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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Seaford Avenue School questions remain
By Laura Schofer

Residents voiced concerns about the Town of Hempstead’s decision to grant a zoning change – from Residence B to Golden Age [GA] - to the developer BK at Seaford to build 112 condominiums at Seaford Avenue School.

GA zoning requires that residents living at The Seasons at Seaford be 62 years of age or older.

At a recent school board meeting, residents asked if the zoning change would affect the restrictions the public requested be placed in the contract. They requested that it include stipulations to keep kids out and must also be owner occupied. Residents wanted the community to be zoned CA for condominium development for persons 55 and older instead of GA because of tax implications.

Locals are concerned that the GA zone will allow the developer to apply for tax abatements and PILOTS [payments in lieu of taxes]. Resident Judith Conlon argued that the CA zoning would ensure tax revenue for the school district and avoid tax abatements. The GA designation allows the developer to apply for federal funds from HUD [Housing and Urban Development] and could include the requirement to provide housing for families as well as lower income housing.

BK at Seaford sought to lower the minimum age from 62 to 55 but keep the fewer parking spaces.

Mike Deery, spokesman for the Town of Hempstead, said “zoning has nothing to do with what the developer applies for. Condos do not get any IDA [industrial development authority] benefits [including PILOTS]. The developer has told us he’s planning on selling the condos at market rate prices.” BK at Seaford is looking to sell units for about $400,000.

Francis Radman, an attorney representing the district, said the change in zoning does not effect the agreement. “The Town of Hempstead has certain requirements which are separate from our agreement,” explained Radman.

School attorney Chris Venator added that the “Town is requiring the owner [Seaford Schools] to execute and sign this otherwise there will be no approval of the sale and we can’t go forward.” The school district could sell the land for $5.2 million if approved by the board.

But Roberta Grogan disagreed and requested that the school board get a second opinion from a tax attorney on the tax ramifications of golden age zoning.

Further action will be taken at the June 19 school board meeting.

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