Roslyn Estates board discuss Tennis King, park

Jessica Chin
Members of the Roslyn Estates board during the July 17 meeting (Photo by Jessica Chin).

The Roslyn Estates Board of Trustees said Monday night that it was still undecided on whether to renew the five-year lease for Tennis King, a tennis club located around the corner from Village Hall.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t made a decision on the lease yet,” Mayor Paul Leone Peters said to Mark Johns, the head pro and owner of Tennis King, who attended the meeting. Johns has been waiting for a decision on the lease since August of last year.

Currently, the board members are “floating the idea” of building a park at the site of Tennis King, Brett Auerbach, a trustee said. The board is currently undecided, so they still need time to debate the lease, members of the board said.

Johns asked that a decision be made on the lease by the next meeting, on Aug. 21.  “… I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t give you an answer by then,” Mayor Peters said. If not, “at least some look into the future,” Auerbach added.

“Well, I can tell you that if we don’t have a decision by the next meeting, I’m calling it quits because I can’t wait any longer,” Johns said. “That’s fair,” Mayor Peters said.

Johns and David Clapper, a proponent of Tennis King’s lease renewal, spoke at the meeting on why the lease should be renewed and why a park would not be good for the community.

Clapper argued that if the village helped promote Tennis King within the community, it could make the village more cohesive and “social.” He noted that the village has not had a block party since 2014. “There’s nothing that actually brings people together like a block party, like belonging to the tennis facility…”

Only about 24 Roslyn Estate families use the Tennis King out of about 400 some households, Johns said. Most of the Tennis King’s 120 members come from outside of the village, but “we have a room for a lot more,” Johns said.

Clapper added that “having a park around here is going to harbor young people to drink and to do whatever they want to do, whether it’s smoking, whatever it is.” He says that the park will be a “big negative,” because it will “invite a lot of young people that we don’t want to that area.”

Two residents of Roslyn Estates who also attended the meeting disagreed with Clapper. One said they came to the meeting because they “heard from their wives that there was talk about a park and we got excited about that,” because they both have young children.

The resident said that Tennis King does not have much of an appeal for him, and he believes the problem is that there’s “no social aspect,” or “sense of community here.” He thinks that “it would be nice to have a place where everyone can go and meet people from the community.”

The board decided that a town hall meeting should be held so that the village can “weigh in on what the best use of the property is,” so that they can “get the pulse of more than five of us or six of us,” Auerbach said. The date of the town hall meeting is to be announced.

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