Mamaroneck Coastal Environment Coalition (Mamaroneck Coastal) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to obtain and provide information to the public regarding, and to ensure appropriate consideration of, policies and practices relating to land use in the Town and Village of Mamaroneck and in surrounding communities, focusing primarily on environmentally sensitive coastal areas in order to (i) understand the impact of proposed development and zoning matters on the community, (ii) protect the local environment and (iii) maintain and encourage public access to open space.
Hampshire Country Club had been a private, membership golf club since the 1930’s. It ran into trouble during the financial crisis in 2008 and was acquired in 2010 by a group that initially indicated it would not develop the property. However, most of the funding for the acquisition was provided by a private equity firm specializing in distressed real estate, and shortly after acquiring the property the owners proposed that part of the property be rezoned to allow for the development of a 120-unit massive five-story luxury condominium complex. The request for rezoning was not entertained by the Village Board of Trustees.
As a result of the refusal to consider rezoning, the owners’ only option for development was to submit a proposal that might fall within current zoning laws. Therefore, in 2016, Hampshire submitted to the Planning Board a proposal to build a housing development consisting of 105 homes (44 single-family homes and 66 town houses) on a portion of the golf course property. The development was proposed under a Village Code provision allowing for “Planned Residential Developments” to be authorized under specified circumstances by the Village Planning Board. The proposal would reduce the golf course to 9 non-contiguous holes ringing portions of the housing development.
A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was prepared by Hampshire and accepted by the Planning Board in 2018. A public hearing on the DEIS was held at two meetings – on February 14 and April 11, 2018. Community comments at those meetings, as well as additional comments submitted in writing, raised very significant issues regarding the proposed development.
Hampshire submitted a draft Final Environmental Impact Statement (DFEIS) in late 2018 with responses to the comments. The Planning Board, MCEC and members of the community submitted many comments on the DFEIS, with many questions raised regarding Hampshire’s responses, or lack thereof, to comments submitted on the DEIS. Over the next year, Hampshire submitted revised drafts of the DFEIS, each time refusing to make certain changes and to provide material pieces of information requested by the Planning Board.
Recently, Hampshire let the Planning Board know that it was not going to provide anything more in connection with the FEIS and told the Planning Board that the Planning Board needed to conclude its work on the FEIS without the requested additional material. As a result, the Planning Board took over responsibility for finalizing the FEIS.
The EIS, by law, is intended to address all material impacts of the project on the community, including impacts on our schools, traffic, infrastructure, noise, flooding, and, of course, the environment. Given that the project is the largest single development project ever undertaken in the Village, is on property that is a flood plain and is prone to flooding, and will destroy the single largest remaining area of open space, which has been designated as a Critical Environmental Area in the Village, it is critical that the FEIS contain accurate and complete information necessary to allow the Planning Board to make reasoned decisions regarding the project.
Throughout the process, Hampshire has made it clear in the DEIS and in statements and communications made to the Planning Board and to the community that its real objective is to build the originally proposed condo project. Hampshire is using the threat of the 105-home housing development to pressure the community to support a rezoning for the condo development.> See Mamaroneck Coastal’s Concerns Here
Board and Officers
Board of Directors
- Celia Felsher
- Bob Goodman
- Jane Herzog
- Dave Wenstrup
- Celia Felsher
- Dave Wenstrup
VP and Treasurer
- Jane Herzog
VP and Secretary