Z&S Partners David Cooper and Jody Cross have secured another favorable decision in the second of two lawsuits filed on behalf of the Hampshire County Club against the Village of Mamaroneck Planning Board concerning a proposal to develop 105 homes and a 9-hole golf course on the Club’s property. In June 2020, Hampshire filed an Article 78 challenging the Planning Board’s negative SEQRA Findings and associated resolutions denying the project. After conducting a day-long hearing and considering various memoranda of law, the Supreme Court, Westchester County, overturned the Planning Board’s denial, remanding the application for continued review.
In the Decision and Order, issued on November 17th, the Court recognized that the Planning Board’s denial was tainted by a desire for a “preordained” negative result, citing evidence uncovered by the Village’s Board of Ethics of Planning Board Members scheming to “wrestle control” away from its professionals, and private acknowledgements that alleged impacts held out as reasons to deny the project would actually not occur. In addition, the Court took issue with the Planning Board’s last-minute change in standards to evaluate future flooding conditions, and its refusal to accept into the record a plan prepared by Hampshire demonstrating compliance with the newly imposed standard. The Court also rebuked the Planning Board for relying on “speculative community objections” to substantiate alleged unmitigated impacts, rather than relying on the expert opinion and empirical evidence in the record demonstrating that such impacts would not, in fact, occur.