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Thursday, July 31, 2014
Fate of Seaford Avenue School rests with Town Board
By: Laura Schofer
Photo by Jack Healy.
The Town Board listens to residents speak about the development of a condominium complex at the Seaford Avenue School.

Dozens of residents appeared before Hempstead’s Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4 to voice concerns about a proposed condominium development at the Seaford Avenue School.

The heated three plus hour hearing with advocates and opponents speaking passionately about the project ended in a unanimous vote by the town board to postpone a decision.

BK at Seaford LLC, a subsidiary of The Engel Burman Group in Garden City, is proposing to build 112 two bedroom, two bath condominium units on the 5.67 acre Seaford Avenue school lot located on the southwest corner of Seaford Avenue and Waverly Avenue, just north of Merrick Road in Seaford.

The developer is requesting a change in zoning from Residence B to Golden Age (GA) and seeking to lower the minimum age requirement from 62 to 55. Additionally, no children under the age of 18 will be permitted to live in the complex.

“This is a very contentious issue – too many units and too much traffic,” said Richard Campbell of Seaford. “This space [the Seaford Avenue School] is surrounded by tertiary streets. This development will have a tremendous detrimental impact on our community.”

But Robert Eschbacher, a traffic expert representing the Burman group, said that the development would have a “low traffic impact. Traffic patterns are different for seniors. Many don’t work and they don’t travel at rush hour. They also have no children to car pool.”

But residents disagreed with that assessment.“People drive into their eighties and people in their fifties are still driving to work,” said Seaford resident Maureen Kass. “I’m almost 50 and I’ll be working forever.”

In addition to traffic, residents raised concerns about the number of parking spaces in the development.

The developer is proposing to include 195 parking spaces, including 10 handicapped spaces, well within the GA zoning requirement. Some residents were confused over the parking requirements for a 55 plus community. Councilman Gary Hudes explained that the development is “seeking to lower the age requirement [from 62 to 55] but keep the parking spaces within the GA zone. It means you [the developer] are almost 100 spaces short.”

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