Stillman, Ritter propose Seaside sale deadline

Waterford — State Rep. Betsy Ritter, D-Waterford and Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-20th District, have proposed a Jan. 1, 2015 deadline for the Department of Administrative Services to sell the former Seaside Regional Center property, as part of an amendment to a house bill that deals with conveyance of specific parcels of state land to localities.

Ritter said that she and Stillman proposed the amendment out of frustration with the amount of time it is taking the department to sell the property for development. The amendment has been tacked on to HB 5550, dealing with conveyance of state land, and two other bills that Ritter and Stillman said they could not recall offhand.

“The purpose of filing the amendment is really to serve as a wakeup call to the state,” said Stillman.

The property has been vacant for roughly 20 years, and the department and town have been working with the state’s preferred developer, Mark Steiner, since 1999 to finalize an agreement for the sale of the land.

Last week, Steiner submitted a proposal for additional changes to the zoning regulations of the property. The Planning and Zoning Commission will receive the proposal tonight.

Ritter said she was not aware that Steiner had submitted the proposal. She said that the amendment was placed about a week ago “for the sake of discussion.”

She said that soon after filing the amendment, the department reached out to her for a meeting. She said that in the meeting, the department informed her that due to contract obligations with Steiner the amendment could not legally pass.

The department could not be reached for comment about the amendment Monday. Steiner said that he was aware of the amendment, but declined to comment on it.

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