Flower Hill approves new driving range

Flower Hill approves new driving range
The Flower Hill Board of Trustees listen to residents' concerns during a meeting. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Members of the North Hempstead Country Club will be able to perfect their swings at a new driving range, as its construction was approved by the Flower Hill Board of Trustees at Monday’s meeting.

“Congratulations and thank you all so much,” village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer told representatives from the country club after the board unanimously approved a change in  land use from residential to a driving range.

The driving range will be located to the north of the golf course’s first hole and will be bordered by Port Washington Boulevard to the west and the homes of Wakefield Avenue to the north. Balls will be hit to the east, away from the boulevard.

Trees on the property will be moved and 75-foot wooden poles will be installed around the driving range at positions ranging from 20 to 45 feet from the property line. The poles will hold nets to protect the surrounding houses from errant drives, though the nets will be taken down each winter while the driving range is closed.

Several residents raised concerns about the property, such as if the nets were high enough. But nobody was totally against the project, even Frank Caruso, whose home is located at the east end of the range.

“The [country] club has consistently been a good neighbor, we’ve been a good neighbor,” he said. “There’s a fair amount of beauty that has been destroyed on that piece of property, but when all is said and done, I don’t have a major issue.”

When the board approved the change, it added that any future changes to the plan for the plot of land must be approved by the village. The country club hopes to have the driving range open for spring.

Discussion on the driving range took up almost an hour, so the board moved quickly through some of the other agenda items. Another hearing was held on extending a site plan for 1045 Northern Blvd., where construction had been delayed by a struggle to raise the necessary funds. The board said that the permit might be revoked if there is no sign of progress on the site by Jan. 3.

The final three items up for public discussion,  three new village laws, were quickly discussed. The first, which would define height limits in areas throughout the village, was withdrawn. A second one, which would amend building permit fees, was determined to be insufficiently comprehensive and was also withdrawn.

The third law, local law Y, was adjourned to January’s meeting. If approved, all commercial properties that have site plans approved by the village must begin construction within six months of the date of approval or have their approval revoked.

That law tied into one of three additional laws that were introduced at the end of the meeting and will also be discussed at the January meeting. Local law BB puts an expiration on site plans like local law Y, except BB is for residential properties. Local law Z would merge a few zoning rules with Board of Appeals rules, and local law AA is a more comprehensive version of Local Law X, which amended building permit fees.

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