Hoping to preserve open space in Seaford Harbor
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John Stellakis, attorney for Murphy, Bartol and O’Brien confirmed the Victors suspicions. “We have reviewed the deeds and neither of the adjoining properties have that lot. The [original] deeds have language that states the property is reserved for public use,” said Mr. Stellakis.
O.L. Schwenke, Seaford Harbor’s developer, set aside these anchorage lots in the 1920s as an incentive to sell homes. In an advertisement from that era provided to the Citizen by the Seaford Historical Society, it reads “all lots directly on the water or with full water rights for boat anchorage or bathing...” The advertisement also states that “regardless of what plot you buy, where located, how large or small, with every deed goes the privilege and the water right of boating, bathing and fishing.”
Now that it has been determined the public owns the land, Mr. Stellakis said “the Victors would like to put up a sign saying so.”
But one of the neighbors living adjacent to the anchorage lot objected. “All we tried to do is make it nice,” she said.
Her husband added that the action to keep them from buying the property was in retaliation for complaining about the Victors’ feeding the geese. “Why are you looking at this piece? No one has done anything about these lots,” he said.
Phil Franco explained. “Most people don’t know these lots exist. We have looked into this in the past, probably around 1987. Now we are looking at it again.”
Another neighbor added, “this is not about the birds. Before your house was built we had problems with that property down there. The developer wanted to build condos. It’s that whole stretch,” she said, referring to the most southerly tip of Ocean Avenue. “It’s been in the public’s eye and we are fed up. We have to stick up for ourselves. It’s not you. The point is the property belongs to us.”
Charles Wroblewski, President of the Seaford Historical Society and civic member said there are 15 to 20 of these plots. “Some are fenced in and the [adjacent] property owners don’t pay taxes. People are taking over for their own benefit.”
Additionally, some pieces may be environmentally sensitive and under the protection of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.