Letter To The Editor: Dispelling Residences At Hampshire Rumors

The letter below was submitted by Mike Junghans, Kimley-Horn Engineering and Published November 13, 2018 in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Patch.

Over the past several years, a growing list of unfounded rumors have taken hold regarding the proposed Residences at Hampshire planned residential development (PRD) in Mamaroneck. The recent Patch op-ed ("Lessons from Florence for Mamaroneck Development," Sept. 25) is just the latest selection of them.

The op-ed aims to capitalize on recent hurricane-related floods in the Carolinas to revive some of these unfounded rumors and to misapply the "lessons" of Hurricane Florence to our Village. It appeals to the threat of aggravated flooding in the area around the PRD due to construction and civil engineering, while leaving out a number of important facts in the process: facts that have been public knowledge for months, if not years.

The area in and around Hampshire Country Club is indeed prone to chronic flooding, as people who live here know too well. That is exactly why The Residences at Hampshire has been designed not only to address current flooding conditions, but also to address the most conservative credible estimates of sea level rise in the future. All of the homes would be elevated to at least 16 feet above sea level. This means that even if the current FEMA 100-year flood level were to rise an additional 4 feet above the current 12-foot elevation, the homes would remain out of harm's way during the worst flooding.

In addition — for the first time ever — there will be a safe exit route out of the neighborhood for existing residents on Cove Road and Eagles Knoll Road in the event of a flood. This route would provide safe passage for all homeowners (not just residents of the Hampshire property) during storms, even above the existing 100-year flood level.

The op-ed also raises the specter of the construction disturbing underground toxins such as arsenic, and of flood waters triggering "residents' and rescue workers' potential exposure to dangerous pollutants from the flood waters." Such alarmism is hardly justified. A comprehensive soil-sampling program was undertaken in connection with the Village's environmental review process. These tests demonstrated that arsenic levels at the site are well within routine safety limits. Indeed, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has reviewed the soil sampling results, and does not share the concerns expressed by the author of the op-ed.

Furthermore, the NYSDEC has approved Hampshire's proposal to reuse a significant amount of the soil from the site during the construction process without requiring any elevated safety or monitoring protocols beyond what is required of a typical residential development. Reusing the soil will also decrease the carbon footprint of this development by requiring vastly less importation of new fill, thereby significantly reducing construction traffic.

This information is all available to the public, contained within the Environmental Impact Statement submitted to the Village of Mamaroneck, with extensive studies and surveys vetted by the Planning Board's experts. For anyone who is interested in the facts, that is where to find them.

Mike Junghans
Kimley-Horn Engineering