“A big part of the reason people come to Larchmont is for the charming homes,” said Sarah Bauer, one of the leaders of Preserve Larchmont. “We know they can be drafty and leaky, but if you wanted something big and new looming over you, you would go to Queens or Long Island.”
After a spate of teardowns the past few years, on Jan. 11 the Board of Trustees took the unusual step of passing a six-month moratorium on residential development in the one-square-mile village.
Why the village is attracting so many wrecking crews is not entirely clear. The most common explanation is that as neighboring communities like Scarsdale and Rye have become saturated with new housing, and cracked down on it, developers are looking farther afield.
What has most alarmed villagers, and intrigued developers, is not simply that old homes are being replaced with newer, bigger ones but rather that two, three or even four homes are being built where once there was just one. There have been 23 new homes built over the past decade, 14 resulting from demolitions and subdivisions, according to city records. With roughly 1,800 homes, that may not seem like much, but village officials said it was undertaking the moratorium to ensure the trend does not grow.