editor’s note: Readers may access the archive of Hampshire coverage here.
I am very concerned about the 105-home residential development proposed to be built on the Hampshire Country Club property.
Over the years, our community has continued to grow. As the pace of growth and congestion has accelerated in recent years, some projects—such as the proposed Hampshire Country Club development—are presented as opportunities for growth. But this type of growth will harm our community.
As a parent with children currently in Central School and Hommocks School, one of the things I love about Mamaroneck is the quality of schools. We have great teachers and relatively small classroom sizes. But if the Hampshire development and subsequent residential construction moves forward, our schools will suffer.
According to the May 2019 Enrollment Task Force Report, Mamaroneck Schools have grown disproportionately to our surrounding areas. In fact, our schools are at an historic high with roughly 5600 students. In the last two years alone, the district has experienced double-digit growth. And Hommocks Middle School has seen the greatest increase with year-to-year growth over 15% last year.
Once the proposed development is complete and more than 100 new families move in, on top of the large number of additional families from other new housing projects in the school district, the Mamaroneck Union Free School District won’t so much “grow” as it will be pushed against its limit. This one development, the largest our village has ever seen, could mean close to an additional 100 students enrolled in the school district, putting further pressure on the quality of education our students receive.
Making matters worse, our children would be playing, commuting, and attending school near heavy construction and in the direct path of all the construction equipment. Tens of thousands of truckloads of fill and hundreds of commuting construction workers will disrupt our community for at least six to seven years as the country club property is destroyed. Not to mention the dangerous health risks from digging up the course and exposing them to contaminants such as lead and arsenic.
And we haven’t even talked about the traffic yet. Many, if not most of us, are intimately familiar with the start- and end-of-day congestion backups around the Hommocks School, as well as the backups when the playing fields are used. We, and our kids who walk to and from the Hommocks School and the playing fields there, will have to compete with heavy construction equipment, big trucks, and hundreds of additional cars once people begin moving in.
Is developing the Hampshire Country Club land the kind of growth Mamaroneck wants? To answer that question, I think about why we moved here in the first place: highly rated schools with relatively small classrooms and within safe walking distance to our home, uncongested living, and open spaces. We oppose Hampshire Country Club’s massive housing development, in order to hold on to the very reasons why residents moved to Mamaroneck in the first place.
Jennifer and Sean Young