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Staff Directory

Masera Update

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Ask a Question: maseraquestions@wi.k12.ny.us

 

 

WHAT IS THE SIZE OF THE PROPERTY?
The 11-acre property sits on the west side of Udall Road, just north of Sunrise Highway. The building originally opened as
Paumanok Elementary School in 1955.
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WHEN WAS THE COMMUNITY NOTIFIED ABOUT THE PROPOSED SALE OF THE PROPERTY?
The District notified the community in the Lion’s Pride newsletter that went home to all households in early November 2019. Since that time, information has been posted on the district website.
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WHY DID THE BOARD OF EDUCATION CHOOSE TO SOLICIT OFFERS FOR SENIOR HOUSING?
The Board reviewed and analyzed all of the suggested uses proposed by Mrs. Winkler and the community, and decided that senior housing was the best use for the property and would provide the best financial outcome. West Islip is the only hamlet in the Town of Islip that does not have condominium or rental options for its over-55 population. The District is sensitive to the fact that it is a residential area and a 55-and-older development could stabilize the student population by allowing families with school-aged children to move into homes vacated by those who move to an apartment or condo.
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WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE STUDENT POPULATION INCREASED IN THE FUTURE?
Long-term studies were completed by BOCES in 2011 and again in 2016. These studies projected that the student population will continue to decline for the foreseeable future, and then level off. The district owns two other buildings that are presently leased and can be repurposed if the need were to arise.
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WHY DID THE DISTRICT ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF JAMIE WINKLER REAL ESTATE?
After a search, Mrs. Winkler was chosen a number of years ago to market the Westbrook and Kirdahy properties after the elementary schools closed in 2012. Based on the level of success achieved in leasing those properties, Mrs. Winkler was engaged by the Board of Education to negotiate and arrange for the solicitation of offers for the Masera property.
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WHAT IS THE PROCESS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MUST FOLLOW IN THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY?
Choose a broker. (Jamie Winkler Real Estate was chosen to market the property.)
Advertise the property. (Mrs. Winkler advertised in various venues to ensure widespread solicitation.)
Meet with developers who submitted the best offers. (The Board met with five of the eight developers that submitted offers on the property.)
Present the project to the community. (A public forum was held on December 12, and other community meetings were held as the project progresses.)
Choose a developer. A proposal by Terwilliger & Bartone was accepted by the Board at the September 10 Board of Education meeting.
Hold a community vote in January, at which time residents decide whether to approve the sale.
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WOULD THE PROPERTY BE RENTAL OR CONDOS?
It will be a mix-used development. The 11-acre property would be limited to 120 condo units or 132 apartments, or some combination thereof.
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WHAT IS THE PRICE RANGE FOR THE UNITS?
This is to be determined, but 10% of the units are required by Islip Town Code to be “affordable”. This means that the price of the units must be achievable for people earning 80% of the median income in the Town of Islip.
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WHAT WOULD BE THE ADDED BURDEN TO THE TRAFFIC ON UDALL ROAD?
The school run by BOCES at the Masera site employed 170 staff. Buses from all over Suffolk County arrived and departed from the site multiple times each day. Additionally, a traffic study will be completed to ensure that any development of the property does not put an added burden on the area.
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WILL THE PROPERTY PROVIDE A TAX ADVANTAGE TO THE DISTRICT?
The sale of the property would generate revenue to the district; the tax advantage is subject to the type of development and terms of the contract.
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WOULD THERE BE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT FOR HOMEOWNERS WHO WANT TO SELL THEIR HOME AND MOVE INTO THE DEVELOPMENT?
This may be considered as restrictive to outsiders, but can be investigated.
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WOULD THE DISTRICT BENEFIT MORE FROM RESIDENTIAL HOMES AND/OR A SMALL PARK?
Due to the current market and the cost of construction, it is not be cost-effective for a developer to purchase the property to build private housing. This option was explored with the final developers, and their projected offering was one-fifth of what the District was ultimately offered. A park or other such facility that the district would need to manage and maintain would not generate taxes for the district.
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WOULD THE YOUTH LEAGUES STILL BE ABLE TO USE THE FIELDS ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE PROPERTY?
