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Home Towns Mamaroneck Hampshire Club Housing Fight Heats Up

Hampshire Club Housing Fight Heats Up

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Hampshire Club golf course

Mamaroneck–As residents in the Orienta Point Association (OPA) in Mamaroneck met Monday to continue to fight the planned development of the Hampshire Country Club site, the Club released a statement saying,”The status quo of continuing to operate the club as a standalone facility is simply not an option.  We believe our vision offers the most benefits to the largest number of Mamaroneck constituents.”

The proposed development of a large apartment complex on one of the last areas of open wetlands in the area has met with fierce reaction from residents, environmentalists and more. A group known as Mamaroneck Coastal was formed in response to the plans of the developers of the Club to seek a zoning change.

Club owners want to build a five-story, 110 to 125-unit apartment-style condominium and parking facility on the property, now a golf course, pool and club houses.

“It raises numerous other issues including traffic…particularly around the Hommocks School, flooding on an historically flood prone site…and scale,” according to the statement on Mamaroneck Coastal’s website.

In a letter to theLoop from the Global Strategy Group, a public relations firm representing Hampshire, Thomas Nappi, Senior Project Manager of the Club writes, “These beautifully-designed, eco-friendly residences will subsidize the Club’s operations – a model that has been proven to work around the country – and provide a wide range of benefits to the community.”

He cites a plan by Mamaroneck Village that would change Hampshire’s zoning to allow development on the property.  He says 112 acres of Hampshire’s 117 are zoned for residential development, allowing for 100 single family homes, which would have a far more negative impact.

“Under (our) plan, new residences will be attached to, and behind, the existing clubhouse, and only visible to a small number of homes during certain parts of the year.  To further reduce the visual impact of the project, plans call for underground resident parking.”

Members of the OPA have written to local elected officials, saying, “The Hampshire developers are experienced real estate investors with millions of dollars to gain. They purchased Hampshire with full knowledge of its zoning restrictions, and, despite such knowledge, are choosing to move forward with this proposal, believing that these restrictions should not apply to them. They should not be permitted to profit on their bet that our Village would ignore our current laws and Comprehensive Plan and permit their desired rezoning.”

What do you say?

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Jane Herzog
Jane Herzog
7 years ago

At every meeting relating to the proposed development of condos at Hampshire, the developers tell the public what good neighbors they are. As a very close neighbor living on Cove Road, I can tell you that that is far from accurate.

The Club, while they say otherwise, has their delivery trucks continually come down Cove Road along with their private garbage collector. This is at all hours of the day, usually beginning at 5 AM. There are huge trucks navigating down a narrow, winding and dangerous road that kids use to get to the Hommocks and many runners and bicyclists use as well.

Hampshire closes their section of the road at will to accommodate a film shoot or other event without notification to the surrounding neighbors. The condition of the road is deplorable, made much worse by their trucks. They do nothing to repair or maintain the road.

On busy weekends in the summer, their valets park cars along our lawns, in front of our driveways and even in our driveways. They do not maintain their property on the Cove Road side of the golf course in spite of continued requests.

When they have weddings or other big events, up to a hundred cars might come through within the course of less than an hour.

All of this is an existing condition. If they were to build their condo/hotel project, the exponential result of this would be a complete disaster for our community. The condos would go into a rental pool resulting in transients in our neighborhood, the large events that they would host would result in more traffic, deliveries, garbage collection, noise, light, flooding and ultimately the ruination of a neighborhood that many of us have lived in in relative peace for many years. Do we want this in the middle of Mamaroneck? I hardly think so! Approval of this re-zoning by the Village would be horrendous for the community and only to the financial gain of the private developers who knew the limitations of the property when they purchased it for a song.

John Hofstetter
John Hofstetter
7 years ago

Thomas –

I appreciate you trying to clear things up however; you have made them less so. The issue is a 5 story condominium project with a 2 story parking garage would not be legal anywhere in the Village.

Just so our audience understands what we are talking about…Stand in front of Mamaroneck High School on Boston Post Road. Take a snap shot of the whole façade – from Starbucks to the turf field. That is the size of the building that was discussed at the Hampshire Open House. Now bury two stories of parking.

Now take into account that the area that “may be proposed” for development is not zoned for residential development, is adjacent to a “critical environmental area” and becomes an island in a heavy rain storm or nor’easter (which we have had a lot of lately) and the Village has a problem.

