Facts at a Glance…

Hampshire is Currently Zoned for Residential Development

Hampshire’s property comprises 106 acres.  102 acres are currently zoned for residential uses (R-20) and the remaining 4 acres are zoned Marine Recreation (MR).

Any change to a small piece of the MR Zone at Hampshire would have absolutely no impact on other properties within the MR Zone

No other property in the Village, including all of the other clubs and boat yards along the harbor, could accommodate new school facilities, new 55+ housing and an 18-hole golf course. Regardless of any new zoning adopted for Hampshire, it could not be held out as “precedent” or “spot zoning” by another landowner in the Village. There are many unique features of Hampshire’s site that could not be replicated anywhere else in the Village. Thus any change to a small piece of the MR Zone at Hampshire—only 1/3 of an acre— would have absolutely no impact on other properties within the MR Zone. In fact, this type of rezoning is a common practice throughout Westchester County.


The Hampshire condos would be engineered so as not to flood; in fact, they would be clustered next to the clubhouse in FEMA-designated 500-year floodplain areas having only a 0.2% chance of flooding in any given year. They would also help protect storm surges from hitting the surrounding neighborhood and, for the first time, provide a safe way for other residents in Orienta to get out in the event of a storm. There would be no negative impact on other homeowners.

Hampshire is zoned to allow single-family housing on its property 

The Village’s R-20 Zoning explicitly permits Hampshire to develop single-family homes on its golf course. In 2009, BEFORE Hampshire purchased the club, the Village Board hired BFJ, a respected land use planner, to evaluate how many residences could be built on the property. At that time, the Village and Town were considering a bid for the club property and anticipated that some portion of the land would have to be developed with housing in order to cover the cost of the purchase. BFJ concluded that somewhere between 105 and 110 units could be built on the property. In 2015, Hampshire proposed 105 units, far fewer than the 205 units permitted by relevant regulations and well within residential density requirements. This plan fully complies with the Village of Mamaroneck’s R-20 zoning and does not require any zoning amendments or other changes in the Village’s laws. However, Hampshire’s owners initially presented a condo plan in 2013, which was never granted public discussion, yet provided a better alternative: 121 luxury condominium units within an efficient, architecturally compatible, low-rise condominium building clustered adjacent to the clubhouse. While this plan requires a zoning amendment, it is encouraged under the Village’s Comprehensive Plan. It would limit property development and would keep the 18-hole golf course intact to maximize the preservation of approximately 90 acres of open space.

Mamaroneck Schools are severely overcrowded and SOUGHT Hampshire’s Help

The Mamaroneck Schools Board of Education, faced with a severe overcrowding situation, approached Hampshire to discuss the possibility of a donation of land to the school district. The subject land, which is adjacent to Hommocks School, could enable the school district to build a new school building for 5th and 6th graders, eliminate a grade from each elementary school and Hommocks Middle School, free up space for Pre-K, reduce class sizes, and construct sports fields and tennis courts. Success is 100% dependent upon the support of the Village of Mamaroneck.  

Hampshire and the Mamaroneck School District are encouraged by a growing chorus of Village residents who see how this potential land transfer benefits the broader Larchmont/ Mamaroneck community. A high-performing and high-quality school district sustains property values and attracts new residents and businesses to the area which helps to increase the tax base.

Only a Very Small Fraction of the Proposed Condo Sits in the M-R Zone

Hampshire Country Club sits on 106 acres—the largest privately held tract of land in the Village. Only 4 acres of the 106 acres are in the Village’s Marine Recreation Zone (MRD). Of that, only 1/3 acre of the proposed condo building area would sit in the MRD. The development on the 1/3 acre in the MR zone would replace structures that are currently on that land and would allow for connection to the existing clubhouse. The remaining 2 acres required for the condo development are in the existing R-20 zone.

The Village of Mamaroneck is facing a $58 Million lawsuit and continues to lose on appeal

The Village of Mamaroneck declared in 2021 that no residential development, in any configuration, may occur on Hampshire’s property, even though it is zoned for residential use. Hampshire has a constitutional right to develop its property and subsequently filed a $58 million takings claim against the Village.

