Myth vs Reality – Be Informed!
Myth: The Village will not derive any benefit from this project.
Reality: The Residences at Hampshire project would generate a tax gain of $5.5 million per year. The project would also allow a longstanding recreational resource in the Village to continue operating.
Myth: The developer has no "as of right" entitlement to build, meaning the law as it stands does not allow for this kind of development.
Reality: The Residences at Hampshire plan is already in full compliance with the Village of Mamaroneck’s R-20 zoning and does not require any zoning amendments or other changes in the Village’s laws.
Myth: The development is illegal under regulations governing residential density.
Reality: The proposal falls well within residential density requirements. The Residences at Hampshire plan proposes only 105 units, far fewer than the 205 units permitted by relevant regulations.
Myth: After homes are built and the developer has cashed out, the failing club will be abandoned and become a burden to the Village.
Reality: The club has continued to operate throughout the development process, and development proceeds will enable Hampshire to improve its facilities and enhance its services for the benefit of its members and residents. In the highly unlikely event that the club is abandoned, the clubhouse, tennis courts and swimming pool would automatically revert to the Village and remain public amenities.
Myth: The Residences at Hampshire will overwhelm the already bulging school population.
Reality: Hampshire recognizes that many people in the community believe that growth in the school-age population feeding into the Mamaroneck school district is an issue. The Hampshire condominium plan presented in 2014 would have allowed for significantly fewer students to enter the local public schools, since the condos would have been marketed to empty-nesters (the developer would have been willing to restrict sales to buyers 55 and over).
The proposed subdivision plan would add an estimated 57 school-age children. This estimate is based on industry-standard calculations as required by the Village of Mamaroneck scoping document. Under the condominium scenario, the same analysis resulted in an estimate of 20 school-age children.
Carriage homes appeal to empty-nesters and statistically generate fewer school-age children, and the projected $1.55 million in net tax revenue for schools alone from The Residences at Hampshire would offset any costs associated with any new children joining the public school system. Similarly, increased tax revenues generated by this project will more than offset the incremental cost to the Village associated with increased demand on services.
Myth: There is neither demand nor need for empty-nester housing in the community; adding more will only depress the value of existing properties.
Reality: Mamaroneck real estate professionals point to a significant demand for empty-nester housing, not only due to people generally living longer, but also because many residents wish to downsize to a low-maintenance, high-service luxury apartment or townhouse. Moreover, the supply of comparable, existing condos or co-ops is either poorly located or outdated; most don’t allow washer/dryers in the apartments, for example, and many don’t have assigned parking.
Myth: The project will burden public resources.
Reality: Increased tax revenues generated by The Residences at Hampshire will more than offset the incremental cost to the Village associated with increased demand on services.
Myth: Additional houses will put our first responders at risk due to limited emergency access.
Reality: The project already includes plans for internal roads above the highest anticipated flood levels, contributing to improved ingress and egress to ensure the safety of both residents and first responders.
Myth: Traffic around Hommocks School, Weaver Street and Boston Post Road will be significantly increased.
Reality: Traffic studies conducted at the busiest times of day indicate that there will be no decline in the level of service at the various intersections studied at the request of the Village.
Myth: Construction will destroy scarce open space.
Reality: The developers have sought to work closely with the Village of Mamaroneck and the local community for the past nine years to create a project that is aesthetically pleasing, functional and appropriate to the Sound Shore lifestyle, while remaining financially viable.
Every tree removed in the process of construction will be replaced. The Residences at Hampshire project will avoid all sensitive environmental areas and approximately 73 acres (more than 50%) of open space will remain if built. Development rights for the undeveloped land will be placed under the permanent control of a not-for-profit organization of the community’s choosing, blocking any further development on the site.
Myth: Hampshire is prone to chronic flooding. A man died during a nor’easter in 1992. The planned homes can’t be safe under such conditions.
Reality: The Residences at Hampshire has been designed not only to address current flooding conditions, but also to address the most conservative 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 100-year flood level were to rise 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 would be a safe exit route out of the neighborhood for homeowners (not just residents of the Hampshire property). This route will provide safe passage even above the current FEMA 100-year flood level.
Myth: Massive amounts of fill will be trucked in to construct the development platform, exposing residents and students to soil-borne and airborne toxins.
Reality: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has approved Hampshire’s proposal to reuse a significant amount of fill on-site, which will significantly reduce the volume of imported fill.
Myth: Construction trucks will be delivering fill and other building materials non-stop, to the tune of over 250 trips per day.
Reality: Again, MCEC is using misinformation to incite public panic. The proposed construction will be temporary, short-term and phased. The largest disturbance will take place during Phase I of construction when the central platform will be constructed, which will only last 9 months – not 5 years as MCEC alleges. Given NYSDEC’s permission to reuse on-site fill, the number of transports needed to import fill will average 28 truck trips per day, far less than the 250 trucks claimed by the neighbors. Construction vehicles will also adhere to strict rules regarding hours of operation and delivery times; for example, trucks will be prohibited from arriving and departing within 30 minutes of the start and end of the school day to prevent conflicts with school traffic. This all serves to eliminate concern for exhaust fumes, noise and traffic jams, particularly when it comes to the safety of Hommocks School students and staff.
