County legislators during the legislature's general meeting in Riverhead March 3.
Photo: Julia-Anna Searson

A resolution to authorize the appraisal of the Cherry Creek golf courses in Riverhead for possible acquisition as open space was tabled today on the motion of North Fork Legislator Al Krupski at the county legislature’s general meeting. 

Krupski said he met last week with Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar to discuss a partnership between the county and the Town of Riverhead which would manage the site. Both parties were favorable to the idea, but Krupski said he wants to ensure there is a clear understanding before the legislative vote. 

“We are working with [the Town of Riverhead] and we want them to understand that they’re going to be a management partner,” said Krupski. “We want to understand what they’re going to do and they understand what they have to do.” 

The Links at Cherry Creek on Reeves Avenue in Riverhead. Photo: Peter Blasl

The Links at Cherry Creek and The Woods at Cherry Creek golf courses are located on Reeves Avenue. They’ve been on the market for sale for several years according to an owner of the golf courses, Vinny Sasso, who said the properties’ combined tax bills of $360,000 make it tough to stay in business. The 296 acres has its development rights intact and could be developed with houses. The current listing price is $25 million.

The appraisal of the land is the first step in the county’s acquisition process. After an appraisal is complete, the legislature would decide whether to make an offer to buy the land, using money from a special sales tax that funds land preservation. If the owners and the county successfully negotiate a deal, the owner would be required to return the land to its “natural state,” removing all paved areas and structures.

The county legislature and Riverhead Town have partnered before on preservation efforts, Krupski said, citing the Sharper’s Hill site in Jamesport. However, Shaper’s Hill is just 10 acres of land, while both golf courses total nearly 300 acres, he said.

Krupski said he hopes to find a management plan that will work for both the town and county legislature. 

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Julia-Anna is a Riverhead native and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University, with a degree in Biology and minor in Anthropology. She currently lives in Cutchogue.