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Aug 18, 2016 5:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Environmental Study For The Hills In East Quogue Expected To Be Rejected For Third Time

Southampton Town Board Councilman John Bouvier, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilwoman Julie Lofstad.   JEN NEWMAN
Aug 19, 2016 9:57 AM

The Southampton Town Board is expected to reject the draft environmental impact statement for a proposed luxury golf resort community in East Quogue at its next town board meeting on Tuesday.

This will mark the third time the DEIS for the controversial project, called “The Hills at Southampton,” by Arizona-based developer Discovery Land Company has been deemed incomplete by the town.

The proposed 591-acre project calls for 118 single-family homes and an 18-hole golf course to be built along Spinney Road in East Quogue. Discovery Land is seeking the town’s approval for a planned development district, or PDD—a zoning mechanism that allows increased density in exchange for perceived community benefits. The DEIS is part of that process and is used to identify and publicly discuss all significant environmental issues.

A review of the resubmitted DEIS was completed by AKRF Inc.—an environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm hired by the town—and highlighted several issues that still needed to be addressed in the document.

According to the report, the third resubmission did not fully address what the property’s tax and fiscal contributions would be to the East Quogue School District. It also did not complete a traffic analysis or address construction-related traffic conditions that could result from the project. Additionally, the report from the firm stated the DEIS needed to consider if there was an alternate to the proposed project that would require less grading and needed to compare the earth moving and grading impacts of each alternative.

The review by the firm noted that the third draft did address the majority of the issues from the second resubmitted DEIS in April by Discovery Land—particularly on land use, zoning and plans, soils and topography, water resources and clarifying waste water treatment concerns.

However, with several other concerns and minor map, table, legend and wording changes still needing to be addressed, the firm recommended to the planning department and Town Board that the DEIS be redrafted and resubmitted by Discovery Land.

Town Planning and Development Administrator Kyle Collins said he wasn’t surprised it took three rounds of review to get it right, due to the scope of the document. He added that since the majority of the items of concern from the second draft have been addressed, resubmitting a fourth DEIS would most likely not take as long as previous drafts.

A resolution from the Town Board to deem the scope and content of the DEIS as inadequate for public review is expected to be approved at Tuesday's Town Board meeting in Southampton Town Hall at 6 p.m. Once a final DEIS is ultimately approved by the Town Board, a public comment period would be opened on the draft.

Mark Hissey, vice president of Discovery Land, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Thursday.

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So much for "open government".

Why doesn't the public have a copy?

Proponents of this massive change of zone keep saying "read the document".
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 19, 16 1:59 AM
As I have posted previously - their recent submission is a "working copy". It gets reviewed by the Town first for adequacy. The public gains nothing by seeing a "work in progress" document and it only slows the process down.

For example, say they submit a new version of the document and it's missing a 3 page section on water quality.

If the public gets it the day it's given to Town, they will certainly be reading it before any Town officials will and will immediately cry ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Aug 19, 16 7:54 AM
So what now? They get a fourth shot at getting it right? Who does the Town Board work for??? 3 strikes and they're out. If their scientists and planners, who are supposed to be so advanced and experienced, need our Town Board and consultants to correct them THREE TIMES, then how can we trust anything they come up with? TB gave them opportunity to get out of this gracefully with a $35million offer, and they passed on it. Now the TB should pass on the PDD! PLEASE REJECT THE PDD NOW. ENOUGH ...more
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Aug 20, 16 11:52 AM
Amper is a sycophant and a sensationalist he doesn't care about East Quogue. He cares about his job, which is to blindly oppose anything that will get him attention. Every person in that room opposing The Hills is, whether advertantly or inadvertantly, advocating for a residential subdivision. Shame on them. If The Hills doesn't happen, we all know who to blame for the awful development and the influx of kids into the school.
By getalife (61), Southampton on Aug 24, 16 2:17 PM
Anybody around here realize that the school is currently underutilized?

Today, they have plenty of room if new students should show up. And, may need them!
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 24, 16 11:40 PM
All I'll say about Amper is please don't confuse the message with the messenger. And as to the school, there are about 100 empty lots that have been sitting unbuilt in East Quogue for over a decade. If this PDD doesn't get approved no one is going to add to the glut. And if you want to build a golf course do it like it was done at Sebonack and the Bridge, over already cleared and developed land, don't take down 200 acres of forest to do it.
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Aug 25, 16 11:18 AM
2 members liked this comment
Mr. Babcock was an ambulance volunteer in Hampton Bays not in East Quogue for 20 years. He alleged he is speaking for the volunteers, when pressed by the Supervisor if he was a fireman, Mr Babcock said "no" ambulance volunteer.

The mayor of Quogue spoke and he is in favor of "The Hills". I tell you what Mr.Sartouris put the golf course in your backyard in Quogue, not mine in East Quogue.

I just received a copy of a form letter and was asked to sign it by one of my neighbors in ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Aug 24, 16 6:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
Could the reporter possibly have this right:

"Discovery Land says that its as-of-right development of the land means it could construct almost 90 single-family homes—all with individual and outdated cesspools."

So Discovery, great stewards of the environment that they claim they are, is threatening that if they don't get the PDD they are going to put in outdated cesspools.

And who is going to let them do that?
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Aug 25, 16 10:09 AM
2 members liked this comment
Grow up folks and accept progress as it benefits EQ taxes, schools and the town in and of itself.
They forgot to bring Baldwin again whose not a resident of EQ to the meeting so the brought a HB volunteer - who is the opposition bringing next time?
What a farce...time to approve and move on!
By garjay (7), east quogue on Aug 25, 16 11:25 AM
Look at the letters to the editor in the print editions. This has been going on for a long time, and a pattern has emerged. The anti-Hills letters are fairly long, while the pro-Hills letters are noticeably shorter.

Why is that? Because there are numerous arguments to be made against the Hills, but there really isn't much to be said in favor of the project. The letters in support are written by people who have been co-opted in one way or another to shill for this proposal. They don't ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 25, 16 9:48 PM
Should be "doesn't" in last sentence.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 25, 16 9:51 PM
I just watched a News 12 story in which the chairman of the SCWA said we're going to have a severe water problem in less than 10 years due to overuse. A golf course in the northeast uses as much water as 200 average Suffolk County homes. How can the Town consider a change of zone that will create another golf course??
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Aug 30, 16 5:44 PM
1 member liked this comment