Myth: Toxic chemicals used on the golf course will put Hommocks students at risk.
Reality: This comment is a classic example of a group using misinformation to bolster opposition to a development by inciting unfounded public panic. Hampshire undertook extensive soil testing in connection with preparing the Environmental Impact Statement. The soil data and redevelopment plans for Hampshire Country Club were then reviewed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. NYSDEC concluded that the soil does not contain levels of arsenic or other contaminants presenting a legitimate public health threat or danger of being released into the environment. Rather, NYSDEC has determined that the soil can be reused on site, and typical construction safety measures will be adequate to protect the public. In addition, 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.
Moreover, the vast majority of the current on-site soil will not be excavated during redevelopment and will stay in place where it is. The development plan actually makes the existing soil less exposed to movement and transportation during floods, since it would be deeper below the new ground surface.
Myth: This project will jeopardize the viability of the existing club.
Reality: The PRD would retain a 9-hole golf course and all of Hampshire’s current club operations and amenities, and Hampshire would only require site plan approval from the Village Planning Board. This will require a redesign of the golf course into a 9-hole course which reflects a trend nationwide, appealing to people with busy lifestyles.
The Hampshire golf course and country club facilities will continue to operate in the same first-class manner they always have. Hampton Golf has made a long-term commitment to manage the facility, both pre- and post-development.
Myth: The out-of-town developers are only concerned with making a profit, and not concerned about the welfare of the community.
Reality: The developers of Hampshire Country Club live in Mamaroneck, and have been exemplary corporate citizens for many years, providing much needed support to the Mamaroneck community and beyond. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the club opened its doors to area residents, so they could use the club’s facilities without charge. Hampshire also makes its course and club house readily available to a large number of not-for-profit organizations, including At Home on the Sound, St. Francis Pantry, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, The Arc Westchester, Kiwanis Club, CRA, Violet Torch Foundation/Westchester Alpha, Ronald McDonald House New York, Mamaroneck Youth Football, American Medical Foundation, Part of the Solution (POTS), Knights of Columbus-Larchmont, Chabad of Larchmont & Mamaroneck.
In addition, Hampshire serves as the home practice course for the Mamaroneck High School and Rye Neck High School Golf Teams.
Myth: The project is illegal under Village Code due to filling in a designated floodplain.
Reality: While the Village regulations regarding fill in floodplains are not meant to regulate tidal floodplains such as the ones on Hampshire’s property, Hampshire has demonstrated that there will be no significant change in water surface elevations on or off the property as a result of the Project (also known as Hydraulic Equivalency), satisfying those regulations.
Myth: The project is illegal under Village Code due to impermissible use of private roads.
Reality: The Planning Board’s legal experts have already stated that MCEC’s contention about the Village Code and the roadways is incorrect.
Myth: The developers’ ultimate objective is to build a grossly oversized 120-plus unit condo complex.
Reality: Hampshire’s objective is to introduce a needed source of revenue for the Club in order to keep it in operation for the long-term future of the Village. The condo proposal is not permitted under the current Village Code, and therefore is not a viable plan for the Club to reach this objective. The current owners of the Hampshire property originally asked the Village of Mamaroneck to consider rezoning the property to allow for condominium development on less than two acres. This zoning would have permitted Hampshire to integrate a limited number of residences into the existing clubhouse, while allowing it to preserve 95 percent of the property – including the entire 18-hole golf course – as open space in perpetuity through a voluntary deed restriction. When presented with this proposal in 2014, however, the Village Board refused to consider it.
Instead, the Village Board directed Hampshire to pursue a development before the Planning Board to reach its objective in line with the property’s existing R-20 Residential Zoning (Conventional subdivision plans for single-family development with 30,000-square-foot lots allowable as of right under current R-20 zoning result in approximately 106 lots.)
Hampshire has thus not pressed for the condominium project, but rather, has spent significant time and resources over the last four years pursuing the Planned Residential Development Project. Hampshire is committed to the PRD project as it is the only viable project under the current zoning to reach the Club’s aforementioned objective. The developers are now awaiting a final decision by the Planning Board for a 105-unit PRD on a portion of the golf course.
Myth: The information in the DEIS addressing with flooding and storm water issues is inadequate.
Reality: More misinformation from MCEC. The Planning Board’s own planning and engineering experts have stated over and over again that the flood modeling in the DEIS is accurate, and demonstrates that the Project would not increase flood levels at the Site, or otherwise increase flooding conditions on the roads and property adjacent to the Club.
Myth: These "studies" cited by Hampshire are bought and paid for by Hampshire, and aren’t to be trusted.
Reality: Every single study and assessment in the over 3,000-page Environmental Impact Statement was vetted and evaluated by independent experts hired by the Village before the studies were accepted as accurate and complete.
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