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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. 

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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