The entire property would be sold. However, the District is cognizant of the community’s desire to provide space for our children to participate in club activities and therefore negotiated a $1.0 million donation from the developer to building fields within the district.
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WHAT ARE THE LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN SELLING A SCHOOL?
In union free school districts, the school board decides whether to sell the property. Education Law §1709(11) gives the board the authority to sell the property “at such price and upon such terms as [the] voters shall prescribe.” Although the district has a legal duty to provide certain information to voters prior to a referendum, this does not include appraisal price information.
The terms of the sale are subject to voter approval. The referendum put before the voters should speak in general terms, such as, “the Board of Education is authorized to sell the [referenced] property at or above its fair market value, as determined by an appraisal of the property.”
The school board has a fiduciary duty to secure the best price obtainable – in the board’s judgment – for any lawful use of the premises.
The Commissioner of Education has noted that “A board of education has broad discretion to determine the best price for which a property can be sold, to condition the sale on such terms, as in the board’s judgment, will yield the maximum financial benefit for the district, and to determine the best method of sale to be utilized in a particular case.”
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WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PROCEEDS FROM A SALE?
The District is required to retain the proceeds from the sale of the Masera school in a Reserve for Tax Reduction. Money from this reserve is to be appropriated annually up to ten years to offset the tax levy. Once sold, the property will also begin to generate tax revenue to the District, subject to IDA tax abatements for approximately 10 years (for the apartments only).
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WOULD SENIOR RESIDENTS MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO PASS A SCHOOL BUDGET BY VOTING “NO”?
Many of our senior residents are the most supportive members of our community. They have raised their own families in West Islip and sent their children to West Islip schools (if not having attended themselves). They appreciate this hamlet enough to stay for their lifetime, and recognize the connection between a strong school system and the value of their properties.
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WHAT BENEFIT DOES THE DISTRICT SEE FROM THE SALE OF THE MASERA PROPERTY? DO I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE TEN-YEAR TAX ABATEMENT TO SEE ANY TAX RELIEF?
The District will be able to offset the tax levy for up to ten years with the proceeds from the sale of the Masera property. The proceeds are required to be placed in a Reserve for Tax Reduction. The Board of Education is responsible for only one of the variables that affect property taxes: the tax levy. Other variables, such as changes in assessment (the taxable value of each property) and base proportions (how much of the overall assessment is paid by homeowners) are determined by the Assessor's Office. Actual taxes paid on a particular property are determined by taking the assessed value of a property, dividing it by 100, and multiplying it by the tax rate.
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WHY WAS AN ABATEMENT OFFERED TO THE DEVELOPERS AND WAS IT MANDATED BY LOCAL, COUNTY OR STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES?
The Town of Islip Economic Development offers a property tax abatement to developers of apartments (condominiums are not eligible).
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WHY DID THE BOARD RESTRICT THEIR ANALYSIS TO ONLY USES SUGGESTED BY MRS. WINKLER?
Mrs. Winkler brings twenty-three years of experience in the area, as well as an understanding of the local property values, so her recommendations were highly regarded. However, the Board did request that Mrs. Winkler explore uses that were originally not considered.
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WHAT WERE THE USES SUGGESTED BY MRS. WINKLER?
The Board sought Mrs. Winkler’s consult and considered senior housing, assisted living, single family homes, a professional office space, residential apartment complexes, golf course/sports complex, retail stores/restaurants, a park and a parking lot.
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WERE SINGLE FAMILY HOMES ONE OF THE SUGGESTED USES?
Yes.
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WOULD WEST ISLIP RESIDENTS HAVE “FIRST DIBS” AT HOUSING IN THIS COMPLEX? IF NOT, HOW WOULD THE COMPLEX BENEFIT CURRENT WEST ISLIP RESIDENTS?
A local preference policy could be subject to claims of “disparate impact” discrimination.
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IF AN OVER 55 RESIDENT OF THE COMPLEX HAS ADULT CHILDREN, SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN, OR LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP OF SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN, WILL THOSE CHILDREN BE ALLOWED TO LIVE IN THE COMPLEX?