New York State’s Supreme Court rejected the Village of Mamaroneck’s 1st and 2nd attempts to dismiss Hampshire’s claim, and the parties are now headed to trial. We suspect that most Village taxpayers are unaware of this case and the continued losses in court by the Village of Mamaroneck.

The Former Mayor and Trustees were resolute in their determination to prevent any residential development on the Hampshire site.  The Constitution permits the government to take away development rights, but only after providing the landowner with “just compensation” – in this case – $58 Million.

None of this rhetoric, which can best be described as performative, will change what’s happening in the courtroom. To this end, the Village continues to lose, and the Village of Mamaroneck taxpayers ultimately bear the growing cost of litigation, which now stands at more than $800,000.

Village of Mamaroneck officials have been engaged in a 10-year legal battle with Hampshire over development of the club’s property in the Orienta section of the Village of Mamaroneck. At 106 acres, the property represents the Village’s LARGEST PRIVATELY OWNED PARCEL OF LAND. 

Pulling the opposition strings behind the scenes is Mamaroneck Coastal Environmental Coalition (MCEC), a small group established to prevent ANY development at Hampshire even if this development, ironically, preserves open space and the golf course in perpetuity. For example, the plan to build an age-restricted condominium development on a limited area next to the Clubhouse would preserve the entire golf course as open and recreational space forever. Yet, the “environmental coalition” is opposed to this proposal, and has spent over $1.4 million to fight Hampshire every step of the way.

What is really going on here is pure NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard). MCEC’s founder owns seven homes and vacant land comprising 5 acres, assessed at $11 million immediately adjacent to Hampshire. It is Hampshire’s belief that she is only concerned with protecting her own economic interests rather than some proclaimed concern about the environment, let alone the needs of the School District or the greater Mamaroneck community.

What is also going on here is pure cronyism. MCEC’s founder, her husband and the companies they control have donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Former Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy and other Village officials. For years, they have fed the Village officials talking points against any development at Hampshire, including Mr. Murphy’s repeated (and untrue) claim that granting Hampshire’s request for rezoning would “open the door” to development all over the harbor. This view is not premised upon valid planning concerns nor a desire to address the greater community’s problems. Sadly, this has come at a great cost to the greater Mamaroneck community.


Since its inception, MCEC has grossly misrepresented the scope of Hampshire’s proposed residential development and conjured claimed impacts to scare the community into opposing any development on the Club’s Property.

Hampshire has been forthcoming and open with its economic and environmental impact studies, which were conducted responsibly and thoroughly by well-respected, third-party professionals. These studies not only show significant economic benefits to the Village but also a limited impact on Village services and the environment. MCEC has called these studies inaccurate but has provided no credible backup to support its claims.

The following are the myths promulgated by MCEC and the real facts about this project:

MYTH: Opening the Entire Mamaroneck Harbor Up to Rezoning and High-Rise Development

The Hampshire clubhouse property is currently designated a “Marine Recreation” Zone, which limits use to recreational and social activities. Many properties along the Mamaroneck waterfront are similarly zoned or designated as “Marine Commercial,” such as boatyards and other marine-related commercial facilities. Under state law, the Village cannot selectively rezone one area without allowing rezoning in other similarly zoned areas. This would open the door for boat yards and clubs throughout the Village of Mamaroneck — in Orienta, along Route 1, and Shore Acres — to be transformed into similar high-rise projects. Such development would drastically increase traffic, overburden our schools, social services, and infrastructure, and fundamentally change the character of our small coastal community.

FACT: Any change to a small piece of the MR Zone at Hampshire would have absolutely no impact on other properties in the MR Zone.

Due to Hampshire’s size, location and current uses, the property presents a unique opportunity to address several challenges the Village and the greater Mamaroneck/Larchmont community face today. No other property in the Village, including all the other clubs and boat yards along the harbor, could accommodate new school facilities, new 55+ housing and an 18-hole golf course. Regardless of the zoning adopted for Hampshire’s 106 acres, it could not be held out as “precedent” or “spot zoning” by another landowner in the Village to support new uses because there are so many unique features of this site that could not be applied elsewhere in the Village.

