clubhouse, east hampton, indoor, tennis, cornhole, bar, happy hour, bowling, mini golf

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Jan 23, 2015 4:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

The Hills At Southampton Golf Course Application Deemed Complete

Jan 28, 2015 9:44 AM

Developers looking to build a controversial golf course and housing subdivision in East Quogue will go back before the Southampton Town Board to pitch a plan to cluster development rights from multiple properties onto one 168-acre building lot.

The updated plan now calls for the construction of 108 single-family homes, a clubhouse that would contain 10 condominium units and an 18-hole golf course on the 168 acres. Approximately 98 acres will be set aside for the golf course.

The application for The Hills at Southampton, a proposed mixed-use planned development district, or PDD, was deemed incomplete in November because it was missing multiple pieces of information, including the current building yield for two of the four parcels included in the project, known as the Kracke and Parlato properties. The 62-acre Kracke property will be part of the development with 13 homes, while the 101-acre Parlato property will be designated as open space.

According to a document submitted to the town last week by the Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, the residential yield on the Kracke parcel would be 12 units and the Parlato property could hold up to 24 units. Discovery Land will not close on either property, however, unless the change of zoning application is approved by the Town Board. Previously, community members had questioned the developers’ claim that the as-of-right yield on the properties totaled 118 single-family homes.

If the mixed-use PDD is approved, the development rights from those two properties would be added to The Hills South parcel, a 168-acre tract located between Spinney and Lewis roads, with an as-of-right yield of 82 homes. The Hills North parcel, located north of Sunrise Highway and totaling 87 acres, will be set aside as open space.

It is not known when the Town Board will review the application again. Town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins did not return calls or emails seeking comment this week.

The new houses, which will be marketed as second and third homes, will be occupied by “part-time vacation residents that are primarily existing ‘members’ of other Discovery Land Company resort communities,” according to the revised application. Officials estimate that residents will be in the homes an average of 60 days per year, over the summer months.

Mark Hissey, senior vice president of Discovery Land, said the company has not yet set prices for the homes or golf club memberships. “We will be capping the number of members at around 200,” Mr. Hissey said on Tuesday, explaining that those members will be able to invite family and friends to the course.

Additionally, Discovery Land officials included five other pieces of information that were missing from the 76-page document that was submitted in November, including an appraisal of the properties, fiscal and economic impacts of the development, the value of the proposed community benefits, a list of owners of the neighboring properties and a description of how appropriate the development is for the East Quogue community.

According to an appraisal submitted in the application by Cushman and Wakefield, an Islandia-based real estate brokerage, the value of all four properties combined would increase by $14 million if the change of zone is approved. If the property is developed based on the current zoning, which would place 118 homes throughout the properties, with no land set aside for open space or a golf course, the firm calculated a market value of $30 million. If The Hills is developed and the 118 homes were clustered, that number would jump to $44 million, according to the document.

Mr. Hissey said he did not know how the estimates were calculated, or why the golf course and cluster construction adds that much value. A representative from Cushman and Wakefield did not immediately return calls seeking comment this week.

“It’s a tough thing to ask, because there’s never been a project like this out here,” Mr. Hissey said.

Discovery Land officials also report considerable increases in tax revenue if the project is approved. According to the application, officials predict that the development would generate about $5.5 million in tax revenue annually, of which nearly $4.4 million would go to the East Quogue School District. No children will be enrolled in the district due to covenant restrictions that would be set up if the development receives Town Board approval; how those covenants would work has not been explained thus far.

If the properties were developed as of right, Discovery Land officials state that they would generate a total of $2.1 million in tax revenue annually, $1.8 million of which would go to the school. Children living in the single-family homes could also enroll in the school district.

According to the listed community benefits that Discovery Land included as part of the PDD application, about 150 jobs would be created, including 70 full-time positions that would pay a total of $5.1 million annually. Mr. Hissey said most of the jobs would be related to the clubhouse and golf course, noting that the company would hire more employees than a typical golf club.