Article X, Section 68-119.3 of the Islip Town Zoning Code defines a senior citizen “as any person 55 years of age or older. The senior citizen's immediate family is limited to the senior citizen's spouse, children and grandchildren 19 years of age or older. Adults under 55 years of age may be admitted as permanent residents if it is established to the satisfaction of the Town Board that the presence of such person is essential for the physical care or economic support of eligible older persons…Occupancy of all housing units within a Residence C District shall be restricted to senior citizens as provided herein.”
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WHAT WOULD BE THE ADDED BURDEN TO THE TRAFFIC ON UDALL ROAD?
The Eastern Suffolk BOCES school at the Masera site employed approximately 170 staff. Buses from all over Suffolk County arrived and departed from the site multiple times each day. A residential complex will result in a more equitable traffic flow during the course of the day, and residents will not experience the heavy traffic pattern that homeowners near schools encounter during the arrival and dismissal times on school days.
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THE PARKING LOT AT MASERA WAS NOT VERY LARGE. CAN YOU CONFIRM THAT THE FIGURE OF 170 REPRESENTS THE NUMBER OF STAFF MEMBERS WHO ACTUALLY REPORTED TO MASERA ON AN AVERAGE DAY AND DOES NOT INCLUDE SUPPORT STAFF DOMICILED AT OTHER ESBOCES LOCATIONS?
The figure represents only those employees who reported to the West Islip ESBOCES site. Masera employees would not have been driving in the area at night or on weekends.
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IT IS TRUE THAT THE MASERA FIELDS WERE USED FOR SOCCER PRACTICE AND GAMES, BUT ALL VEHICLE TRAFFIC ENTERED AND EXITED ON UDALL ROAD?
Yes.
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IF THE COMPLEX IS BUILT, WILL LOCAL ROADS THAT CURRENTLY TERMINATE AT THE MASERA PROPERTY BE OPEN FOR TRAFFIC TO FLOW IN AND\OR OUT OF THE COMPLEX?
No.
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WILL THE PROPERTY PROVIDE A TAX ADVANTAGE TO THE DISTRICT?
The sale of the property would generate revenue to the district.
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IS IT STILL THE CASE THAT THE CURRENT DEVELOPER CONTRACTUALLY AGREES NOT TO SEEK ANY VARIANCES FROM THE TOWN OF ISLIP BEYOND THE ZONING CHANGE REQUESTED?
Yes.
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HAS THE ZONING CHANGE BEEN APPROVED? IF NOT, HOW WILL RESIDENTS BE NOTIFIED OF THE HEARING?
The developer will not apply for the zoning change until the voters approve the sale. According to the contract, the Purchaser has two (2) years after the sale is authorized to obtain a change of zone from the Town of Islip to “Residence C” zoning and all applicable approvals and permits from all applicable governmental and municipal authorities and agencies, including but not limited to, the Town of Islip, the Town Board of the Town of Islip, the Town of Islip Planning Board, Suffolk County, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, and Suffolk County Department of Public Works for the purpose of constructing senior housing.
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WHAT IS THE ZONING CHANGE?
The zoning change is rom Residence B District to Residence C District.
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TO WHAT USE WILL THE BOARD OF EDUCATION PUT THE MONEY IT RECEIVES FROM THE SALE OF MASERA TO THE DEVELOPER OF A SENIOR COMPLEX?
The proceeds are placed in a Reserve for Tax Reduction to offset the tax levy for a period up to 10 years.
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WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO WILL BE PERMITTED TO LIVE WITHIN THE ENTIRE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
The purchaser understands and agrees that any such approvals and/or permits shall be based upon at least twenty-six (26) of such units to be constructed being offered for sale as townhomes and/or condominiums and one hundred (100) rental units.
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HAS THE BOARD OR DEVELOPER CONSULTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (“DOT”) ABOUT THE NEED FOR ANY SUCH ADDITIONAL MEANS OF INGRESS AND EGRESS? IF SO, WHAT DID THE DOT ADVISE?
Since the project is in the design stage, and the developer is taking the time to elicit feedback from the community, the site plans have not been finalized. However, “Means of ingress or egress to and from the property shall only be from and to Udall Road and shall not be permitted to any other access point.”
