The developer of a proposed new condominium development at the former Seaford Avenue School property assured residents during a public forum Thursday night that the planned 112 units would only be for people ages 55 and older and not add any additional new students into the schools.
Steven Krieger, a representative for The Engel Burman Group, told a packed audience in the Seaford High School Auditorium that they will sign a covenant with the Town of Hempstead restricting all units in their "Seasons at Seaford" development have one or two people 55 and older living there. Krieger also said during his presentation at Thursday night's informational meeting on the proposed $5.1 million sale of the 5.66 acre property up for a referendum vote on Oct. 16 that another covenant with the town will also be signed that forbids any school-aged children from residing in the condos.
The "Seasons at Seaford" project is being developed by BK at Seaford, LLC, a subsidiary of The Engel Burman Group, which is in contact to purchase the 5.66 acre property on 2165 Seaford Ave. for $5.1 million. If voter approval is granted, the two-bedroom units will 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 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.
Dozens spoke out during the public comments portion of Thursday night's informational meeting to address concerns about traffic and changing the character of the neighborhood around the Seaford Avenue School if condos are built.
"You have too much traffic too close together," said Elizabeth Volz, who resides on Oakland Avenue in Wantagh within the Seaford School District.
Bob Eschbacher, a traffic expert with VHP Engineering in Hauppauge, said a recent traffic study he conducted determined that the "Seasons at Seaford" complex would only add one extra car every five minutes during morning hours on streets surrounding the property. Eschbacher said the low traffic estimates are based on how senior citizens who are retired typically do not drive during the morning during rush hour. He added that traffic resulting from the condo development may be less than when Nassau BOCES operated there.
Some questions asked if single-family homes were considered for the site and Krieger said that kind of development was studied but it was determined that only 30 houses would be able to be built and the selling price for the district would be $1.5 million.
said the 112 condo units would generate $620,000 in school taxes to Seaford each year.
In late 2010, the Seaford School District issued a community input survey that 643 district residents responded to on what to do with the former elementary school and no preference was emphasized in the results. Seaford Superintendent Brian Conboy said he met with Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray in early 2011 to see if the town would have any interest in acquiring the property to build a community center or athletic fields, but she informed him that this plan could not be achieved during the current economic climate.
"We can't wait any longer to make a decision on the property," Brian Fagan, president of the Seaford Board of Education during Thursday's meeting.
The Oct. 16 referendum vote for the proposed Seaford Avenue School sale is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Seaford Manor School and Seaford Harbor School.