Zoning is not meant to be a bar to a community evolving its pattern of development to address changes through the decades. A zoning provision written in 1985 was not crafted to address today’s problems. No one foresaw in 1985 that 40 years later Mamaroneck Schools would become dangerously overcrowded, and that the State would face a housing crisis. Proactively updating zoning to address the problems in Mamaroneck is the essence of sound planning and governance.

Hampshire Country Club sits on 106 acres—the largest privately held tract of land in the Village. Of that, only four acres are in the Village’s Marine Recreation Zone (MRD). Of that, a mere .32 acres of the proposed condo building area would sit in the MRD.

The Village could create a new zoning district to address the unique circumstances presented by the club property, distinguishing it from all other properties in the MRD. No other MRD property is large enough to accommodate new school buildings and fields, an 18-hole golf course and limited empty-nester residential development.

If, for example, the Village created a new district that permitted a mix of recreational, educational and residential uses where at least 80 acres had to be preserved for recreational uses, no other property in the Village could qualify for this zoning.

Has any other Village ever adopted zoning like this before?

This type of targeted zoning to encourage improvements in a small community area occurs all the time in New York State—for example, the Village’s use of the TOD Overlay District to encourage redevelopment near the train station. Here, the Village determined that attracting residential and commercial uses near the train station would benefit the community, so it crafted zoning targeted to this area. Another example was the Village’s very recent rezoning of the parking lot across from Village Hall to allow residential development. The property is owned by the Village of Mamaroneck which issued an RFP for projects that would rebuild the parking facility and incorporate an affordable housing component. Such a development would certainly add students to the already overcrowded Mamaroneck School District and increase the scarcity of parking in the Village. 

Considering this, the Village could determine that the key benefits of Hampshire’s condo plan—enabling the School District to acquire much-needed land to build new facilities, the preservation of the club’s golf course and open space and the addition of much-needed 55+ housing in the community—warrant a second look at Hampshire’s condo plan, and the creation of a new district targeted to Hampshire’s 106 acres. 

Why isn’t this illegal “Spot Zoning”?

First, the club property comprises five parcels, so the zoning, by definition, is not “spot” zoning because it would apply to multiple parcels. Second, “spot zoning” only occurs where the zoning provides no benefits to the overall community. Despite what the few NIMBY neighbors may say, addressing school overcrowding, a statewide housing shortage, and the preservation of 100 acres of open/recreational space would provide substantial benefits to the community.

It is also important to remember that Hampshire is not a boating club. Only a very small portion of the property borders the harbor. Thoughtfully amending the zoning will not set a precedent for other marine-oriented properties and will provide a significant benefit to the community at large.

Moreover, a low-rise 55+ condominium at Hampshire occupied by empty nesters will not adversely impact the school population. In fact, it would have a positive impact, providing significant tax revenue to both the school district and to the Village while providing a desperately demanded form of housing for community members wishing to downsize and stay local.

MYTH: An Eyesore in Orienta

At 380,700 square feet on 11 acres, the proposed massive condominium complex would tower over all other buildings in the area and fundamentally change the nature of this quiet, residential neighborhood. This puts the proposed structure at approximately 10 times the size of the existing structure of 35,000 square feet that sits on only 4 acres. For perspective, it would be more than one and a half times the size of the largest Costco in the United States.

FACT: The Hampshire condo plan comprises only 174,000 square feet of new development above ground on less than 2 acres (a mere .32 acres of the proposed condo building area would sit in the MRD).

The condo façade will feature contextual architecture using a tasteful mix of brick and stone with a Mansard roof, evoking a French influence that will blend in naturally with the surrounding single-family homes. An attractive residents’ entrance will be enhanced with aesthetically pleasing details, including lush landscaping and beautiful fountains, with most residents’ parking provided underground to enhance at-grade aesthetics. 

Since the condos would be clustered adjacent to the existing clubhouse (and at the same height), they would be virtually unseen by the surrounding neighborhood and not at all visible from the water and therefore would not impact the Marine Recreation Zone in any way. In fact, the only way anyone—residents, members or guests—could see the condo structure would be if they were physically on site.

The Hampshire condo plan retains the 18-hole golf course and preserves 80 percent of the Site as Open Space in perpetuity. There is no prohibition in the Village’s Comprehensive Plan on the Village rezoning the club to facilitate open space preservation, school improvements and housing stock diversification.