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HAS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ENGAGED AN EXPERT FIREFIGHTER TO STUDY THE IMPACT THAT UP TO 132 UNITS OF SENIOR HOUSING ON THE MASERA?
The Board has consulted with the leadership of the West Islip Fire Department, which does not anticipate the construction of senior housing to be a burden to its services.
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HAS THE BOARD OR DEVELOPER CONSULTED WITH THE DOT ABOUT THE NEED FOR ANY SUCH TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES? IF SO, WHAT DID THE DOT ADVISE?
Since the project is in the design stage, and the developer is taking the time to elicit feedback from the community, the site plans have not been finalized.
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WILL THE VOTES OF ALL ELIGIBLE VOTERS, (THOSE AGE 18+), BE COUNTED AT THE VOTE REGARDING THE MASERA SALE, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE?
Only those who are registered to vote may do so.
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IF THE MAJORITY VOTES AGAINST THE PROPOSED SALE OF MASERA TO THE DEVELOPER, WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP THAT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL TAKE WITH RESPECT TO THE DISPOSITION OF THE VACANT MASERA BUILDING?
The Board of Education has not made a decision as to how to proceed should the vote fail.
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PURSUANT TO NEW YORK EDUCATION LAW §1804(6)A, WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP THAT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL TAKE WITH RESPECT TO THE DISPOSITION OF THE VACANT MASERA BUILDING IF THE VOTE FAILS?
Pursuant to §1805, a board has the right to dispose of a property upon the expiration of five years from the date of discontinuance of a school. This means that the board may, in its discretion and without a vote, sell or otherwise dispose of the property in a manner provided by law.
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IF THE TOWN OF ISLIP PLANNING BOARD DENIES THE REQUEST FOR A ZONING CHANGE FOR PURPOSES OF DEVELOPING A SENIOR COMPLEX ON THE MASERA SITE, WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP THAT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL TAKE WITH RESPECT TO THE DISPOSITION OF THE VACANT MASERA BUILDING?
The Board of Education has not made a decision as to how to proceed should the Islip Planning Board deny a zoning change on the Masera property.
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ARE THERE OTHER SCHOOLS WITHIN WEST ISLIP THAT PRESENTLY ARE VACANT, OR THAT ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME VACANT IN THE NEAR FUTURE, WHICH WERE CONSIDERED FOR THIS PROPOSED SENIOR HOUSING COMPLEX WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING?
No. Both the Westbrook and Kirdahy buildings are almost fully leased for the next few years.
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WHAT TYPE OF TAX INCENTIVES OR OTHER BENEFITS, IF ANY, WILL THE SCHOOL DISTRICT GET FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (“HUD”) FOR AGREEING TO OFFER “AFFORDABLE HOUSING” IN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
The developer is required to set aside a minimum of 10% of all apartments/ownership units as affordable housing. The contract between the District and developer states “The property shall not be used for affordable housing units, except to the extent that such property may have sufficient affordable housing units in order to comply with the minimum requirements under the Code of the Town of Islip, Industrial Development Agency or other applicable laws.”
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WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE ATTORNEY WHO WILL BE REPRESENTING THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN THE SALE OF MASERA?
The Law Offices of Thomas M. Volz, PLLC will represent the district.
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THE BOARD ADVISED THAT IT CHOSE JAMIE WINKLER AS THE REAL ESTATE BROKER ON THE MASERA SALE BECAUSE THEY ARE HAPPY WITH THE MANNER IN WHICH SHE HANDLED OTHER REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS FOR THE BOARD IN THE PAST. WHAT PRIOR REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS HAS JAMIE WINKLER BROKERED ON BEHALF OF THE DISTRICT?
Mrs. Winkler is the real estate broker of record for most of the lease transactions in which the district is engaged at Kirdahy and Westbrook.
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WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE SALES PRICE OF MASERA WILL REAL ESTATE BROKER JAMIE WINKLER GET AS HER COMMISSION?
Mrs. Winkler’s contract states that she is entitled to a commission of 4% of the sale price of the property if she is both the listing and selling agent, and 5% if she acts as only the listing agent. She is both the listing and selling agent.
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WILL THE BOARD OF EDUCATION PROFIT FROM: (A) THE SALE OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX; OR (B) THE RENTAL OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
No.
