To the Editor: Where is Town of Mamaroneck Architectural Review?

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letter-to-the-editor

Update: Mamaroneck Town Halts Some Residential Development

Many people are concerned about recent development proposals in the Village of Larchmont. The Village is considering a moratorium on such projects. This letter was submitted by a resident of the Town of Mamaroneck.

To the Editor:

Where is the Town of Mamaroneck Architectural Review Board?

We used to love this town. For 25 years. Not anymore.  For the past few years we have witnessed the onerous effects of outrageous overbuilding by opportunistic, local, and carpet bagging builders.

Now we are experiencing it in our own backyard. And it’s sickening.

We’ve been told the new house next door would “raise the value of our home.” I’ve heard that before, but this is why it’s not true: The value of our home was in the “country feel” our backyard offered. We saw lots of trees, lots of grass, lots of sky, had lots of light. The building next door has taken much of that away. The words I hear almost daily to describe it are “barn’ “warehouse” and “monstrosity.” Who would pay more to live next to that?

The enjoyment of our home has been severely compromised. We don’t like coming home and sitting on our back porch anymore. For any privacy we have to close all the shades on that side of the house.

For 25 years this house was our love and our sanctuary. Our backyard offered serenity and escape from the activity on Murray Avenue.

Many towns have “Boards of Architectural Review” to protect against what is happening in our town. Rye for example has one whose purpose is to “promote and protect the aesthetics……..of the community by preventing excessive uniformity and excessive incongruity in building design and by conserving property values for the majority of residential houses in the town.”

Scarsdale has one to “preserve and promote the character and appearance of buildings within the Village of Scarsdale….and to ensure that buildings are designed in harmony with the neighboring community.”

Where’s ours?

Thanks Town of Mamaroneck for not having such a review board, and thanks zoning board for allowing new structures to smother every square inch of grass, and for sending the charm and quality of life Larchmont used to offer to the history books.

We request that the Planning and Zoning boards of the Town of Mamaroneck visit our backyard, sit on our deck and witness the gross overbuilding, incongruity and lack of harmony that is permeating our town.

 

Deborah Broder and Bill Walters,
Larchmont

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5 thoughts on “To the Editor: Where is Town of Mamaroneck Architectural Review?

  1. I completely agree. As the daughter of the letter writer who lived in this home for 22 years, I returned yesterday from Denver to exactly what my parents here are talking about. Monstrosity is an accurate description and completely ruins the cozy, community feel we had growing up here. The house is less of a house and more like a small building. You go deb and Bill!!

  2. Thank you, Deborah and Bill, for voicing the concerns about unregulated building in that I’m sure other Larchmont residents also feel but may not have expressed. I hope your letter is heeded by the powers that be, so that some measures are taken to maintain the peaceful beauty and tasteful architecture that the town has always been known for.

  3. The Town of Mamaroneck has just enacted a moritorium on almost all new residential construction, starting on 1/1/16 and running for a defined period, which will permit the Town Board to determine what, if anything, that has not already been done should be done to control one-family residential development in the Town.

    Note that the downtown Larchmont shopping districts, with their many vacant stores (although the block from Palmer to North along Chatsworth, at this very moment, has no vacant stores at all!), is not within the jurisdiction of the Town of Mamaroneck’s Planning and Zoning Boards and the Town Board but, rather, within the jurisdiction of Larchmont Village’s equivalent boards and its Board of Trustees. Note, also, that Larchmont Village has an Architectural Review Board, but nevertheless has quite a few fairly new one-family houses that appear to be totally out of character with the surrounding community.

  4. I agree with letter writer! To prevent further damage the Town of Mamaroneck sahould get busy and rewrite rule for over size -square footage of new houses. This could prevent contracters from building these out of character monstrosities.

  5. Planners in general seem to be absent in Larchmont. The downtown area has had too many vacancies for too long, and other towns have made sure the vacant storefronts don’t detract from the overall look of their business districts. With taxes so high and quality of life a selling point I would think that more activism on the part of residents would be forthcoming. It takes a village to protect one!

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