LARCHMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A group of concerned neighbors in Westchester County is speaking out against a developer’s plan to tear down a beloved 120-year-old house.

Bobby Ben-Simon tells CBS2’s Lou Young that he’s planned on demolishing the house on Ocean Avenue since he purchased it for 4.7 million dollars.

Some say it marks a trend in affluent suburbs brought about by climbing property values.

CBS2 reports that the village recently put a one year hold on development to rework zoning regulations to keep the trend in check, but it came along too late to save the Ocean Avenue mansion.

“The values are so great that you see the economic pressure, that somebody wants to come in and build to the absolute envelope of the property,” explained Mayor Lorraine Walsh.

The problem, neighbors say, is that large, older homes like the one on Ocean Avenue are knocked down and replaced with four smaller homes on the same piece of property.

“If this goes, our fear is that it will perpetuate and encourage more development,” said Larchmont resident Kim Tofelli.

Most fear that time has run out for the old house on the hill. Still, others want to fight on.

“Let them sue,” said neighbor Cheryl Brock. “Let’s make it an issue that it’s got to be stopped.”

Village trustees are expected to vote on new zoning regulations Monday night.


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