There are 15 community benefits listed on the application, down from 19 that were submitted in November. The old list included the estimated $4.4 million per year added to the tax base; it was removed because the town does not consider it a benefit. The town also said that the lining proposed for certain areas of the golf course was not considered a benefit either. Two other benefits were combined with the 15 that were pitched to the town under the revised application.

The plan lists 15 such benefits—with an estimated value of $3.4 million for the first year, and $10 million per year after that, according to the firm—and they include providing enhanced wastewater treatment where it is feasible for The Hills; participating in research of high-tech septic systems for use in the town; adding watershed improvements that would benefit Weesuck Creek and the western portion of Shinnecock Bay; providing more downtown parking in East Quogue; and restoring habitats in the open space on The Hills South, the Kracke and Parlato properties, as well as in Shinnecock Bay.

Those benefits are worth about $2.3 million, according to Discovery Land’s estimates.

The list also includes five benefits geared toward the East Quogue School District. The plans ensure, through a restrictive covenant, that no children from the development would attend the elementary school, reducing the impact on the district financially. The golf course would be open to students who are members of the Westhampton Beach High School golf team and also for educational programs, and would host about five charity outings per year to benefit the school or town. The developers also pledge to fund improvements to the East Quogue School’s soccer field, install sidewalks and a crosswalk from Spinney Road to Old Country Road, and to dedicate nine-tenths of an acre to the district.

Those benefits total $620,000 for the first year and would bring in about $5 million annually, according to the application.

A more specific analysis of the fiscal and economic impacts of the development will be prepared if the Town Board issues a positive declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, which would mean that Discovery Land needs to provide a Draft Environmental Impact Statement as well.

The final bit of information requested by the town, a description of how appropriate this project would be for the East Quogue community, was also included in the revised application. The project was designed to “complement the area’s rural character,” and also the “architectural character of the area and maximize retention and regard for natural resources,” according to the document.

It also lists 10 ways that the proposal conforms to Southampton Town’s Comprehensive Plan Update, which was published in 1999 and describes the types of development the town would like to see in the future while also preserving the natural look and feel of the town, while providing community benefits.

Some hamlet residents, including East Quogue Civic Association President Al Algieri, remain skeptical of the application.

“We’re going to dissect this thing,” Mr. Algieri said on Tuesday, noting that he had not yet reviewed the revised document.

Regardless of what is being proposed, Mr. Algieri said he has already made his mind up about The Hills. “It’ll be a wreck,” he said. “It’ll be the end of the East End as we know it.”

The plan submitted last week was very different from the pre-application that was previously approved by the Town Board in January 2014. The original called for the construction of only 82 single-family houses on 436 acres that sit north of Montauk Highway, between Lewis and Spinney roads, and continuing north across Sunrise Highway.

The Town Board approved the pre-application, 4-1, with Councilwoman Bridget Fleming casting the only opposing vote.

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18-hole golf course on 98 acres .. what what ??
that's tiny and crammed.
is this article correct?
The pre-application for the project called for the construction of only 82 single-family houses on 436 acres that sit north of Montauk Highway
that's a MASSIVE CHANGE ..or what am I missing ??:?
By david h (405), southampton on Jan 23, 15 4:56 PM
Tiny and crammed? It doesn't matter. With this Town Board and the right developer dropping enough bucks in their "campaign kitty", a savvy developer can get almost anything done.

Every election season Anna and others will go around town decrying the horrible super density I Hampton Bays that they vow they will correct. Before you know it, they've just approved the super high density development in Hampton Bays for a well known contributing developer family - the Rechlers.

That's ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Jan 23, 15 8:44 PM
agree completely.
a golf course on 98 acres is a joke however ..
By david h (405), southampton on Jan 26, 15 8:44 AM
Affordable workforce housing I presume. ........
By nytractor (15), hampton bays on Jan 23, 15 10:52 PM
The East Quogue UFSD does not have a golf team!
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Jan 24, 15 11:57 AM
I'm not saying this project is good or bad. The problem I have is the town board has no consistency on giving approvals. They like to do their butt kissing in Hampton Bays, and EQ then do zero to help them.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 24, 15 12:47 PM
4 members liked this comment
I actually find Scalera in particular to be very consistent. Consistent with being informed, consistent with knowledge base and consistent in voting for what she believes in agree with it or not. Ms. Fleming who proves to be all over the map, is hardly worth praise.

