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Jul 20, 2016 11:05 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Discovery Land Still Considering Town's Offer For East Quogue Land

The Hills property AMANDA BERNOCCO
Jul 20, 2016 11:32 AM

The developers behind a proposed luxury golf course resort community still have not decided if they will accept Southampton Town’s offer to buy nearly 600 acres in East Quogue targeted for the development.

Mark Hissey, vice president of Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, said this week that representatives of his development company are still reviewing the town’s offer, the terms of which have not been disclosed.

“We’re analyzing the offer and we are going to respond formally,” Mr. Hissey said, adding that Discovery Land has until September to make a decision.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman announced during last week’s Town Board meeting that the municipality had made a “significant offer” to the developers on July 8 to purchase the land—which is actually several different properties—and preserve it with proceeds from the town’s Community Preservation Fund. There was $92,734,000 in the fund as of last week.

The town has given Discovery Land until mid-September to either accept or decline the offer.

Neither Mr. Schneiderman nor Mr. Hissey would disclose exactly how much the offer was, though Mr. Schneiderman said last week that the town’s bid was significantly higher than what Discovery Land paid for the land.

Mr. Hissey would not say how much his company paid for the property. “I can’t divulge that,” he said.

Mr. Schneiderman said Tuesday that he has been in touch with Mr. Hissey about the town’s offer, though he has no idea if Discovery Land will ultimately accept it.

“I talked with Mark Hissey earlier today,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “They have received the offer. They certainly thought it was a strong offer, but they are going to review it with their board.”

The supervisor added that he expects to hear from the developer before the town-imposed September deadline.

“They have a mid-September deadline,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I certainly expect to hear back from them before that date.”

The developer is currently seeking the town’s approval for a planned development district, or PDD, which allows more intense development than the land’s current five-acre zoning would normally permit, in exchange for community benefits. The development, called “The Hills at Southampton,” would feature 108 single-family homes, 10 condominiums and an 18-hole golf course on 168 acres along Spinney Road. The remaining 424 acres of property would be preserved, according to the developer.

To date, Discovery Land has submitted two draft impact environmental statements to the town—both of which were deemed incomplete. The statements are part of the PDD review process. In order for the statement to be deemed complete, four out of five Town Board members—called a supermajority—must approve the document.

If the application is resubmitted and deemed complete, the board would then schedule a public hearing on the application. After that, the developer would have to prepare a final environmental impact statement.

The Town Board can vote to take the application off the table at any time, an action that local environmentalists have been demanding that it do for months. If the board rejects the application, the developer can still develop the main property, though the exact number of homes that would be permitted is up for debate. Discovery Land has insisted that it could construct up to 82 single-family homes on the main lot.

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Read this Southampton Press article:

Harmful Algae Blooms Found In Three More Local Ponds Jul 22, 2016 10:08 PM
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Jul 23, 16 6:36 AM
Read the Southampton Press articles about algae damaging bay waters:

State Identifies Harmful Algae Blooms In Southampton And Water Mill
June 21, 2016 3:00PM

New Algae Is Found In Local Waters,
April 30, 2009

Sagg Pond Closed To Swimming After Dangerous Algae Is Detected,
Aug 26, 2015 10:31AM

More turf = more algae. 80% of nitrogen (the food for algae) comes from turf.
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Jul 23, 16 6:49 AM
Hey Mark, do you still want to turn Cow Neck into a golf course too?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 23, 16 7:16 AM
Preserve It

The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons has been studying The Hills at Southampton planned development district with interest.

Initially, the LWVH Natural Resources Committee agreed to recommend that the Town Board reject the PDD because of potential environmental concerns. Now that the Town Board has recommended that Community Preservation Fund monies be used to purchase and preserve the land, we applaud them for this decision [“Town Makes Bid For Land,” ...more
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Jul 24, 16 8:23 AM