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Mamaroneck Approves Comprehensive Plan Update

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees adopted the first Comprehensive Master Plan Update since 1986 at its Monday night meeting. The plan, which passed with a 4-1 vote, creates a vision for what residents want their village to look like in 10 to 20 years and guides its boards on land use, development and zoning. Trustee John Hofstetter wished to table the matter until comments made by several residents at Monday night's meeting could be reviewed. "I vote no because it's a flawed document and certainly the residents deserve a better document from us," Hofstetter said. "It is embarrassing for us to be suggesting that we encourage more density in an area that floods. Some of the more recent construction that we've had and more high density construction has been built in areas that flood. We are going to compound the problem right now, and I think that's a mistake."

In September of 2006, the mayor appointed Robert Galvin, chair of the planning board, to chair the 2025 Vision Committee, consisting of 25 members representing public and private sectors of the village to help prepare the plan update. They set out to preserve and enhance the small-town character, diversity, and special natural environment of the village, update certain zoning ordinances, among many other goals, officials said.

"This is a forward looking document, recommendations are made for the future," Galvin said. "You can adjust as you move forward, this is a living document. It's been approved by the county planning board, we've revised it based on their comments. We've had a lot of public comment on this." Like several residents who addressed their issues with the plan Monday, Sue McCrory said she found many inconsistencies. While McCrory took issue with how the downtown area will be developed in the coming years, flooding was the biggest concern among residents Monday. "It's a very weak document," McCrory said. "It doesn't give a very strong vision for this community. It's way too weak on flooding." Dan Natchez, president of the Shore Acres Homeowners Association, echoed McCrory's sentiment.

"If this discussion were happening one week after we had six feet of water throughout most of the low lands in this village, there would be absolutely no question that we would be saying let's do something serious about this," he said.

Despite residents' concerns, the plan update was found to be consistent with the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program at the Feb. 15 meeting of the Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission by a 4-3 vote. At its Jan. 9 meeting, the Board of Trustees issued a negative declaration on the plan update, meaning it wouldn't have an adverse impact on the environment. More recently, the Westchester County Planning Board supported the adoption of the plan.

"We all know this new plan is not a perfect document, but as time goes on we can use this document to move ahead with what the residents have identified in the document as what they want their village to be, so I vote yes," Toni Ryan, trustee, said.

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