LARCHMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Larchmont residents have been up in arms over plans to tear down iconic homes.
Developers want to build new homes in their quiet community, and the mayor has been trying to calm concerns that the quaint village could turn into a 6th boro.
“It’s very casual. I just call it magical,” Cheryl Brock told CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
Brock has lived in Larchmont for 32 years, and doesn’t like what’s happening across the street at 40 Ocean Avenue.
“They’re tearing down houses that have been here for a hundred years, and putting up three or four or five in the same space,” she said.
Public outcry over a developer’s plan to replace the hundred year old home with four new ones prompted the city to issue a 6 month moratorium on all new residential development — it expires on October 15.
“The moratorium isn’t to just lock down development within the village. It was to give us time to study the situation, review the situation, and come up with some changes,” Mayor Lorraine Walsh said.
The mayor and board drafted three revisions to the zoning code including; increasing the distance from property line to house, limiting lot size, and regulating how big a house can be compared to the lot it’s sitting on.
Critics said it’s not enough.
“We are not happy. They need to go farther than they’ve done, and enact more legislation to protect our village and to prevent 40 Ocean from happening again,” Sarah said.
Mayor Walsh said every home built in Larchmont will be held to the same zoning requirements as those already there — protecting the village as it evolves over time.
“It’s just necessary, and it’s what happens. What we need to make sure is when it happens, what gets built fits the character, doesn’t overtly affect neighbors,” Walsh said, “Those are the things that we can control.”
“It’s not that we don’t want to move forward. It’s that we don’t want to lose what’s special about Larchmont,” Brock explained.
It’s yet to be seen if the new development can blend in with old world charm.
KOSL Building Group, President Bobby Ben-Simon said the people of Larchmont should rest assured that the homes to be built at 40 Ocean Ave will be the highest level, and that he hopes common sense will prevail in the future.