MYTH: Traffic Jams on Local Roads

The addition of hundreds of residents with their own approximately 200 cars plus associated delivery trucks, service vehicles, and guests for the 121 condo units, would lead to frequent traffic jams on the only two roads leading in and out of the complex—Hommocks Road and Orienta Avenue. This overwhelming addition of vehicles would greatly exacerbate the current traffic that builds at Hommocks Middle School during drop-off and pick-ups and create safety risks to residents, students, and staff.

FACT: The Mamaroneck School District’s recent request for land from Hampshire would enable the District to not only construct an addition to Hommocks, a new athletic field and tennis courts, but also to undertake sorely needed improvements to parking availability and traffic circulation surrounding the Hommocks Middle School at Hampshire’s expense.

In addition, the condos are geared toward retirees and empty nesters, who typically would not impact local traffic during peak periods. Furthermore, it is anticipated that many of the condo residents would be snowbirds who only reside in Mamaroneck during the warmer months, thereby limiting traffic impacts during the bulk of the school year.

MYTH: Years of Heavy Construction

Excavation and development of this high-rise condominium would require years of heavy construction and the removal of thousands of tons of dirt. Trucks, workers, and equipment would be directed either down Hommocks Road, worsening our traffic issues in front of the middle school, or down Orienta Avenue, causing significant traffic jams on those small roads as well as significantly increasing risks to residents, Hommocks students and staff.

FACT: The condo development process is only expected to take 18-24 months, and excavated soil will be reused on the site.

It will generate fewer than 60 vehicular trips during peak hours and add minimal traffic to the Orienta Point community. The golf course, clubhouse, tennis court and pool will all remain open during construction. Hampshire will work with the Village to schedule deliveries at times that would not materially impact current traffic flows.

MYTH: Environmental Damage to a Sensitive Area

Hampshire Country Club sits in an environmentally sensitive area along the shoreline and is home to many migratory birds and other animals. Most of the club is also below flood level and prone to frequent flooding. The construction of a high-rise condominium in this area would cause immediate and lasting harm to these ecosystems.

FACT: The Site is not a pristine shoreline area that is “home to many migratory birds and other animals.”

It has been cultivated as a golf course for almost a century. As the Planning Board had to admit on Page 37 of its SEQRA Findings after undertaking years of habitat studies:

“The Project Site [i.e., the Country Club] currently provides habitat for COMMON WILDLIFE SPECIES well-adapted to predominantly developed/disturbed conditions and close human presence. The overall quality of habitat on the Project Site is LOW due to the longstanding and ongoing maintenance of the golf course.” 

Also, the condo proposal preserves 80 percent of the 106-acre site as Open Space in perpetuity. To the extent the golf course does provide habitat, it would remain undisturbed in perpetuity. 

Hampshire has made extensive investments of time and money in the irrigation and drainage systems since the club was purchased in 2010, and the club will continue to make improvements. The Residences at Hampshire has been geotechnically designed to address current flooding conditions and to provide an emergency evacuation route during extreme weather. Numerous new drains and sump pumps have been installed to facilitate the flow of rain and stormwater from the property. Further improvements are planned in conjunction with the proposed condo development. These changes will safeguard Hampshire Country Club and its neighbors from future storm-related events that have emanated from the property.

Safety is a key focus of the condo plan. For starters, it will be situated in FEMA-designated 500-year flood plain areas, which is expected to help protect storm surges from hitting the surrounding neighborhood. 

In addition, attractive, thoughtful landscape grading will be used to direct water to flow to drains and culverts and alleviate pooling during heavy rain.

Most importantly, flood mitigation work will allow Hampshire to be designated a neighborhood emergency evacuation route for its neighbors during extreme weather.

MYTH: Unlikely Benefit to the School District

To sway public opinion in favor of their plan, Hampshire’s private equity-backed developer-owners have offered to give seven acres of land to the Mamaroneck School District if the rezoning is approved. However, the proposed new school facilities are located on land the district already owns and can be built without the “gift”. The additional land would be used to create a parking lot, reconfigure Hommocks Road, and hold a playing field. It is likely that after review of the land and its issues, the land will be deemed unsuitable for its intended use as it is contaminated, consists of land fill, and sits below flood level with high risk of frequent flooding. It would cost millions of dollars that the school district cannot afford to rectify these deficiencies. Ultimately, the School District is therefore likely to reject the “gift.”

