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Proposed Subdivisions, Parking Lots in Mamaroneck Debated

The Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission held a special meeting Monday night to discuss environmental regulations and coastal consistency.

In tackling the first item on Monday evening’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission (HCZM) agenda, Village Manager Richard Slingerland explained the Village of Mamaroneck's Board of Trustee's proposal to enact a moratorium on open space development for the subdivision of land to create four units or parcels or more, for a period of six months.

Slingerland noted that although the final text of the local law had not been completed yet, an amendment exempting the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club (MBYC) would be included, as the Club's application had already gone through the process.  

A later version of this law was amended after the HCZM meeting to provide for the exemption as follows, "Notwithstanding the foregoing, this local law shall not be  applied in any manner that conflicts with a Stipulated Consent Judgment executed by the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club and the Village of Mamaroneck and certain of its boards and officials and So Ordered by the Honorable Joan B. Lefkowitz, Justice of the Supreme Court, dated September 8, 2010 (Westchester County Supreme Court Index No.8818/05)."

The local law listed and amendment listed above were approved unanimously by the board after the meeting; a copy is included with the article and can be viewed by clicking to the right of the article.

“Be that as it may, you’re telling me the trustees aren’t done with this—they haven’t voted and we don’t have a final draft, so is there anything we can vote on tonight,” asked HCZM Chair Carl Birman.

After further review by the HCZM and the fact that the moratorium should, in fact, be reclassified as a Type II Action under the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the HCZM and village manager agreed that no approval or consistency determination was required of the HCZM. As a result, there was no action taken on the moratorium.

The next agenda item involved a discussion of whether or not to allow gravel and other permeable surfaces in—a surface that allows for water seepage—parking areas.

“Under best stormwater management practices, the village wants to encourage the greater use of pervious surfaces that allow water to seep through into the ground,” said Slingerland, citing the advantages of these surfaces as helping to prevent flooding and improving river water quality both locally and in the greater Long Island Sound.

“Again, I’m just interested in the impetus, the genesis of how this came about right now,” asked Birman about the agenda item and why it was before the HCZM.

“Part of the concern is in relation to a recent case that was heard in a zoning determination against the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club,” said Slingerland.

Adding to the confusion was the reason behind the urgency for the special HCZM meeting, which typically only meets on the third Wednesday of every month. Other HCZM members were similarly stumped.

“This law confuses me,” said Bert Siegel, referring to the wording of the proposed amendments.

The floor was later opened to public comment whereby Dan Natchez, owner of Daniel S. Natchez and Associates, Inc. and a frequent participant at public meetings in the VOM, approached the podium.

“What’s before you is to make a determination of consistency in terms of changing the code,” Natchez said, continuing, “When you start changing a code without looking at the entire code and what are the intricacies of when you change something in one place versus another, I’m not quite sure what’s been set forth.”

The meeting concluded with the determination of SEQRA and whether or not the matter should be deemed an unlisted action under SEQRA—one of the largest categories that are not included in statewide or individual agency lists of Type I or Type II actions in determining SEQRA.  Both HCZM members Alice Pernick and Peter Jackson called the matter unlisted. Board Counsel Anna Georgiou then clarified that a negative declaration would imply that there was no significant adverse environmental impact.

“I would submit that this should have a negative declaration,” said Jackson. “I think the impact on this is an attempt to reduce the amount of stormwater run-off for certain properties.”

He then made a motion to define the matter as an unlisted action and was seconded by Birman. The motion passed with five members in favor and Siegel and Schneider abstaining.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misstated the issue that was being discussed at the HCZM meeting as well as a statement that was attributed to Richard Slingerland.  The two issues being discussed have been clarified and a copy of the local law has been attached to this article. Patch apologizes for the error.

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