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Mar 25, 2009 12:36 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Golf course a possibility on East Quogue site

Mar 25, 2009 12:36 PM

An attorney representing the owners of 430 acres in East Quogue said this week that his clients may be interested in constructing a private golf course and several luxury homes on the property instead of the 82 homes currently being proposed.

Wayne Bruyn said that his clients, a limited liability corporation called East Quogue Partners, began to look at alternatives for the project after a moratorium on the area ended last year and a planning study was released. The planning study recommended that the area be turned into a golf course because a portion of it has already been cleared. As a result of the study, the town also reduced the number of homes that can be built on the property from 111 to 82, reducing the potential profit for East Quogue Partners.

“The biggest issue [in that area] is the impact on the school district,” said Mr. Bruyn. “The mantra of many citizens is ‘No more development.’ As of right, it’s an 82-lot subdivision, unless the town wants to be creative.”

The golf course idea is not entirely new, however. According to Jefferson Murphree, the Southampton Town planning and development administrator, the idea has been included in several town studies since the mid-1990s. The benefit of such a project, he said, would be that it would develop an area that has already been disturbed and would not bring additional school-age children into the hamlet.

“It’s no impact to the school district, and it brings in nice quality to East Quogue,” Mr. Murphree said.

Considering the current economy, Mr. Bruyn said that constructing a private golf course and several high-end homes on the land might actually be more profitable for his clients than the original development.

Mr. Murphree said the town would prefer to see a public course at the site, “but with land values the way they are, we’re not holding our breath,” he said.

Though the land is partially in the core preservation area of the Pine Barrens, which can never be developed, a larger portion is in the compatible growth area, which can be developed. Mr. Bruyn also noted that some of the land, a portion of which was once a sand mine, has been cleared, or disturbed, meaning that it is more suitable for development than virgin land.

Groundwater protection would be of primary concern if the golf course plan is realized because the area is in the Pine Barrens, Mr. Murphree said. He nevertheless noted that other golf courses constructed on the East End, such as the Sebonack Golf Course in Southampton and The Bridge golf course in Bridgehampton, were built using environmentally-friendly methods.

On Monday, one member of the community said that while he would like to know more about the proposal, he is generally opposed to golf courses in East Quogue.

“The people that buy very luxury big homes around the golf course, those people tend to have guests all the time,” said Al Algieri, president of the East Quogue Civic Association, adding that he is concerned about the amount of traffic the large number of cars going to the golf course would generate. He said the Civic Association would prefer to have the subdivision. “[The traffic] would be a worse problem for us to deal with,” he said.

As it stands now, Mr. Bruyn’s clients are still pursuing the 82-lot subdivision. At the Planning Board meeting on Thursday, board members adopted a scoping outline for an environmental review, which goes over expected impacts to the environment that will be discussed in greater detail during the review. That detailed review is expected to take between three and six months to complete.

As for the golf course, Mr. Murphree said it’s up to the property owners to make that plan a reality.

“We put the plan in place with the [study], but it’s really up to the developer and the property owners to make it happen,” he said.

TD Bank Hearing

A new plan for a proposed TD Bank in Hampton Bays will be up for public discussion today, Thursday, March 26, at a public hearing to be held by the Southampton Town Planning Board. The new plan will be for a one-story building at the corner of Montauk Highway and East Tiana Road, with awnings over the windows and a variety of siding materials, including Hardie siding—an environmentally friendly product manufactured by a California-based company called James Hardie that resists weather damage—plus synthetic stucco and brick.

The new plan is for a smaller building than was originally proposed.

The plan was altered after Planning Board members said the originally proposed roof of the building was too high and would not fit in to the character of Hampton Bays.

At the Planning Board’s meeting on Thursday, March 19, TD Bank’s architect, Doug Cohen, said he met with the town’s Architectural Review Board earlier this month and its members were pleased with the revisions. Mr. Cohen is from the firm Bergmann Associates, located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

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That's just what we need.....yet another golf course no one wants and a foreign bank no one needs built and designed by out of town developers and architects, and most likely not even constructed by local builders. Realistically wouldn't it be smarter and better if the East Quogue land was sold to the town for preservation and the TD bank move in to the soon to be vacated Wamu/Chase space(s) or perhaps the empty retail space adjacent to Wild by Nature in Hampton Bays There is also other empty retail/commercial ...more
By pmofo (37), East Quogue on Mar 24, 09 2:40 AM
First off, while I am personally not an agronomist, I do know that there have been countless credible studies issued over recent years that prove golf course maintenance (mainly, fertilization) is no longer detrimental to the environment or groundwater. Most all golf course superintendents use best management practices to unsure runoff does not occur and there has been very little evidence of increased levels of Nitrate observed in soils due to leaching. The 'chemicals' used are now virtually all ...more
By knowyourfacts (1), Quogue on May 12, 09 11:57 AM