Mamaroneck to “Vigorously Defend” Hampshire Lawsuit
19 Aug, 2014
By Polly Kreisman
While theLoop was on a brief hiatus, this important story broke:
Mamaroneck Village Mayor Norman Rosenblum has no official comment on the $55 million lawsuit against the Village filed by Hampshire Country Club.
“All legal actions filed and served against the Village of Mamaroneck are reviewed by Legal Counsel and reported to the Board of Trustees for consideration as to what steps the Village will implement,” Rosenblum told theLoop.
“(It)” will be vigorously defended,” he added.
Hampshire Country Club filed the suit against the Village of Mamaroneck in State Supreme Court last week, accusing the Village of acting in an “unlawful and discriminatory manner.”
Copy of complaint: (story continues below)
Hampshire, which sits on 116 acres in the Orienta area of Mamaroneck, presented two separate condominium plans to the Village board, as theLoop reported, and the Board rejected the rezoning that would be necessary to build a 121-unit luxury condominium complex.
The suit claims “The board reacted swiftly by blunting any conversation about the plans, holding illegal executive sessions behind closed doors, in clear violation of New York State’s Open Meetings Law,” according to Developer Tom Nappi.
For well over a year, Nappi has maintained the future of Hampshire rests on the choice between the Condominium project that was rejected and building over 100 approximately 7000 sq. ft. houses, for which he says the property is legally zoned.
Celia Felsher, President of the Mamaroneck Coastal Environmental Coalition has said the ‘either-or’ characterization of building condos or McMansions “is an empty threat. The 106- home subdivision would not be feasible – or legal. Most of the property is barely above sea level and would have to be raised significantly to meet current FEMA guidelines, requiring at least 1,000,000 cubic yards (50,000 truckloads) of fill.”
“The Village has also attempted to destroy the club by issuing spurious zoning violations and requesting that the State Supreme Court prevent them from conducting all club activities, which would have had the impact of shutting down Hampshire,” he added.
The Village’s treatment violates Hampshire’s constitutional rights as a property owner and land use applicant, the lawsuit contends.
Hampshire is one of many country clubs across the country that has proposed and/or built housing in order to continue to operate.