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WILL ANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION PROFIT FROM: (A) THE SALE OF MASERA, TO THE DEVELOPER OF A SENIOR COMPLEX; (B) THE SALE OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX; (C) THE RENTAL OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
No.
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HAVE ANY ORAL OR WRITTEN AGREEMENTS BEEN MADE PURSUANT TO WHICH ANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL: (A) BE GIVEN PREFERENCE IN EITHER OWNING OR RENTING UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX; OR (B) BE GIVEN DISCOUNTS ON THE PRICES OF UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
No.
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ON WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, IF ANY, AND WITHIN WHAT DATE RANGE, HAS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION DISCUSSED THE PROPOSED SALE OF MASERA? HAVE ALL OF THE BOARD’S SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS REGARDING THE SALE OF MASERA BEEN “PUBLIC”, AS OPPOSED TO “PRIVATE”?
Except for discussions in the Board of Education’s Executive Session as it relates to the terms of the contract with Terwilliger and Bartone, all discussions have been public. The Board has posted information on its facebook page and the district website as it has become available.
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HOW PROMINENT WAS THE NOTICE ABOUT THE PROPOSED SALE OF MASERA IN THE NEWSLETTER THAT THE BOARD SAYS WAS SENT TO RESIDENTS? DID THAT NOTICE CONTAIN ALL OF THE DETAILS OF THE SALE? DOES THE BOARD STILL HAVE A COPY OF THAT NEWSLETTER?
Information about the sale of Masera appeared in The Lions Pride – the district newsletter – in Fall 2019, Winter 2020, and Fall 2020. Additionally, a public notice regarding the February 25, 2020 public forum was mailed to each home in February 2020, as was a postcard in September 2020 inviting the community to one of three open houses that were held to discuss the project. The district retains copies of all newsletters and other mailings.
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WHAT FACTORS WENT INTO CHOOSING THE DEVELOPER?
Mrs. Winkler advertised in various venues to ensure widespread solicitation of developers. The Board of Education then met with five of the eight developers that submitted offers on the property. A public forum was held on December 12, after which the developer was chosen. The Board negotiated a contract that reflects feedback from the community with Terwilliger & Bartone, which was accepted by the Board at the September 10 Board of Education meeting.
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WHAT PRIOR REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS HAS JAMIE WINKLER BROKERED ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION?
Mrs. Winkler is the real estate broker of record for most of the lease transactions in which the district is engaged at Kirdahy and Westbrook.
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WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COUNTING THE VOTES REGARDING THE SALE OF MASERA?
The district clerk collaborates with the board of elections, which is ultimately responsible to provide for the counting of the ballots by any combination of electronic, mechanical or other devices. Prior to every election, the Board of Elections: designates a central counting place for each community district where the ballots are brought together and counted publicly; appoints a board of two competent persons to act as directors of the count for such counting place; employs a sufficient staff of assistants for each counting place; and makes suitable arrangements for the counting and recording of the ballots.
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WHY IS THE BOARD PROPOSING TO BUILD RENTAL UNITS ON THE MASERA PROPERTY IF RENTERS DO NOT PAY PROPERTY TAXES AND MORE INCOME WOULD BE GENERATED FOR THE DISTRICT BY HAVING ALL UNITS OWNED?
The owner of the property pays the taxes. Therefore, the owner of the apartments pays the real estate taxes.
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WHAT IS THE RATIONALE FOR BUILDING A 55 AND OVER CONDO/RENTAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE MASERA PROPERTY?
West Islip is the only hamlet in the Town of Islip that does not have condominium or rental options for its over-55 population. The District is sensitive to the fact that it is a residential area and a 55-and-older development could stabilize the student population by allowing families with school-aged children to move into homes vacated by those who move to an apartment or condo. Condos and apartments can provide amenities such as pools, community rooms and workout facilities on site without the extra costs of ownership and maintenance.
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WAS A STUDY DONE OF WHETHER THERE IS A NEED WITHIN THE TOWN OF ISLIP FOR 55+ HOUSING?
A formal study was not done.
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WHAT PERCENTAGE OF UNITS IN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX WILL BE OFFERED AS “AFFORDABLE HOUSING”?
