By Linnet Tse
Addressing a packed room at the Local Summit’s breakfast program in Mamaroneck on Nov. 17 were representatives from the Village of Mamaroneck and from New World Realty Advisors, LLC, the organization responsible for managing the redevelopment of Hampshire Country Club. Village Manager Richard Slingerland, accompanied by Bob Galvin, village planner, and Greg Cutler, assistant village planner, provided an overview of the development projects currently underway in the Village of Mamaroneck, including Hampshire Country Club. Daniel Pfeffer and Thomas Nappi, from New World Realty Advisors, LLC, provided details on their current plan to redevelop Hampshire.
While the proposed redevelopment of Hampshire has received a lot of attention due in part to the opposition by certain community groups, few audience members were aware of the other potentially influential development projects currently underway in the Village of Mamaroneck.
First, Slingerland reviewed recently-implemented zoning amendments intended to encourage development consistent with the village’s comprehensive plan update adopted in February 2012. The main amendments include Transit-Oriented Development and Library Lane. The Transit-Oriented Development, TOD, change was passed in November 2014, and was created to revitalize the area on Mamaroneck Avenue west of the train tracks. TODs aim to create mixed-use residential and commercial space near active train stations and promote reduced reliance on personal automobiles and are currently in effect in Bronxville, Mount Kisco, Pelham and Scarsdale.
Library Lane is a proposal to rezone the west side of Library Lane from C-1 (general commercial) to C-2 (downtown commercial), consistent with the east side of the road. Five properties on the west side of Library Lane would be affected, but the impact is expected to be minimal.
The current Hampshire proposal calls for eliminating the golf course, and adding 44 single-family homes and 61 townhouses scattered throughout the 116-acre property, most of which lies in the Village of Mamaroneck; however, Dan Pfeffer explained that New World Realty Advisors’, NWRA, plans for Hampshire began differently.
Hampshire closed its doors because of financial problems in December 2009, and was sold to NWRA in June 2010 for $12.1 million. Pfeffer was quoted in a Larchmont Gazette article published in June 2010 saying there were no immediate plans to turn the club into a housing development; instead it was being used for Mamaroneck High School’s golf team and charitable events.
Pfeffer said that after purchasing the club, NWRA planned on creating a “Country Club Community” that preserved the golf course, turning the area where the current clubhouse is located into condominium housing and giving up their development rights to the remaining land by putting it in a land trust. However, this plan would have required a zoning change as the current clubhouse—the site of the proposed condominiums—is located in a protected marine zone that does not permit development. This controversial plan sparked opposition from neighbors concerned about any development in the environmentally-sensitive and flood-prone area. According to Pfeffer, when this original rezoning plan was submitted to the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees in February 2014, it was immedi-
Following the initial rejection, NWRA revised its plans based on community feedback, reducing the proposed condominium units by 25 percent to 96 units. However, the plan was rejected again with no discussion.
Hampshire submitted the current plan to the Village of Mamaroneck in June 2015. The plan did not require any zoning changes, and instead proposed that single-family homes be scattered throughout the current golf course. Pfeffer noted that, in keeping with FEMA regulations, homes would be built above the predicted floodplain, and although the golf course would be destroyed, the clubhouse, swimming pool and tennis courts would be preserved.
Following the recent Local Summit meeting, the Village of Mamaroneck’s Planning Board approved the Scope for an Environmental Impact Statement, EIS, process for the Hampshire redevelopment project, requiring Hampshire to prepare a draft EIS to be circulated, reviewed, edited and supplemented into a final copy. Upon completion of SEQRA, the site plan will be adjusted and finalized, a process that Slingerland estimates to last from one to two years based on the average amount of time that SEQRA reviews usually take. A $55 million lawsuit by the club against the village over the process of rejecting their rezoning proposal remains in progress.