By Janet O’Connell
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, Dan Pfeffer, representing the owners of Mamaroneck’s Hampshire Country Club appeared before the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit to present his company’s plans for developing the club property. He was joined by his colleague Susan Goldberger, as well as, David Cooper from the law firm Zarin Steinmetz and Michael Junghans of the engineering firm Kimley-Horn.
Pfeffer and his associates bought the bankrupt golf club in 2010. Two years later they proposed building 121 one and two-bedroom condominiums on top of the existing club house. They envisioned selling these condos to empty nesters, and the plan did not involve changing the foot print or the height of the existing buildings.
Because the club’s property is zoned for single-family residences, the condo plan meant that the zoning laws had to be changed. But the plan met with local opposition, and the Village of Mamaroneck voted against revising the zoning laws. Opponents cited concerns about increased traffic, additional children in area schools, and issues with the club’s proximity to Long Island Sound and wetlands.
Pfeffer noted that Hampshire tries to be a good neighbor and citizen. The golf teams of both Mamaroneck High School and Rye Neck High School practice at the club, and a number of organizations use the club’s facilities for their benefits. The proposed plan included a bike path and a kayak launch for community use.
The goal had been to maintain as much open space as possible, while providing the condominium residents with amenities including a screening room, a lap pool, and, of course, golf. Pfeffer noted that there would have been very little impact on the schools since the plan was to sell the condos to people 55 and older. He admitted that there would be some additional traffic but probably not during school hours, and he noted that people are already using the club’s roads as a cut through. The proposed condos were expected to pay about $1.5 million in school taxes.
After the zoning board turned down the original plan, the owners prepared a new project to build 44 single-family homes and 61 town houses. Michael Junghans said that the new plan would necessitate shortening the golf course from 18 holes to 9, relocating the tennis courts, putting in a new road out to Boston Post Road, and bringing in enormous amounts of land fill to build the new houses above the flood plain.
This plan for 105 additional houses meets current zoning requirements and does not need the approval of the Village Board of Trustees. But it does require permission of the Planning Board. Hampshire Recreation has submitted a 2000-page state-mandated environmental impact study, and the planning board is currently evaluating the data. On February 14, the evening after this Local Summit program, Hampshire representatives made their presentation at a Village of Mamaroneck Planning session.
Pfeffer concluded his remarks by saying that his preference is still to go with the original plan of constructing condominiums above the existing club house. He said that all that they are asking for is a change in the zoning laws to permit this.
The Larchmont/Mamaroneck Local Summit is an informal community council that seeks to make life better in the tri-municipal area. The Summit meets monthly at the Nautilus Diner in Mamaroneck at 7:45 a.m. usually on the third Tuesday of the month. The next breakfast meeting will take place on Tuesday March 20, 2018 on the topic of health care legislation.