A minimum of 10% of all apartments/ownership units shall be set aside as affordable housing. The contract between the District and developer states “The property shall not be used for affordable housing units, except to the extent that such property may have sufficient affordable housing units in order to comply with the minimum requirements under the Code of the Town of Islip, Industrial Development Agency or other applicable laws.” The minimum requirements under the Code of the Town of Islip is as follows:

Affordable housing, Rental units
The adjusted gross annual income for occupants of affordable one-bedroom units shall not exceed 80% of the current median family income for the Nassau-Suffolk Fair Market Rent Area as published annually by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD MF") for a family size of two, and the cost of monthly rent plus utilities for each of the affordable units shall not exceed 30% of 80% of median income for a family size of two. Rents must either include utilities (heat, electricity and water), or must be reduced in accordance with the most current utility schedule available from the Islip Housing Authority.

Affordable housing, Sale units
The initial sales price of each sale housing unit shall not exceed a multiple (two times for a one-bedroom unit and three times for a two-bedroom unit) of 100% of the estimated median family income for the sale year for the Nassau-Suffolk, New York HUD Metro FMR Area as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"). The Town Board in its discretion may permit by Town Board resolution a range of affordability levels for a particular project, provided that the average level of affordability complies with this requirement. In addition, each individual purchasing family's income shall not exceed 100% of the estimated median family income for the sale year for the Nassau-Suffolk, NY HUD Metro FMR Area as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), as adjusted for family size. Subsequent purchasers of such units shall have at the time of purchase an income at or below 100% of the median income for the Nassau-Suffolk primary statistical area as defined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nothing herein shall limit the Town Board's ability to require a mitigation fee in lieu of construction of affordable housing in accordance with provisions of New York State Town Law. To insure continued compliance with this legislation, and as a condition of a change of zone or subdivision approval pursuant to New York State Town Law, all affordable sale units shall be subject to covenants and restrictions that run with the land, and restrict the sale and resale of such units in accordance with the above requirements.
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ARE THE APARTMENTS LIMITED TO SENIOR AND/OR AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS? ARE THERE ANY APARTMENTS UNITS THAT ARE NOT SENIOR AND/OR AFFORDABLE UNITS?
The property will only be permitted to be used as “Residence C District” property, as that term is defined under the Code of the Town of Islip as only being permitted to be used for “senior citizen apartments” and “senior citizen attached or detached single-family dwellings.” All units would be used for senior living, though the portion of the development used for affordable housing units would be limited to that which is required to comply with the minimum requirements of the Town of Islip.
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HOW WILL LOW INCOME RENTAL UNITS AT THE MASERA PROPERTY BENEFIT WEST ISLIP HOME OWNERS?
There is no provision to build low-income rental units on the Masera property. Low-income housing is different from affordable housing. Article X of the Islip Town Code states: “A minimum of 10% of all apartments/ownership units shall be set aside as affordable housing. The contract between the district and the developer states: “The property shall not be used for affordable housing units, except to the extent that such property may have sufficient affordable housing units in order to comply with the minimum requirements under the Code of the Town of Islip, Industrial Development Agency or other applicable laws.”
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COULD AFFORDABLE HOUSING MEAN SECTION 8 HOUSING?
Section 8 housing provides project-based rental assistance. This means that the rent is subsidized and the amount of rent paid is based on monthly income, minus certain deductions. Affordable housing offers different income qualifying levels.
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HAS THE BOARD DONE A STUDY ON THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF SECTION 8 RENTERS?
There is no provision to build low-income rental units on the Masera property, so there is no reason to conduct such a study.
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ARE THERE ANY OTHER “LEGALLY REQUIRED PURPOSES” FOR WHICH THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MAY USE THE PROCEEDS OF THE SALE BEFORE APPLYING THE PROCEEDS TO GRANT TAX ABATEMENTS TO WEST ISLIP HOME OWNERS?
No.
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WHAT AUTHORITY DOES THE BOARD OF EDUCATION HAVE NOT TO SHARE THE APPRAISAL PRICE OF MASERA WITH THE COMMUNITY, AS STATED ON ONE OF ITS PUBIC POSTS?
