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Seaford Avenue School Referendum Vote Postponed

Seaford school board votes Thursday night to postpone scheduled Oct. 16 proposition so contract can be amended for 55 and older condo proposal at former elementary school site.

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.

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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. 

SeafordManorMama October 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Lorriane, You are wasting your energy typing. Mr. Wendt hears or reads nothing except his own version of how to save Seaford. At this point his rhetoric about this issue is nauseating. The ONLY solution that he has brought to this forum is to SELL. NOTHING MORE. I have read through his posts and without fail, every single on of them includes the words SELL and if we don't' we are doomed! Try coming up with a different tune to play and maybe, just maybe I would consider listening. But at this point he just needs to be ignored. So what's your plan B for Seaford Mr. Wendt or did yo not think that far ahead and figured the idiots of Seaford would just fall into line so why bother touting any other reasonable recommendation. Yeah.. that's what I thought.
Ralebird October 18, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Having 55 and older housing will be quiter than having an operating school and active ballfields and playgrounds. Traffic will be reduced and dispersed over a wider period with housing than a school. Bus traffic wiill no longer exist. The needs of the many outweigh the desires of the few.
Lilly Hayden October 18, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I have noticed that about Mr. Wendt myself- and his doom and gloom prediction if we don't SELL now. what is wrong with wanting to get more information? We are not sheep to just follow what the BOE deems is best.
Lorraine DeVita October 18, 2012 at 06:35 PM
SMM- i respect your annominity and fully understand why you rightfully chose to remain so. chris and i and many others have an issue wiht annyomous posters NOt for the reasons you have clearly and understandbly stated but for the simple reasons they mask their identity to post to "strike and hide" I am sure you can pick them out , but in your instance and the instanc eof many others who are in the same situation and again i fully understand why the comments are always appreciated and welcome even though we may disagree at times. Hey if i had kids in school and i wrote they way i do on here, i dont think i would post my name either they would prbably be ostrized by the same stepford crew. i understand !
Lorraine DeVita October 18, 2012 at 06:45 PM
ok a first Me playing moderator- but heres my attempt at it. SMM- chris for all his pontificating is looking at this from the old school fiscal model that in order to continue on the path we are with no other resources available we need an influx of cash otherwise we the taxpayers will be paying . @chris- SMM is looking at this form the perspective people who dont live here really shouldnt be putting their two cents in SO often and so Vehemently.It is kind of getting rather grating .. we appreciate the input but not the repetiveness of it. NO reason for anyone to get TESTY - just relax and understand that this is a hotly contested issue , we all have opinions even if some dont live here their opinons are welcome. Its a news item anyone can comment on the news.
Ralebird October 18, 2012 at 08:35 PM
One's credibility is not bolstered by quoting irrelevant drivel from cultish fiction.
Lorraine DeVita October 18, 2012 at 08:49 PM
SMM- whatever the reason it is YOUR reason and i respect it & you for caring enough about your community to raise your voice here..which is a LOT more thensome people who sit back and DO and SAY nothing and do their stepford brainless bobble head imititation when the all might wizards speak! ... nuff said. hey wait can we get bobble heads made in the image of a green viking and sell them perhaps we can off set our dire financial straits! lmao
Lorraine DeVita October 18, 2012 at 08:59 PM
@ralebird- LMAO- you DO realize to pull a quote out of ones cornicopia of information thats stored in the brain that has so much tongue in cheek satorical relevance that this absolutely supports VL's credibitly but more over it goes to the fact that you READ it and it made an impact , enough of one for you to comment. POINT to VL
Lorraine DeVita October 18, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Like i posted above we need to manufacture Seaford VIKING BOBBLE heads , price them @ 75% above cost and sell them but we can give Chris an honorary one .. and if anyone steals my idea i will sue ! lol..
Ralebird October 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Now there are stormtroopers in the streets of Seaford? Please! Note to LDV - the Star Wars, or Star Trek, whatever was the most irrelevant thing on Patch until this one, regardless from where it was pulled. What I would really like to see is a demonstration by anyone opposed to this sale of what the damages, monetary or otherwise would be to A) The community as a whole and B) Those closely proximate to its location. Please try to avoid the-sky-is-falling generality scenarios and be objective. Citing specific cases of how similar communities have been damaged by similar projects would be persuasive.
Buster of Seaford October 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM
you know I thought it was just me. I think Chris got HIS tax bill this week too. Hoky smokes! Take a happy pill! Now I think it's more than an opinion; I believe your big business bloomers are peeking through pal.. LOLOL.
