This aerial view of LIU Post's campus is near where...

This aerial view of LIU Post's campus is near where the university recently bought 14 acres that previously hosted Camp Jacobson, a Jewish day camp. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The owners of a once-beloved former Jewish day camp in Brookville sold the property last month to LIU Post for $8.5 million after a zoning battle with the village that carried on for years, county and court records show.

The university declined to comment on its plans for the 14-acre plot at 340 Old Wheatley Rd., but Brookville Mayor Daniel Serota said any plan would have to come before the village’s zoning board.

Records from the Nassau County Clerk's Office show the sale was recorded on Sept. 28. The site is next to the university campus, not far from its equestrian center and athletic fields.

The East Hills-based Sid Jacobson Community Center, the property's former owner, first ran into complications when attempting to widen the camp's Wheatley Road entrance in 2014.

After Brookville requested more information on the proposal, the camp created a master plan to expand its facilities and amenities, but the village zoning board denied the necessary permits in 2017, court documents show.

The village's zoning board also indicated then that Camp Jacobson was not religious or educational enough to qualify for a zoning exemption that its predecessor, Robinhood summer camp, qualified for during more than 50 years of operation and therefore was in violation of town code.

The JCC sued to try to overturn the zoning decision, but state Supreme Court Justice James McCormack ruled for the village in 2017.

“While that camp may seek to instill Jewish morals and a Jewish way of life into the campers, the campers will still spend most of their time doing nonreligious recreation activities,” McCormack wrote in his decision, Newsday previously reported.

The zoning board's ruling, however, was limited to the permits for expansion, allowing the camp to continue operating in the years that followed, McCormack said in a decision earlier this year.

That decision followed a lawsuit the village filed in summer 2022 against the JCC in an effort to halt the camp's operations.

Court records show the JCC voluntarily decided to close the camp for the 2023 season before the site's sale.

Serota, Brookville's mayor, said during a recent interview the “wheels came off the proverbial cart” after the JCC opened its camp in 2009 after buying the site in 2008, citing issues with loud noise on the weekends.

JCC officials, however, placed blame for the camp's eventual closure on village leaders.

“The shame of our closure falls squarely on the Village of Brookville,” David Black, the JCC's executive director, said in an October letter to families of campers.

Black said the village began to invoke rules that weren't brought up until several years after JCC bought the property, and litigation caused financial struggles for the camp.

While other uses for the property were debated, a sale was the ultimate resolution after LIU expressed interest in the property, according to Black.

“We wish LIU Post well and hope they use those grounds to enhance society and build community,” Black also said in the letter to camp families.

The owners of a once-beloved former Jewish day camp in Brookville sold the property last month to LIU Post for $8.5 million after a zoning battle with the village that carried on for years, county and court records show.

The university declined to comment on its plans for the 14-acre plot at 340 Old Wheatley Rd., but Brookville Mayor Daniel Serota said any plan would have to come before the village’s zoning board.

Records from the Nassau County Clerk's Office show the sale was recorded on Sept. 28. The site is next to the university campus, not far from its equestrian center and athletic fields.

The East Hills-based Sid Jacobson Community Center, the property's former owner, first ran into complications when attempting to widen the camp's Wheatley Road entrance in 2014.

After Brookville requested more information on the proposal, the camp created a master plan to expand its facilities and amenities, but the village zoning board denied the necessary permits in 2017, court documents show.

The village's zoning board also indicated then that Camp Jacobson was not religious or educational enough to qualify for a zoning exemption that its predecessor, Robinhood summer camp, qualified for during more than 50 years of operation and therefore was in violation of town code.

The JCC sued to try to overturn the zoning decision, but state Supreme Court Justice James McCormack ruled for the village in 2017.

“While that camp may seek to instill Jewish morals and a Jewish way of life into the campers, the campers will still spend most of their time doing nonreligious recreation activities,” McCormack wrote in his decision, Newsday previously reported.

The zoning board's ruling, however, was limited to the permits for expansion, allowing the camp to continue operating in the years that followed, McCormack said in a decision earlier this year.

That decision followed a lawsuit the village filed in summer 2022 against the JCC in an effort to halt the camp's operations.

Court records show the JCC voluntarily decided to close the camp for the 2023 season before the site's sale.

Serota, Brookville's mayor, said during a recent interview the “wheels came off the proverbial cart” after the JCC opened its camp in 2009 after buying the site in 2008, citing issues with loud noise on the weekends.

JCC officials, however, placed blame for the camp's eventual closure on village leaders.

“The shame of our closure falls squarely on the Village of Brookville,” David Black, the JCC's executive director, said in an October letter to families of campers.

Black said the village began to invoke rules that weren't brought up until several years after JCC bought the property, and litigation caused financial struggles for the camp.

While other uses for the property were debated, a sale was the ultimate resolution after LIU expressed interest in the property, according to Black.

“We wish LIU Post well and hope they use those grounds to enhance society and build community,” Black also said in the letter to camp families.

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