Education Law section 1709(11) gives the board the authority to sell the property “at such price and upon such terms as [the] voters shall prescribe.” Although the district has a legal duty to provide certain information to voters prior to a referendum, this does not include appraisal price information. The New York Court of Appeals has held that an appraisal price is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act because such disclosure could negatively affect offers on the property.
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PLEASE PROVIDE A CITATION TO THE RULE AND/OR REGULATION IN WHICH THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION STATED THAT IT IS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S “FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO BRING IN AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE TO THE DISTRICT.
The standard, as articulated by the Commissioner of Education, is that a school board has a fiduciary duty to secure the best price obtainable – in the Board’s judgment – for any lawful use of the premises. In Appeal of White, the Commissioner noted, “A board of education has broad discretion to determine the best price for which a property can be sold, to condition the sale on such terms, as in the board’s judgment, will yield the maximum financial benefit for the district, and to determine the best method of sale to be utilized in a particular case.” Obtaining the highest price is not the only consideration. A school board may consider other factors, such as future tax consequences that would accrue to the school district.
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WHAT, IF ANY, DEAL HAS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MADE WITH ATLANTIC AUTO MALL, INCLUDING THE RECENTLY VACATED AUDI DEALERSHIP IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE MASERA PROPERTY?
No such deal exists.
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ON WHAT DATE DID ESBOCES VACATE THE MASERA BUILDING?
Eastern Suffolk BOCES vacated the building in September 2019.
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HAS THE BOARD APPLIED FOR A CHANGE OF ZONING OF THE MASERA PROPERTY TO RESIDENCE C DISTRICT?
The developer makes the change of zoning application after the district voters approve the sale.
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HAS THE JANUARY 19, 2021 DATE BEEN CONFIRMED WITH THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS?
The vote date has been confirmed with the Board of Elections.
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WHEN WILL A MAILING GO TO RESIDENTS WITH DETAILS OF THE VOTE?
A postcard will be mailed shortly. The absentee ballot application has been posted on the district website. A newsletter with details will be sent to voters prior to the vote.
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DOES THE DEVELOPER INTEND TO APPLY FOR A 10 YEAR TAX ABATEMENT AND IF SO, HOW DOES THE TAX ABATEMENT IMPACT PROPERTY TAXES FOR RENTAL APARTMENTS VERSUS CONDOS?
Article 8 of the contract explains that the purchaser could seek to obtain PILOTs for a maximum term of 10 years. While not specifically laid out in the contract, only the rental units are eligible for the PILOT payments due to the nature of the project. The purchaser would begin paying taxes based upon the then assessed value of the property upon closing and would only commence paying PILOTs after the Town issues them a certificate of occupancy. Purchasers of townhomes and/or condominiums could expect to pay taxes upon purchase of the unit. The purchaser would pay taxes on the townhomes and/or condominiums until they are able to find a buyer for each plot.
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IS THE ABATEMENT LIMITED TO THE INCREASED ASSESSMENT FROM THE DEVELOPMENT VERSUS THE CURRENT ASSESSED VALUE AND PHASED IN OVER 10 YEARS? IF SO WOULD THE DEVELOPER IMMEDIATELY BEGIN PAYING PROPERTY TAXES ON THE CURRENT ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY?
The purchaser will obtain PILOT approval as of the time they close on the property but will pay taxes on the assessed value of the property as of that time. The purchaser would not begin paying the PILOT payments until the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, the payment of which will gradually increase over time so that the end of the period the owner is paying the full tax apportionment.
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WILL THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT BE CONSIDERED A LUXURY DEVELOPMENT? WHAT MAKES IT SUCH?
Yes, it is considered luxury class A based on the high finish level and amenities, especially high ceilings, stone tops, stainless appliances, washer/dryers, a pool, pond, clubhouse, gym, onsite staff, and so on. As a luxury community, it will command rents commensurate with that level of finish and service.
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WHEN WILL THE TRAFFIC STUDY BE DONE?
The traffic study will be done as part of the site plan review process with Islip Town and Suffolk County.
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WILL THE RESIDENTS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO VIEW THE TRAFFIC STUDY PRIOR TO THE VOTE?
No, but the traffic study itself will be a public process with public hearings as part of the town site plan review.
