A message from our President:

***The following message is the Nassau Shores Civic Association’s position regarding the ongoing spectacle involving the Peninsula Golf Course. I realize it is a long message, but I believe it is very important that the neighborhood understands the history of how this situation developed, and why we support the Town’s goal to take over the operation of the golf course.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” -Sir Walter Scott, 1808
One of the purported owners of the Peninsula Golf Course, Michael Sarro, has posted numerous times over the last few weeks, not only on this page, but on the Massapequa Moms, Massapequa Dads, and various other pages as well. In my role as President of the Nassau Shores Civic Association, I have been involved with the golf course issue from the beginning. Our Vice-President, Michael Dell'Anno, has been there every step of the way as well. We have spoken before the Town Board on a few occasions about how important the golf course is to our neighborhood, and how it must forever remain a golf course and immune to future development. I am no longer willing to let Peninsula’s web of deception go unchecked. Mr. Sarro has repeatedly insisted there was never a legitimate discussion to sell the course to a Florida development company. A basic examination of the facts reveals that the golf course has been relying on baseless rhetoric and falsehoods in order to rally support for their cause.
Mr. Sarro stated in his missives, including yesterday, “The fact is PGC has not offered or solicited offers to sell the club…and it rejected the two unsolicited offers to purchase the club made in 2021…” This would probably come as a huge surprise to the President of PGC Holding Corp. (the parent company of the golf course,) as Newsday reported on March 11, 2021, “In a Feb. 15 letter to shareholders of owner P.G.C. Holding Corp., company president Nicholas DeSibio, a Hewlett-based attorney, wrote that a $4.4 million offer had been made for the approximately 50-acre, nine-hole golf course. Furthermore, "Our board members and officers believe that the ‘time has come,’ as we are having difficulty devoting the time to manage the operation," DeSibio wrote. If you are not willing to trust the word of the company’s president, the article continues to say, “Shareholder Robert Siriani, a retired Suffolk County worker from Mastic Beach who said he inherited one share from his father, said he mailed in a proxy vote against the sale because he thought it was worth more than $4.4 million.” An immediate question comes to mind - How do you mail in a proxy vote about the pending sale if there was never even a sale discussed?
Mr. Sarro in previous comments said the course owners were merely doing their “due diligence” and never seriously considered a sale of the course. However, on April 26, 2021, Newsday again contradicts this by stating “On March 18 shareholders voted on the sale of the property to a Florida company…, and (company president) DeSibio declined to share the outcome of the vote but another shareholder, Robert Siriani, of Mastic Beach said shareholders had approved the sale for $4.4 million.” Again, approving a sale seems quite different from non-serious due diligence and “rejecting” offers.
At this point, the Nassau Shores Civic Association decided to take a more serious and active role concerning this situation. The Town of Oyster Bay stepped in and offered to match the $4.4 million offer. However, this was rejected and the price was upped to an astronomical amount. And why is this? Newsday told us why in a May 29, 2021 article, which detailed that the sale to the Florida development company…“Came with certain conditions attached, according to a shareholder resolution. The conditions set by the owners for the sale include retaining the club’s current staff for five years and free tee times for the 68 shareholders for 10 years. The buyer would also agree that if the property was developed, the shareholders of P.G.C. Holding would get an additional $60 million.” Free golf for the owners, and $60 million in future earnings when the golf course is developed! Now you see why the Town’s offer was rejected, and why the purported value of the land went up by more than tenfold of the price agreed to by the owners only weeks earlier. Fascinating, considering Mr. Sarro’s continued insistence that there was never a consideration to sell the course, and it would never be developed. Newsday confirmed the Town’s inability to match these conditions in a June 14, 2021 article, stating “While Oyster Bay officials offered in April to buy the property, they wouldn’t agree to conditions approved by the shareholders for any sale.” This is obviously because the Town could never agree to such conditions, and Peninsula knew it. Still never an intent to sell? Here’s more: In a July 13, 2021 Newsday article, Peninsula’s own attorney confirmed the pending sale of the golf course. The article stated, “The shareholders of P.G.C. Holding Corp., the owner of the course, approved its sale to a Florida company in March for $4.4 million. P.G.C. Holding’s attorney, Arthur Feldman of Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz PC, urged the town not to interfere with the purchase…” Wow, so despite there never being a sale or even an intent to consider a sale, Peninsula’s attorney seemingly confirmed the sale and warned the Town not to interfere with it. Fascinating.