Ralebird October 18, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Okay, VL - I get it. You're against it because you're against it; no reasons, you're just against it. Next.
SeafordManorMama October 18, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I believe everyone should be able to exercise their right to vote. No matter if I agree with them or not. I'm disappointed that the district doesn't encourage it more from our older and non child households. The bottom line is, if you DO NOT have a school aged child attending the public school system here information is very hard to come by. Yes there is a certain responsibility on the part of those individuals but I don't think the district make its easy for them either.
SeafordManorMama October 19, 2012 at 12:59 AM
ralebird, while you're entitled to ask any question you chose, I would be curious as to your reasons why you are for this project to happen and please be specific. For me, I believe that most developments of this nature are constructed in areas that are less compact and less residential than Seaford. For example, the open spaces where The Seasons in East Meadow was constructed is in an area in which residential homes are almost non existent, on what one would consider a semi major road w/very little open useable community space. I pass it everyday, sometimes twice a day while taking my kids to/from school. I can attest to the fact that traffic is heavy and noisy & as I watch while stopped at a traffic light it reminds me of the hustle of NYC sometimes. The complex buildings themselves are enormous and from the back (while there are shrubs and fencing) you can still clearly see the structures and the rear view in my opinion is not esthetically pleasing to see. If it was me living across the street from these "things" that's not a view I would be fond of. In addition, once in a while I see the slew of garbage trucks loading up from the numerous "trash collection areas". The smell is disgusting and on a nice day when driving with your car windows down you had better hope it's not pick up day there. Additionally, I am not as trusting as some when it comes to the BOE but that's for another post. These are only some of my reasons why I will vote no, I can't speak for anyone else.
Judith Conlon October 19, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Yet, at the depth of the recession they sold a bill of goods to the community to put the place up and then went "running back to the town" when their rosy "projections" fell short! 2012 is not exactly boom times either! Remember the frenzy to build all those ugly strip malls everywhere? Then all the vacant storefronts that followed? This is the SAME thing, except with "dense" apartment-style HOUSING! Seasons in East Meadow is big and ugly as sin, but at least it's on Front street in a commercial area. WE can't handle that size here in our small residential neighborhood. Do people even KNOW what Seasons really looks like? These make the Cedar cove coops look like DOLL houses!
Follow the Money October 19, 2012 at 01:59 AM
SeafordManorMama - your recent posts along with Lorraine's are right on target. EB is looking to take Seaford to the cleaners. They couldn't gve a rats a--- about the community only profits, which is totally understandable. Therefore we need to look out for our own interests. Same goes for the BOE - I know where their interests lie. As far as Chris's posts, the fact he is only supporting this because it is "not in his backyard" shows you how disingenuous he is and cares only about himself but not his neighbors in the next community. This project is a big NO.
Lorraine DeVita October 19, 2012 at 02:24 AM
SPEAKING of FOOTBALL fields. lmao- Question : would we be soooo much in debt and on the cusp of financial annihilation as some seem to think we are IF we DIDNT approve the bond for that included the million dollar field of dreams and the music wing?? . Yes we APPROVEd and while a nice peice of artifcial turf and a non discrpt box sticking out of the orginal building, What true VALUE did it bring our students and the taxpayers.Sure its one hell of football field and probably th ekiods love it but EDUCATIONALY it does WHAt exactly? it goes to this community APPROVING things that we dont fully understand the ramifications of nor do we look at the effects long term. THAT field of dreams is COSTING us more then the million+ we spent - interest on the money we BORROWED to pay for it. So before we go approving anything else I think we need to do some soul searching and ask ARE 100 CONDO's the legacy we want to leave this community. Are we making this community BETTER for having them here. What VALUE do they bring us? AND do we want really want the NEXT generation of home buyers to scratch their heads and say the WTF were they thinking?
