Court Sends Hampshire CC
Matter Back to Planning Board

By Tom Murphy

Mayor, Village of Mamaroneck


The Court has sent the Hampshire Country Club matter back to the Planning Board for further study.


 In fact, the Court specifically stated in footnote 5 to the 14-page decision that it was denying Hampshire’s request to approve the project or order the Planning Board to approve the project: “The Court declines petitioner’s request for this Court to make the determination that the plan should be approved.”


In her decision dated November 17, 2022, Justice Linda S. Jamieson of the New York State Supreme Court in White Plains addressed three issues: 


First, should the Planning Board have considered Hampshire’s proposal to build a wall to keep Cooper Avenue, which is the only way in and out of the site in a serious flood, passable in the event of a major flood, even though that proposal was not made until after the Court had ordered the review of the project under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) to be completed and the Planning Board had done that?


Second, did the Planning Board act unreasonably when it determined that Hampshire’s proposal to bring in 80,000 cubic yards of fill to the site was not consistent with the Village’s Flood Damage Prevention Regulations?


Third, did the Planning Board fail to take the “hard look” that SEQRA requires when it determined that the open space that would remain on the site after development, most of which was golf course rough, would not provide meaningful recreation area?


The Court concluded that the Planning Board should have considered Hampshire’s proposal for the wall, that because the Court did not understand the Planning Board’s analysis of the flood damages issues the Planning Board must not have taken a “hard look” at that issue and that the Planning Board’s decision with respect to the open space issue was impermissibly based on “generalized community objections,” rather than reasonable analysis. 


The Court ordered that the application go back to the Planning Board for further review of these three issues. It also decided that the Planning Board should have disclosed to Hampshire the residence address of the Planning Board member whom the Village Ethics Board found to have a conflict of interest because her property adjoined the Hampshire property and required the Planning Board to disclose the residence addresses of all Planning Board members to Hampshire.


Again, the Court did not approve the project or order the Planning Board to approve the project. The Village Board of Trustees and the Planning Board are considering whether to appeal.