that a majority of homeowners have been agreeable to getting the work done.

Kaufman said that he found two firms “capable” of conducting studies for the bicycle lane at Rock Hall Road and Causeway down Kendridge Road that Trustee Daniel Goldstein has been championing.

Lawrence Yacht & Country Club General Manager Cory Menking said that 30 new golf member have joined since the September board meeting, maintenance of the course and grounds has the roughs in good shape and drainage is being expanded.

No parking will be permitted for 40 feet on the east side of Lawrence Avenue north of Rock Hall Road to alleviate traffic issues.

At the Dec. 12 meeting, there will be a public hearing to consider amending building permits and the corresponding expiration dates, and adding penalties for construction delays.

Have an opinion Lawrence village issues? Send your letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.

Updated to reflect there was no vote on  Edelman's resolution regarding the sewage treatment plant land.