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Nov 30, 2016 10:13 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Time Restraints Set For Monday's Public Hearing On The Hills

Dec 1, 2016 1:12 PM

New time limits are going to be set for speakers at next week’s public hearing on a proposed luxury golf course resort community in East Quogue.

The hearing will be the second in a series of at least four public hearings focusing on the draft environmental impact statement for the development, called The Hills at Southampton, which targets nearly 600 acres in East Quogue. The hearing will be held on Monday, December 5, at 6 p.m. in the hamlet’s elementary school on Central Avenue.

At the start of the meeting, a representative for the developer, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, will be given 10 minutes to discuss the proposed project. After that, Bob DeLuca, president of Group for the East End, will take the microphone and give a 20-minute presentation focusing on alternative designs for the property targeted by The Hills that opponents believe should be considered.

Recognized community groups—such as civic associations and citizen advisory committees—will be given five minutes each to speak, while individuals will be given three minutes each to speak, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman explained.

The Town Board also will have the option of allowing people to speak a second time at the end of the meeting if the council members feel it’s necessary, Mr. Schneiderman added.

“This won’t be the last public hearing,” said Mr. Schneiderman, noting that he received a lot of requests from people looking for more time to speak. “There will be at least two more public hearings. Everyone will get to say whatever they want to say before the public hearing is closed.”

Mr. DeLuca originally asked for an hour to discuss the 473-page document that focuses on the potential environmental impact of the project, but eventually reached a compromise with Mr. Schneiderman that he would speak for only 20 minutes. “We’re going to do the best we can with the 20 minutes,” he said. “We appreciate it—to me, it’s a step in the right direction.”

At the first public hearing, held on November 7, the developer was given an hour at the beginning of the four-hour meeting to give a presentation. Although the time allotted for presentations in the beginning of the hearing will be shorter next week, Mr. Schneiderman said he still expects it to last at least four hours so that everyone in attendance can speak.

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So the developer gave a presentation for an hour (it was really closer to 75 minutes) at the first meeting, plus an additional ten minutes at the second meeting, compared to 20 minutes total for the opposition's presentation which will be allowed at the second meeting. They were not given any time at all at the first meeting. They were treated as individuals who were allowed 3 minutes. How is that fair????? A level playing field should allow the opposition's presentation a full 85 minutes to ...more
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Nov 30, 16 11:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
The Developer is the one making the application and as such has been requested to make the presentation. Anyone opposing the proposal is given an opportunity to speak which would include the Group for the East End. The fact that they have been given the opportunity to present for 20 minutes rather than the 3 that any other person would be granted is already an accommodation...that sounds fair to me.
By 27easted (2), Mattituck on Nov 30, 16 4:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sorry, this is a life-changing decision for our community and all should be entitled to voice their opinions without limitations. We have been inundated with repetitious Press ads, US mail flyers and presentations at meetings ad nauseum. Keep repeating the same lies and soon everyone believes them. We in the oppposition should be able to express our opinions at Town meetings. Unfortunately we don't have the funds to access the public via the media as the developer does: our government can help ...more
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Dec 1, 16 10:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
Understood, for the sake of your cause I hope that 3 minutes times as many people will be a voice loud enough for your message to be heard. Best of luck
By 27easted (2), Mattituck on Dec 2, 16 12:54 PM
Jay's rules...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 30, 16 4:01 PM
I have an idea. Jay should reach out to civic leaders in the towns that the last 5 Discovery projects were completed...

See what they say.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Dec 5, 16 9:12 PM
I hope that the town board was able to see that most of those who spoke in favor of this project were carpetbaggers looking to make a quick buck on the backs of Southampton town. Despite testimony from one speaker on the trustworthiness of Discovery, they purposely "forgot" to mention that their mouthpieces were from the lobbying group the Long Island Business Institute, in particular, Lois Frick, who prattled a list of names and addresses of local people she claims support this project without ...more
By zappy (65), east quogue on Dec 5, 16 9:23 PM
3 members liked this comment