Town officials slammed the brakes on a development trend that some residents say is causing damage in their neighborhoods. (See recent editorial)
Throughout the town, single-family homes are being torn down and replaced with much larger homes. (See our coverage)
In the process, trees are being leveled and properties are being re-graded, which causes some flooding issues and rocking chipping damages to neighboring homes, according to residents and town officials.
“We’ve had some very serious changes in single-family residence lots,” said Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson, specifically mentioning the Murdock Woods and Durham Road sections. “Those sites are not part of the site plan approval process in the town, so the town has little control over what happens on those lots.”
The town will now decide whether it wants to draft a new law that would require developers to get approvals from the town’s land use boards before making significant changes on single-family lots.
In the meantime, the Town Board on Dec. 16 unanimously passed a three-month moratorium on major construction on single-family properties in residential zones. The moratorium takes effect Jan. 1, and ends March 31.
“We had sporadic incidents like this over the last five years, but it’s been a trend that accelerated this past year,” Seligson said. “We want to take a break and look at this without any particular projects hanging over our heads.”
Before the Town Board passed the moratorium, residents shared stories during a public hearing about how construction in their neighborhoods was impacting them.
Lori Kupferburg, who lives on Rockingstone Avenue, said rocking chipping at a construction site next to her home caused damage to her oil tank and gas lines. Carrol Carrozza, who lives on Robin’s Nest Lane, said she was driving home one night and saw a crane towering above her home lift a tree out of the ground.
Both women were among those who applauded the moratorium. But some architects and attorneys who represent developers had different views.
“As an architect, it’s a little hard to understand how to proceed with clients during this moratorium,” said Diana Eaton, an architect from the Mamaroneck-based Keller/Eaton Architects. “Hopefully, three months is enough because it does put some hardship on the profession.”
Seligson stressed this moratorium is different than the one Larchmont is considering, which would impose a moratorium on developments in residential areas while a village planner reviews Larchmont’s zoning code.