Lorraine DeVita October 19, 2012 at 02:42 AM
We remove the access road form the orginal bond asking the community to TRUSt the board, the road will get built its just the community wont approve the bond the road in it. But we Get a football field, so we leave hundreds of kids lives in danger? the board asked THIS community to TRUST them to do the right thing. So far from where i am standing i am STILL waiting for the RIGHT thing to happen, not excuses .. SO as far as this SALE is concerned, I dont TRUSt ANYONE to do the right thing and i am EMPHATICALLY stating This voter, this resident, this taxpaer is saying HELL NO to CONDOS regardless of WHO is living in them and regardles sof how much they say we are going up in flames. .I will not and can not in good conscience VOTE to approve something in my neighbors backyard that i wouldnt want in mine. It time Seaford spoke with one voice not a harbor voice or a manor voice. Loudly saying NO to condos - Sorry but all the tea in chine or all the money we are supposedly getting is NOT enough to BUY my VOTE. This taxpayers VOTE is not for sale @ 5mil or even 50 mil ..sorry
Lorraine DeVita October 19, 2012 at 02:55 AM
The reason i dont to go school board meetings more frequently is because i come home like a raving loon! it is impossible to understand the thought process that goes into the decisions the board agrees to that have been put forth by our Administrators. FRUSTRATING , AGGRAVATING< DISHEARTENING AND MAD as HELL and SO DISAPPOINTED in our Educational Leadership. So disappointed.
Ralebird October 19, 2012 at 03:26 AM
SMM - Thanks for articulating your viewpoint; the building and grounds look bad now and will only get worse and possibly become dangerous. The time to act is now before the maintenance expenses skyrocket. There will be a net deposit of $4 - 5 million made after the sale. Expenses to maintain the building will disappear. Tax revenue will be in the half million dollar range annually. Those are my main reasons for supporting the sale. There have always been dumpsters and garbage trucks at the school, all buildings including single family houses require trash pickup and there are adequate laws regulating the process. I don't particularly find the design very appealing, nor is it an eyesore in the making, but these are topics for the town to deal with, not the school district. Change will happen - that is guaranteed. I haven't seen a viable alternative proposed that would happen anytime soon and produce similar revenue for the district. In my mind I'd rather see the existing building, or most of it, recycled into condos, coops, or (gasp!) rental apartments with the front lawn enclosed by fencing, walls, and shrubbery. That area could also hold a pool and a couple of small parking lots. The immediate rear yard could be landscaped with the field area used for additional housing units that would be necessary for the financial success of the developer. No, I don't have a problem with people getting a proper return on their investments. What's the alternative?
Follow the Money October 19, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Amen Lorraine.
Buster of Seaford October 19, 2012 at 03:30 AM
My first dance/school board meeting! Conclusion, and that almost right away, once they got to the sale: they just don't understand/want to hear that the 55+ and no children prohibition is not alone going to help this proposal clear the bar, for anyone that really looks at it. Those are the only mods..they are still allowing EB to dictate the excessive # of units (pending zoning OK, and I'll bet money that'll be interesting) on a site TOO SMALL. They are apparently taking EB at their word the density is acceptable and the traffic will actually be less than the buses BOCES bussed the pregnant teens in with-not my words, that was from EB's Mr. traffic expert on 10/4(!). It was sad to see men I've known (while only in passing, but still) for years, as my kids did it all here, push the contract through hells bells knowing full well the community opposition was not truly reflected in the mere 600 or so "surveys" that were returned, even though it was said at the meeting 65% of those were against it! Imagine if we all had a chance to participate? Or would it have mattered? The 350-400 people that attended the 10/4 meeting were clearly for the most part not supportive. Still, hells bells. Amazing. Consider it. For the taxpayer it provides minimal return. They are giving the keys to EB. Selling out the neighborhood. Haven't pursued any other options. To a company that has/had some community problems in it's past. Well- thanks to all I met this evening ( you know who you are).
Unjust October 19, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Freedom of speech ... All for it... But just because someone is asking "WHY" so many of us are saying NO to the sale ...doesn't mean we have to list our reasons. Although some great reasons have already been posted! I DO firmly feel what happens with the Ave. School WILL impact EVERYONE in Seaford NO MATTER what part of Seaford you live in. (& yes...many in Wantagh as well). Going back to the blue postcards and any other so called notices of meetings / date changes / auto calls /school sale and so on. While some said it was "complaining"... I didn't write to complain. It was meant as a Statement. I'm VERY concerned as many have been excluded from what's going on! On behalf of someone directly near the Ave School...NOTHING was sent...only the letter stuck in fence a few weekends ago & it wasn't from the school. I'm N of Sunrise and again NOTHING was mailed to me from the school UNTIL the blue postcard!!! ( odd timing?) As *shocking* as this may sound...not everyone gets *the newspaper* or local cable news. Some might not have kids in school = No notices sent home in backpacks!! Not everyone can attend regular meetings for whatever reason. But we STILL have a right to know what's really going on in Seaford! I'm thankful to Patch & all of you who post here...its certainly eye opening! We've been in Seaford before SOB was built & care what happens here! It's such a small town and I feel the Ave school & the Land IS EVERYONES Backyard!!!