By Roughrider28 (80), southampton on Jan 28, 15 7:06 PM
Roughrider, we clearly have different definitions of being "all over the map." The votes of Bridget Fleming, as one might expect from the only registered Democrat on the Town Board, have been consistently based on progressive Democratic principles. Many everyday issues of local government don't involve these principles, but for those that do, Ms. Fleming has voted her convictions, which are Democratic and progressive, often standing alone in doing so, as noted in my Jan. 24 post below.

You ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 28, 15 10:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Note that Councilwoman Fleming cast the only opposing vote on the pre-application in early 204. This is not the first time that Bridget Fleming has stood alone on this Board in voting her convictions.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 24, 15 2:40 PM
Congratulations give her the Nobel Peace Prize. She is as clueless as the rest of the unemployable on the board.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 26, 15 1:21 PM
I've always liked the way chief1 contributes thoughtful, balanced comments, stating all his reasons in detail and fully documenting all his facts. Thanks, Chief.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 27, 15 11:34 AM
They are not all unemployable In fact, we are lucky if we can keep the one(s) who could in all likelihood do far better elsewhere. And agree with justsayin (this one time) if you think they are so "unemployable" Chief 1 -why don't you run…AGAIN?!
By Roughrider28 (80), southampton on Jan 28, 15 7:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
How does changing the zoning of this property positively impact East Quogue and Southampton Town?

Minimizing the negative impact that the development and golf course themselves will have on water quality and the surrounding environment does not seem like a benefit, was there anything else?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Jan 26, 15 11:21 AM
2 members liked this comment
... these guys left out absolutely vital pieces of information in their submitted application. In their arrogance/ignorance they continue to show they can not be trusted nor can they be counted on to take appropriate measures to protect the drinking water of three thousand homes that depend on the water from the sole source aquifer over which they are attempting to spot zone this horrible project.

The Town Board has to put an end to this charade now and preserve the property
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jan 26, 15 1:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
Read the bottom footnote of page 16 of "The Hills" application.

Do the developers make things up as they go along - to fit the lawful established requirements?
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Feb 5, 15 9:29 AM
Hey Chief, which these unemployable board members did you vote for? Stop complaining and run for office.
By Justsay'n (42), Southampton on Jan 26, 15 3:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sorry I wouldn't fit in I actually have a job, and get things done. Town Government needs a bunch of people that proclaim their great education, but do little.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 30, 15 1:10 PM
"... there’s never been a project like this out here,” Mr. Hissey said. For good reason. NO benefit can negate the horrific effect this development will have on our drinking water. Bottom line. The EQ community as a whole, with very few exceptions, does not want this. As for parking in town? Where do you think that will come from? Our quaint and lovely downtown may become a chain store hell.

By Earthgirl (52), Southampton on Jan 30, 15 8:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
PDDs will be the death of Southampton Town. I guess politicians need something to sell. IN DC its loopholes and subsidies, locally its zoning variances.
Another scandal is zoning enforcement. Seems to range from non-existent on large flagrant violations to outright harassment of small, questionable situations.
By smacw (240), New York on Feb 2, 15 9:18 PM
This development will have a very large negative impact on the Pine Barrens, and how Southampton can even consider this is just unreal. "As of Right"..I'll tell what's "as of right" that this land be purchased with the powers of eminent domain for preservation, that is OUR right. I find it very interesting that Mr.Water, oops, I meant Richard Amper, is nowhere to be found in this piece. Actions (esp lack of) speak louder than words Mr.Amper.
By PineBaron (10), Westbury on Feb 12, 15 1:03 AM
1 member liked this comment