FACT: The Mamaroneck Schools administration, faced with a severe overcrowding situation, first approached Hampshire Recreation to discuss the possibility of a conveyance of land, which is adjacent to Hommocks Middle School.

This would allow Hommocks Road to be moved towards Hampshire’s golf course, freeing up space on the school district’s property, so they can create a large addition on the existing Hommocks property. The district’s architects and engineers have studied the proposed location and are confident that the conveyed land can safely support the planned improvements, and that no soil or flood remediation work would be required.

Benefits at a Glance

  • Provides the school district with free land to build a new school building for 5th and 6th graders.
  • Eliminates a grade from each elementary school and Hommocks Middle School.
  • Frees up space for Pre-K and reduces class sizes.
  • Provides for much-needed sports fields and tennis courts.
  • Improves parking and traffic circulation around Hommocks Middle School.

Ultimately, this land transfer would enable the District to construct a new addition for 5th and 6th graders, and add an athletic field, tennis courts, and other improvements. Mamaroneck Schools and Hampshire Recreation drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the terms of the land transfer, which the school board voted to approve on July 26, 2023.

Hampshire’s openness to a land transfer is consistent with its longstanding support of the school district. However, this is viable only if Hampshire obtains final and unappealable zoning amendments and other approvals from the Village for its original low-rise multifamily condo plan originally presented in 2013. Any conveyance of land would render Hampshire’s as-of-right 105-unit single-family and carriage home plan unfeasible, which is why Hampshire conditioned the land transfer on approval of the original condo plan.

Since Mamaroneck Schools first approached Hampshire regarding a potential land transfer, Hampshire has not pressured Mamaroneck Schools to convince the Board of Trustees to change the zoning to allow for Hampshire’s condo development. As former Mamaroneck Superintendent of Schools Robert Shaps stated when interviewed by Lohud.com, “We are just saying that if the project were to move forward, we would get the gift of land. In order to represent our interests, we agreed to engage in the memorandum of understanding. As a district, we have space challenges. If given the opportunity to get a gift of land, we would accept it.”

Both sides fully recognize that this MOU would only come to fruition if Village officials reconsidered their position on development at Hampshire. When the MOU came into the public eye, former Mayor Murphy expressed his determination to prevent Hampshire from developing anything on its residentially zoned property providing strong support for Hampshire’s $58.1MM takings claim that has already cost the Village taxpayers hundreds of thousands in legal fees. Visit Mayoral Myths for more information.

Hampshire is encouraged by the growing chorus of Village and school district residents who see how this potential land transfer benefits the broader Larchmont/Mamaroneck community.

“I wish we could get that land [for the school district] for when my grandkids come over and we could walk over to those fields. And you should note, I would not care if those condos were built. I live way, way, way, away. If it were a choice between the 105 homes and the condos, I would say to you in an instant the condos are right.” Celia Felsher, at the Mamaroneck School Board Public Q&A Session held on 6/13/2023.

MYTH: No Benefit for Much of the Village of Mamaroneck

Even if the land being “gifted” were usable for the schools, it would provide very little benefit to the people of the Village of Mamaroneck, 40% of whom are in the Rye Neck school district—not the Mamaroneck school district. Instead, most of the supposed benefits would go to the residents of Larchmont. Mamaroneck Village residents would end up bearing the costs of years of construction, traffic jams, pressure on services, and a fundamentally changed waterfront and Village character.

FACT: The condo plan would add property tax revenue to the Village’s coffers, mitigate flooding concerns and provide for fixing roads that are now full of potholes and uneven surfaces.

More significantly, it would address the serious traffic problems surrounding Hommocks Middle School. The improved school facilities would further enhance the excellent reputation of the Mamaroneck School District which would translate into higher home values for all homeowners in the District. Also, there will be no negative impact to the Rye Neck School District.