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WHO WILL CONDUCT THE TRAFFIC STUDY?
R&M Engineering will conduct the traffic study, with review by the town and/or county traffic engineers.
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WILL A NEGATIVE TRAFFIC STUDY NEGATE THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY?
No, the town and/or county traffic engineers will advise on the necessary traffic mitigation measures that will be required.
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WILL THERE BE A NEED FOR NEW OR ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES, SUCH AS STOP SIGNS, TRAFFIC LIGHTS, AND CROSSWALKS?
The town and/or county traffic engineers will determine the need for traffic control devices. The developers will install whatever is required.
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HAS THE DEVELOPER CONSULTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (“DOT”) ABOUT THE NEED FOR ANY SUCH ADDITIONAL MEANS OF INGRESS AND EGRESS? IF SO, WHAT DID THE DOT ADVISE?
No, such consultation is part of the site plan review process.
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ONCE THE PERCENTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS IS DETERMINED, WILL THAT PERCENTAGE STAY THE SAME IN PERPETUITY OR CHANGE WITH TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS MARKET CONDITIONS?
The percentage of affordable housing units will remain in perpetuity.
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IF IT TURNS OUT THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE VOTES IS IN FAVOR OF THE PROPOSED SALE, WHEN IS CONSTRUCTION EXPECTED TO BEGIN AND FOR HOW LONG IS CONSTRUCTION EXPECTED TO LAST?
The site plan review process takes a good deal of time, taking up or more than two years. Once that is concluded and building permits are issued, construction will take approximately 18 months.
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HAS A PROPERTY MANAGER BEEN SELECTED?
No.
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WHO WILL BE THE REAL ESTATE AGENT(S) FOR THE SALE AND RENTAL OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
Kelly Development, the condominium builder, will themselves likely handle sales of the units.
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HOW WILL PROSPECTIVE HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS BE SOLICITED?
Homeowners and renters will be solicited through internet-based platforms, print advertising, mailers, signage at the site, and word of mouth.
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HAS AN EXPERT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SANITATION STUDIED THE IMPACT OF UP TO 132 UNITS ON THE MASERA PROPERTY?
The Department of Sanitation has not studied the impact, but the property will be served by private sanitation companies so there will be no impact to public service.
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WILL THE COUNTING OF THE VOTES BE AUDITED IN ANY WAY? IF SO, BY WHOM?
There is no audit process and only the Commissioner of Education could order a recount.
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HOW CAN CURRENT RESIDENT HOME OWNERS BE SURE THAT THEY WILL GET THE FULL 10 YEAR TAX ABATEMENT?
In accordance with Education Law §1709(37), the Board of Education is required to place the proceeds from the sale in a reserve for tax reduction for 10 years.
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DO ANY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION HAVE A FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH:

  • JAMIE WINKLER?
    No.
  • THE DEVELOPER?
    No.
  • ANY OF THE CONTRACTORS THAT THE DEVELOPER PROPOSES TO USE?
    The Board does not know which contractors or subcontractors will be selected to build the complex; the decision is that of the developer of the property.
  • THE REAL ESTATE AGENT(S) WHO WILL HANDLE SALES AND RENTALS OF INDIVIDUAL UNITS WITHIN THE PROPOSED SENIOR COMPLEX?
    The Board does not know which real estate agent(s) will be selected; the decision is that of the developer of the property.
  • THE ATTORNEY WHO WILL BE REPRESENTING THE BOARD IN THE SALE OF MASERA?
    No.
  • THE PROPOSED PROPERTY MANAGER?
    The Board does not know which property manager will be selected; the decision is that of the developer of the property.
  • ANY MEMBERS OF THE TOWN OF ISLIP PLANNING BOARD?
    No.
  • THE TOWN OF ISLIP ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS?
    No.


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DO ANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION HOLD AN OWNERSHIP INTEREST IN:

  • THE DEVELOPER’S COMPANY?
    No.
  • THE COMPANIES OF ANY PROPOSED CONTRACTORS?
    The Board does not know which contractors or subcontractors will be involved in the complex and has no control over the selection.
  • THE PROPOSED PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY?
    No.


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