MAMARONECK, N.Y. – A $55 million lawsuit filed this week claims the village of Mamaroneck tried to block Hampshire Country Club from developing its property into residential units.
The club filed the lawsuit with the state Supreme Court, and Mayor Norman Rosenblum confirmed the Board of Trustees and Zoning Board of Appeals were both served Wednesday, Aug. 13. Rosenblum declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the lawsuit.
The club has presented two development plans to the village. Both were rejected, and the club claims in its lawsuit that the village boards held no public meetings on either. It also claims the village board violated open meetings laws.
“The board has held numerous illegal closed-door meetings, which provide no transparency and don’t allow the public access to what goes into making decisions that affect people in the community,” Hampshire’s Tom Nappi said in a statement. “That’s why we filed the lawsuit.”
The club also claims the village is trying to devalue the property so it can buy the land at a below-market rate and that a small group of residents who live near the club is influencing its decisions. Nappi said this violates Hampshire’s constitutional rights as a property owner and land-use applicant.
“It seems to us that the village board would rather destroy the club, lose valuable open space and risk millions of dollars in legal damages than allow minimal residential development,” he said in the statement.
Hampshire also claims the village has harassed it with “unfounded actions” in multiple courts, which it said has cost the village $6.25 million. This includes $60,000 alone this year from battles over zoning issues.
“Whenever you have a situation where it’s adversarial, I believe all parties lose,” Rosenblum said. “However, the village must defend itself. So, you really don’t have a choice.
“It’s always nice to be able to negotiate and come to a settlement,” he said.