In addition, it sure seems that the Florida development company also believed they had a deal in place. Newsday told us on September 14, 2021, that “A Florida businessman has alleged that the owner of the Peninsula Golf Club violated an exclusivity clause by negotiating with the Town of Oyster Bay over the $4.4 million sale of the property, according to a letter provided to Newsday. In an Aug. 13 letter to P.G.C. Holding, Richard Schaub Jr., president of Florida-based Great American Properties Inc., alleged that the owner violated a 30-day exclusivity clause in a letter of intent between the two parties that established the terms of a sale of the 50-acre golf course in East Massapequa. He called the disclosure an ‘egregious violation of the legally binding exclusivity agreement’ and wrote in the letter that Great American Properties ‘will take any and every legal remedy to protect its interests.’" So now we have confirmation of the sale from the other party involved, and an apparent threat of legal action due to Peninsula’s actions.
Mr. Sarro also repeatedly refers to a “right of first refusal” as being the savior of this entire situation. He again posted yesterday that “PGC has offered to address the Town’s concerns by granting a ‘right of first refusal’ that would give the Town options to match any serious offer to purchase the course before PGC could conclude any sale to a third party.” As anyone can conclude, the reliance on a right of first refusal for the Town is nonsensical. Mr. Sarro and the other owners of the golf course know fully well that the Town could NEVER match an offer of $60 million or more for the course once a developer has its sights set on it. The right of first refusal is not even worth the paper it’s written on in this instance.
We all know there is a covenant in place with Nassau County protecting the land from development. However, we cannot trust that the covenant will never be revoked. Nassau County has long been strapped for cash. Another new and very dangerous development is the Governor’s insistence on forcing “high density” housing on the suburbs. Don’t think for a second that the pristine land of the golf course would be immune to future State mandates. Imagine the offers that would come in once that happens; offers the Town could never possibly match under a right of first refusal.
This entire situation could have been easily avoided. The golf course owners rejected the idea of re-zoning the land from residential to recreational. The land is currently zoned for residential use. The simple act of agreeing to re-zone would have negated all of this. Ask yourselves why they rejected the re-zoning proposal. I’m sure you can figure it out.
Oh, what a tangled web indeed.
Finally, I must address a few more misleading points made by Mr. Sarro. He claimed in his March 28, 2023 Facebook post that “We respect our community and are extremely compassionate toward the surrounding neighbors of our course. Anything damaged by an errant golf ball is technically the person who hits the ball’s responsibility, but Peninsula always takes care of it.” I can assure you with 100% certainty that is incorrect. I have had numerous windows shattered, my siding has been damaged, and my solar panels have been damaged due to errant golf balls. The course has never been responsive when I reached out, and it has also not been responsive to my neighbors when they experienced similar situations. (I even caught the person once who did the damage, but the course was not willing to step in.) I am not here to argue that the course is responsible. But I find offensive Mr. Sarro’s superhero-like posture that the course “always” takes care of it. This is absolutely false. The only time I am aware of that the course took action is when a group of neighbors threatened to sue the course over repeated incidents of golf balls hitting their houses across Cedar Drive. The course finally installed a taller fence along a portion of the road. The rest of the fence surrounding the course remains old and dilapidated, and the surrounding landscape is constantly a mess. Here is an interesting piece of information – the taller fence portion was installed at the same time the sale was being pursued with the Florida company. A lawsuit could attach a lien to the property, and a property cannot be sold if there is an unresolved lien. Please judge for yourselves whether that fence was installed as a result of the owners being “compassionate toward the surrounding neighbors,” or if there were other factors involved.
Mr. Sarro also questioned in his post yesterday the wisdom of the Town “seizing a privately owned golf course to make it a publicly owned golf course that charges higher fees to guests from our neighboring towns and counties…” It’s not surprising to me that there seems to be more concern about people from neighboring towns and counties instead of the course’s own neighbors. We at the Civic Association have tried for years to involve Peninsula in some of our Association events, and are always rejected. They have shown no interest whatsoever in being a part of their own neighborhood. The owners have also prevented the independently-operated Café from hosting Civic Association events. It is my hope that the golf course will be a more prominent part of our community moving forward.
Please be assured, The Nassau Shores Civic Association will ALWAYS advocate that the Peninsula property remains a golf course in perpetuity, free from any future threat of development. Based on everything that has happened, we simply do not trust the current owners in this regard, and support the Town’s efforts to operate the course. The Town’s existing course in Syosset is beautiful and well-maintained, and I have no doubt the Town would operate Peninsula in the same manner.