Judith Conlon October 19, 2012 at 04:23 AM
The notice in the fence may have been from the Seaford Harbor Civic Assoc Inc. You can count on this organization to keep the community in the loop. It's interesting how some earlier posts attempted to discredit those that informed so many about the meeting and urged people to attend and ask questions. The fiasco with the contract was brought to light only because of community awareness. Without concerned citizens getting involved, this vote would've been over 2 days ago with many left in the dark. I think we now see who is misleading the community and pitting neighbor against neighbor, versus who is uncovering the ugly truths about this referendum, getting the word out to the community and encouraging all to participate in this important matter that will have ramifications for generations to come.
Judith Conlon October 19, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Mr W it sure is interesting, to put it mildly, seeing the world from a BOE state of mind, a very insular and out of touch environment, to be sure. Are they plotting their "revenge" already? But for those darn "referendums" always foiling their diabolical plans..what IS an oligarchy to do? Not to mention those raises..tick tock..maybe they will just HAVE to LISTEN for a change and put the best interests of the COMMUNITY first! The horror!
Unjust October 19, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Hi Judith... Agree 100% & thanks.
Lorraine DeVita October 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I went to bed annoyed and I woke up STILL annoyed- As some of you may recall i was originaly in Favor of this , however AFTER I did my due dilligence, after I did my HOMEWORK I emphatically did a 180 and am asking all of you to say NO to condos! My reasons are this: I think the board for all their seemingly good intentions are being led to this decision based on the financials of the District. Where we are and where we are going. However there is too much conflicting information from ALL parties involved the Board, Mr Conboy, Mr Venetor/Ingerman Smith, Engel Burman& Bk@Seaford and all the cast and characters on the peripheral. that in and of itself gives pause for concern. Me, I look at the bottom line - this goes to more then the Condo issue itself it goes to VALUE- What VALUE does this bring to the community - not just the quick shot in the arm 5 mil(btw it isnt 5 mil its more like 4.9-4.5 mil) which we more then likely wont receive till 2014-2015, or the supposed additonal 600k annual tax revenue. this goes to the PHILOSOPHY of this district and its residents. . We Seaford have a history of falling prey to the "for the kids" and "TRUST US" that is thrown about every time there is a money issue. From Bonds to Budgets - TRUST US
Lorraine DeVita October 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Well so far lets look at what TRUST US GOT US. A football field / Music wing = NO Harbor Access Rd/,no technology improvements 8.3% increase on a CONTIGENCY budget with CUTs to education $500-$800 Avg TAx increases this year alone w/ a 2% tax cap Depleted Reserves= Higher interest rates Technology (ooops WHAT technology) 27 kids in kindergarten classes with a revolving door of UNQUALIFIED AIDs rather then hiring 1 additional teacher. NO MS sports 2 years running and probably none in the future either. The infamous teachers contract and the new one on the horizon. Harbor School Access STILL NOT ADDRESSED A SD who cant seem to notify this community consistently and thoroughly You want us to TRUST that this is BEST for our community? I think NOT - Pls Vote NO.
Judith Conlon October 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM
There has been a lot of strife within the board over the years and for valid reasons. The lack of accountability, for one, I find absolutely appalling! We face a 2 % budget cap and contract negotiations are imminent. Everyone gets that. We are absolutely trying to make the school district "the best it can be" by addressing the elephant in the room. This ill-begotten referendum is, at BEST, a knee-jerk reaction to budget constraints by a panicked BOE. "Closed door" meetings, however, led to a series of stupid decisions that will prove it's undoing: It's unreasonable to hand the "keys to the town" to an unscrupulous developer and expect intelligent residents to just roll over. The "new" board, that apparently had "nothing" to do with these fatal missteps, can only look on now as it crashes and burns:Ironically, in their HASTE to push this through, the BOE in May signed away ALL rights going forward to EB. The BOE was anxious to "get it done" at all costs (to us) and EB exploited this weakness at their peril: GREED will ultimately prove their undoing.Gotta love justice! Now they will reap what they have sewn: EB marginalized the Board, EB shrewdly put "lipstick" on the pig, but should the referendum pass, the contract STILL allows EB to run rough-shod over us, just as they are now "owning" the BOE in this process. Residents can ONLY take back their POWER by voting "NO!" After that, we can work with the BOE to find a MUTUALLY beneficial solution to our budget woes.
Judith Conlon October 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Oh, the "school district is what drives SALES" all right! Anyone wanna buy a house on Waverly/Seaford/Locust/Hilaire..etc..etc..?? LOLOL

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