The Seaford Board of Education voted unanimously late Thursday night to postpone its scheduled Oct. 16 referendum vote on the proposed sale of the former Seaford Avenue School property.
The postponement of the referendum was made at the request of developer BK at Seaford, LLC, who wants to amend the contract for the 5.66 acre property to address community concerns raised at an informational meeting last week about a planned 55 and older condominium development on the site. Chris Venator, attorney for the Seaford school board, said the amended contract will specify that the proposed 112-unit two-bedroom units in the “Seasons at Seaford” complex contain at least one person age 55 and older, have no school-aged children and all be for sale with no rentals permitted.
Venator said that the revised contract with BK at Seaford, LLC, a subsidiary of The Engel Burman Group, should be ready to approve at the scheduled Oct. 18 school board meeting and a new referendum vote can be set at that time. He said to allow proper time for required legal notices, a new referendum vote may have to be held off until January.
The decision to amend the contract for the Seaford Avenue School property comes on the heels of The Engel Burman Group representative Stephen Krieger saying at the Oct. 4 informational meeting that a covenant will be signed with the Town of Hempstead stipulating that all units are 55 and older. Many residents at the forum however expressed concerns about this language not being included in the original contract.
“The community wants to see it in writing,” said Seaford school board member Bruce Kahn during a discussion at Thursday night’s meeting on why the amended contract was needed.
If voter approval is granted, the "Seasons at Seaford” would consist of 112 two-bedroom units that would be sold in the 350,000-$400,000 range and first offered to Seaford School District residents and their parents. The facility would also include a central clubhouse with a fitness center and outdoor pool. The Engel Burman Group has recently built two similar “golden age” residential communities in East Meadow.
The 1939-built Seaford Avenue School closed in 1981 and was leased to Five Towns College from 1982-1992 and Nassau BOCES from 1992-2010. District officials said the sale of the property to BK at Seaford is approved, an estimated $100,000 in annual maintenance costs would be saved.
Phil Franco, president of the Seaford Harbor Civic Association, said during the public comments portion of Thursday's meeting that he appreciates the postponent of the referendum to amend the contract, but urged the school board to consider trying to reduce the number of condo units because of traffic fears for the area.
"[75 units] seems to be the consensus of what the community would accept," said Franco, who emphasized that he was speaking on behalf of his civic group. "The Seaford Harbor Civic Association would like nothing more than to offer support for this project."
The Oct. 18 board of education meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Seaford Manor School.