Letter: Hampshire Growth Will Harm Community

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editor’s note: Readers may access the archive of Hampshire coverage here.

Dear Editor:

I am very concerned about the 105-home residential development proposed to be built on the Hampshire Country Club property.    

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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
Mamaroneck

4 thoughts on “Letter: Hampshire Growth Will Harm Community

  1. I am a parent of a Sixth-grade student at the Hommocks Middle School. I am a trustee of the Orienta Point Association but my comments are my own and should not be interpreted as those of the OPA. My wife and I are extremely fearful of the massive construction project that the developer proposes. It is difficult to imagine students learning in an environment with dust and debris wafting over from the construction site right next door to the school. Additionally, the noise from rumbling trucks is certainly not conducive to a proper learning environment. The changes to our community would be staggering. Ms. Maria Teresa Z in her reply has not presented the facts correctly. While in a perfect building scenario 200 homes might be possible, it is my understanding that nowhere near 200 homes could be built as of right. As much of the land is below flood level and a tremendous amount of land fill is required, it is my understanding that the developer requires a variance to build and to haul in the land fill. Thus, even the 105 homes requested by the builder is not as of right and they have many environmental hurdles to overcome. As to the projected increase to our student population, Dr. Robert Shaps, our Superintendent of Schools, wrote in a letter dated August 3, 2018 that the District estimated an increase of 85 students. The developer used a different calculation to determine an increase of 66 Students. Of course, it is impossible to know how many extra students this development would bring. When combined with other residential developments in the school district one can readily see an increase of well over 100 students to our already crowded schools. This project seemingly would take the school population over the tipping point. This project is not sensible and should be rejected in its current format.

  2. The area may be zoned for a large number of homes but the area floods during storms. It was 85% flooded during hurricane Sandy. Building here violates both the village and state law as it relates to building in a flood zone and there’s no legal way to fill in the site. And if they did, where would the water go? Boston Post Road? Hommmocks? Orienta? This plan is a non-starter at this site. Furthermore the developer doesn’t want to build homes. They only want to threaten to build home so they can build a giant condo development where the clubhouse is. It’s a shame the developer is using the time and resources of our hard working planning board on something that has no real ability to happen.

  3. Absolutely correct on all points.
    The quality of life for families living in Mamaroneck is the very last thing these developers are concerned about.
    Anyone believing otherwise needs a therapist.

  4. The reader misses the point. The land is zoned for over 200 homes. The home builder has decided to keep nine holes of golf and build just over 100 homes. Again, properly zoned. The reader seems to think that they can seize property rights away from people. Also, the village’s own consultant agrees with the builder on the traffic being mitigated, and the reader has doubled the expected school children projected in their article.

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