Several years ago other condo developments in the Village were built in low lying areas with parking areas below…the storms came. During these storms the VOM Fire Department, MEMS and Police worked long hours at keeping people safe. The Village shouldn’t be complicating their work by allowing development in an area that we all know floods and is cut off from emergency service personnel. In at least one instance they had to put a boat in to respond to an emergency call at one of the new developments. That took time and energy and focus away from other emergencies that were occurring at the very same time.

All the community wants is responsible development. Put forward a responsible, zoning compliant plan and it would be responsibly considered.

Orienta Point Association
Orienta Point Association
7 years ago

Hampshire Country Club’s developer recently publicized a plan to build 106 single family homes across its golf course, as an alleged alternative to its current proposal to construct a five story condominium with 125 units. The
Orienta Point Association (OPA) believes building 106 single family homes on
the golf course is not feasible, and a tactic to intimidate the community into
accepting the alternative condominium plan.

Building anything close to 106 homes is simply not viable. To better understand why, take a look at this map showing flooding at Hampshire after a severe storm: http://www.mamaroneckcoastal.org/concerns-about-proposed-project/

The developer’s 106 single family home proposal would require a large portion of the golf course to be raised to prevent flooding. Moving massive amounts of earth and turning a large natural catch basin into a landfill creates considerable risk that the surrounding properties will flood, and is not consistent with local regulatory policy. This is a big reason why the developer was able to purchase the golf course at such a heavily discounted price, and why so many other developers passed on the opportunity.

We continue to urge all Village residents to oppose rezoning to allow the 125 unit condominium construction. The condominium proposal would negatively impact the environment in and around Hampshire, which has been designated one of the Village’s seven Critical Environmental Areas. The Orienta peninsula is not equipped to accommodate such a high-density development, and the Village would have to invest heavily in additional infrastructure to accommodate expanded use. Traffic on the narrow roads entering Hampshire would increase substantially, and could result in dangerous conditions around Hommocks Middle School, Orienta, Boston Post Road and Weaver Street.

The golf course is not the only environmentally vulnerable land at risk. Allowing
the rezoning would set a dangerous precedent for the potential rezoning and
development of other properties on the Village’s waterfront.

OPA supports the developer’s right to engage in responsible development. There are already government mechanisms in place to determine the limits of responsible development, and we are confident they will work. We do, however, believe that the developer should be blocked from trying to circumvent land use policies established to protect Mamaroneck’s unique waterfront surroundings.

For those interested in learning more, we encourage you to contact the Mamaroneck Coastal Environment Coalition (MCEC), whose website is http://www.mamaroneckcoastal.org.

Meanwhile, OPA encourages all residents of Orienta to become OPA members and to check our website at http://www.orientapoint.org for news about Hampshire and other issues of concern to our community.

Sincerely,

The Orienta Point Association (OPA)

Mamk Taxpayer
Mamk Taxpayer
7 years ago

Thomas,

Thanks for your comment and posting in a timely fashion.

One question (for now) – – How will you ensure that your condo buyer’s cars won’t be flooded by the slightest storm? I ask this based upon your statement that the parking will be below ground.

Open Minded Mamk Taxpayer

Thomas Nappi
Thomas Nappi
7 years ago

I am the senior project manager on the proposed Hampshire Country Club redevelopment proposal, and would just point out a few items in this article that are a bit misleading. First, the condominium residences would be attached to the existing clubhouse, and keep the golf course, pool, and golf and tennis facilities in place. The parking for these residences would be located completely underground, beneath the new structure, and completely invisible to our neighbors. Second, neither the condominium plan nor the
single family plan we have developed calls for the construction of any roads,
buildings or other structures on “open wetlands.” These plans incorporate
state and federal mandated buffer zones between wetlands and roads and home sites, and would be built to meet or exceed the new FEMA building standards.

Lastly, due to the slope of the land, only two to three stories are visible to most neighbors. It is only from the lowest points of the property, on the golf course side behind the clubhouse, that the building is five stories. From an architectural standpoint, this was done so the building has a relatively constant roof-line. While current plans call for a total of five stories, we anticipate it will be reduced to four when final engineering is completed.

Barry
Barry
7 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Nappi

Is it possible to share the designs with the whole community through the Loop or another public forum?

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