Submitted by representatives of the Hampshire Club Development Plan
A State Court has ruled that Hampshire may pursue its most recent lawsuit against the Village of Mamaroneck.
For almost three years, a legal skirmish between the Hampshire Country Club and the Village of Mamaroneck has dragged on over Hampshire’s proposal to build condominiums and/or large houses. New York State Supreme Court Judge Linda S. Jamieson has issued a decision rejecting the Village’s effort to dismiss the case.
“We are pleased with Judge Jamieson’s decision, and will continue to pursue our claims against the Village for what we believe was illegal decision making behind closed-doors,” said Hampshire’s Tom Nappi.
“This lawsuit isn’t about beating the Village of Mamaroneck in court. It’s always been about finding the right balance of residential housing, maintaining open space and continuing Hampshire’s 90-year-old tradition as a country club. We just want a fair chance to present our plans and work with the Village to create something of value for everyone.”
Many residents, particularly those in the neighboring Orienta area have long rallied against the development proposals.
Hampshire originally asked the Village to consider rezoning the property to a new “open space/residential community” district. This zoning would have permitted Hampshire to integrate a limited number of condominiums into the existing clubhouse, while preserving the entire 18-hole golf course as open space in perpetuity through a deed restriction.
Mr. Nappi added, “Hampshire, like many country clubs throughout the region, must find creative ways to counteract the financial pressures created by a downward trend in golfing over the past decade. We thought that the condo plan would be the perfect solution, as it would generate sufficient additional revenue for the Club, while preserving the entire golf course as open and recreational space for the community.”
In 2014, however, the Village Board declined to consider this proposal, and instructed Hampshire to make an application to the Village Planning Board.
Hampshire’s current proposal would convert the property into 105 residential units, consisting of a mix of luxury townhomes and single family homes, along with a 9-hole golf course.
The next step will be depositions of various Members of the Village Board, Village Staff and other relevant persons, as the parties now enter the discovery phase of the litigation.
This is not the first time the Village has engaged in drawn out legal battles with clubs and other community organizations in the Village regarding development proposals. The Village has lost several of these lawsuits in the past, including paying a reported 4 million dollars to settle a lawsuit with a local school.
According to a statement from the development team, the Village has already spent well over $60,000 in connection with various lawsuits against Hampshire. Hampshire recently submitted a FOIL request seeking to identify the precise amount the Village has spent in legal fees, but was told that this information would not be available until November 8, 2017 – a day after the next Village election.