MYTH: Empty Threats of the Housing Development on Club Property

The developers argue that if they don’t get the rezoning for the complex, they will push for plans to build the 105-home residential development proposed years ago. This is an empty threat and residents need to know that the application to build the development was rejected in connection with a detailed Environmental Impact Statement. While Hampshire has sued the Village to overturn that decision, the Village will almost certainly prevail, and the denial will be upheld.

FACT: These are not empty threats. In fact, the courts continue to agree with Hampshire, not the Village, and Hampshire continues to prevail.

New York State’s Supreme Court rejected the Village of Mamaroneck’s first and second motions to dismiss Hampshire’s $58 million takings claim, agreeing with Hampshire’s position that further proceedings before the Planning Board would be futile since the evidence demonstrates the VOM Board is predetermined to deny any residential development.

The Village has now consistently lost the last several rounds of litigation. Local officials keep kicking the can down the road, all the while Village taxpayers remain on the hook for a lot of money spent on the Village’s legal fees—more than $800,000 at this point.

Hampshire Recreation purchased Hampshire Country Club in 2010 with the full intention of developing a residential component on its property to create a sustainable long-term fiscal path.

The property is currently zoned for residential housing: 20,000 square-foot lots allowable as of right under current R-20 zoning resulting in approximately 205 lots.

The New York State Supreme Court overturned the Village Planning Board’s denial of Hampshire’s Application to develop 105 homes on the golf course. The Court reinstated the Application, meaning that Hampshire can continue to move forward with pursuing permits for the project. Yet, the Village appealed the Judge’s ruling perpetuating the litigation cycle and racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Rather than building as-of-right housing across much of the golf course, which Hampshire has a right to do, its owners initially sought a better alternative: 121 luxury condominium units within an efficient, architecturally compatible, low-rise condominium building. While this plan requires a zoning amendment, it offers several advantages:

  • Age-restricted to 55 and older, so as not to impact school enrollment 
  • Clustered adjacent to the clubhouse 
  • Limited development of the property, maximizing open space preservation
  • Contextual architecture using a tasteful mix of brick and stone with a Mansard roof, evoking a French influence that will blend in naturally with the surrounding single-family homes.
  • Provides housing that is in high demand within the local community
  • Virtually unseen by the surrounding neighborhood 
  • Short, low-impact construction period

When presented with this proposal in 2014, the Village Board not only refused to consider it, but refused to do so in open session or even explain its refusal. Hampshire subsequently presented the Village with an as-of-right plan—105-unit single-family and carriage homes. While this plan requires the golf course to be redesigned as a 9-hole course, it preserves over 50 acres of open space/recreation, or more than 50 percent of the property. 

The Village also rejected that plan.

Unfortunately, the Village of Mamaroneck has forced Hampshire to engage in a 10-year legal battle and declared in 2021 that no residential development, in any configuration, may occur on Hampshire’s property, even though it is zoned for residential use. 

In November 2022, a pivotal ruling was made in New York State Supreme Court, overturning the Planning Board’s denial of Hampshire’s Application to develop 105 homes on the golf course. The Court reinstated the Application, meaning that Hampshire can continue to pursue permits for the project. However, the Village appealed staying the application until the appeal is decided.

MYTH: The Planning Board fairly rejected Hampshire’s application to develop homes on the golf course property.

FACT: The Judge in this matter does not agree.

A 5 year SEQRA process only ended after Hampshire went to court to require the Planning Board to finish its review and come to a decision. Ultimately, the Planning Board determined that no development of any kind or configuration could occur on the property, even though Hampshire presented 16 alternative options.

Within a week of denying Hampshire’s residential development, it became known that, six months prior, the Village Ethics Board had found a key member of the Planning Board guilty of ethics violations in connection with her review of the Hampshire proposal. As evidence of this member’s bias, an email was discovered from this planning board member to another board member stating, “We have to wrestle control of this from our consultant because he is agreeing with Hampshire too much.”

Our Bottom Line

Hampshire Country Club has worked hard to maintain an open and transparent discussion about this project from the onset. Consequently, it is vitally important to us that you get all the facts and figures about this effort as we continue Hampshire’s historic tradition as a golf and recreational center for generations to come.