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Aug 23, 2017 10:29 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Supporters Of The Hills Turn Out In Force At Southampton Town Board Meeting Tuesday

Hills supporters on Tuesday. JEN NEWMAN
Aug 24, 2017 9:32 AM

Supporters of a proposed resort targeting nearly 600 acres in East Quogue came out in force on Tuesday night at a Southampton Town Board meeting.

Roughly 120 people showed up in support of the project, dubbed The Hills at Southampton, that is being pitched by Arizona’s Discovery Land Company. Attendees of the board meeting—held at the town’s senior center in Hampton Bays—were organized by Jessica Insalaco of East Quogue, an employee of Discovery Land who does public relations work for the firm.

“It just feels like it’s coming to the next stage of the process,” she said as to why she organized the pro-Hills demonstration.

Although many turned out for the meeting, wearing purple “Hills Yes!” stickers on their clothes, only a handful spoke during a public comment portion.

East Quogue resident Nate Burns, who has a 4-year-old son, Simon, and a 2-year-old daughter, Molly, with another baby due in October spoke in favor of the project, noting that he supported the plan for a proposed 117 residential units and an 18-hole private golf course centered on roughly 168 acres in East Quogue because of the community benefits that would be offered.

“I like how The Hills is thinking of the kids and the schools,” Mr. Burns said. “How they’re going to contribute so much to the schools.”

The community benefits being offered include improvements to the hamlet’s Main Street and the upgrading of residential septic systems in the immediate area. Those benefits, which also include improvements to the elementary school, are mandated as part of the now-banned PDD application process; the Discovery Land application has been allowed to proceed because it predated the move to eliminate PDDs altogether.

Discovery Land officials have estimated that their development, if approved, would generate nearly $5.7 million in annual tax revenue for the East Quogue School District without adding any children to the single-school district, since residency would be seasonal.

Among the crowd of Hills supporters at the board meeting, one East Quogue resident who does not support the development, Kevin McCrary, attended the event, unaware that The Hills supporters would also be there. He argued that large developments often ignore natural vegetation clearing restrictions, and are slapped with minor fines that are ignored.

“The town should look seriously on how to control these developments … not to exceed the laws on the books because it's being blatantly violated now,” he said. “Figure it out. Protect the environment. People have to live here for a few more millennium.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman has stated that he is reserving his opinion of the application until Dr. Chris Gobler, a professor at Stony Brook Southampton and one of the East End’s most respected marine scientists, offers his analysis of the developer’s final environmental impact statement, or FEIS. The document was submitted earlier this summer, and Dr. Gobler, who lives in East Quogue, is expected to offer his opinion of the updated document soon.

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What does support for or against the hills even matter? Don't we have clear guidelines for approving / rejecting a PDD based on factors like defined community benefits, environmental impact, zoning, etc.

what's the point of all of these people spouting their talking points?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Aug 23, 17 10:50 AM
4 members liked this comment
Gives cover to politicians who are going to vote this is in due to "massive public support" -- after a short visit to the Dominican Republic to pick their bag of cash.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Aug 23, 17 11:05 AM
2 members liked this comment
...and down the road to court we go.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Aug 23, 17 11:16 AM
2 members liked this comment
NUMBER ONE: I wonder how many of these "supporters" are contractors or employees or suppliers of Discovery Land, or wannabe contractors/employees/suppliers of same. I can just imagine Ms. Insalaco making all those phone calls telling people to hop on before the gravy train leaves the station. Thing is, these folks will leave after they get a few years' work out of the project, but the rest of us will have to live with the damage.

NUMBER TWO: I wonder how many of these "supporters" come ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 23, 17 4:27 PM
to Lion:


Turkey Bridge isn't contesting the RIGHT of those people to appear at the meeting - - - whatever their motivation. But he IS questioning their motivation.

No apology necessary (unless YOU would like to offer TB one.)

to VOS (infra):


"[Assertions] that appear to this layman to verge on libel."

More ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 26, 17 9:54 AM
And I wonder how you can make such unfounded claims. The two speakers identified by the Press were both residents of East Quogue; please identify as many as you know are from faraway places. Parenthetically, no water will be "infected" even if such vacuous claims may appeal to your ignorant audience nor will damage to the environment be incurred.

There is no "invasion," there is no "masquerade," there is no "scam," and no "pack of outsiders." What you see here is, indeed, "the will of ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 23, 17 4:51 PM
Petitions against The Hills were signed by many many more residents than the 120 people that showed last night, and that was without benefit of the paid services of Ms. Insalaco. The science behind it shows that no "benefit" to the school (and who knows when they'll see that money) outweighs the danger of the impact to our water. I'd rather have a healthy kid and clean water.

The East Quogue CAC, Civic, board, Historical board, are all opposed to this project. Why Schneiderman would even ...more
By Earthgirl (52), Southampton on Aug 23, 17 6:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
Really? Where? Which fictitious petition are you referencing?

120 people showed up at that Town Board meeting. Have you looked at the transcripts of the four public hearings? You can distort the truth as much as you want, but there is no getting around the fact that supporters of the project vastly outweighed the opponents.

And what of the 2000 statements of support for the project? It's not a secret. It was filed in public at one of the public hearings. By me. It's on film.

I'd ...more
By Mark Hissey (171), East Quogue on Sep 2, 17 1:07 AM
Earthgirl, One can sit and analyze Jay Schneiderman's delaying tactics forever, but I think at this point, most people know why. (I'm sure it has something to do with the root of most things.) This Schneiderman tactic should be a clarion call to the registered voters of Southampton Town to .... WRITE IN Fred Havemeyer for Town Supervisor on the November ballot.
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Aug 23, 17 8:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oh, just in case any of our Town Board members missed it, here's another "I wonder":

I WONDER how many of these "supporters" of The Hills can vote in the Southampton Town election this November? Not very many, is my guess. On the other hand, almost all those folks who signed the petition opposing this land grab are eligible end enthusiastic Southampton voters.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 24, 17 8:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
Source, please. And while you're at it, what about the petitions signed by hundreds of local residents in favor of the Hills? Shall we simply ignore them because they don't fit your agenda?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 24, 17 3:40 PM
And your point is? Let me guess: the landowners who pay most of the real estate taxes in the Town of Southampton can't vote here! Ha ha democracy!
By RANGER66 (15), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Aug 26, 17 9:24 AM
My point is simple - the man made an empty claim (in the form of a guess) that many of the people in support are not voters in Southampton. He doubled down by making another empty claim that those who had signed petitions opposing the development are voters here. He has not one scintilla of evidence to support either claim; his being involved in politics no doubt makes that easy for him.

If we're to rely on guessing which voices to hear, we may as well use the same litmus test for those ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 26, 17 2:15 PM
Land grab? Buy a dictionary for God's sake.

You not only are embracing delusion, but you are embracing slander too. It's absolutely shameful.
By Mark Hissey (171), East Quogue on Aug 28, 17 12:56 AM
Have you looked through the list of supporters of The Hills yet? If you have, how many were not Southampton residents? Why don't you thumb your way through it and stop guessing?

And where is this petition that you speak of? It's not in the FEIS.
By Mark Hissey (171), East Quogue on Sep 2, 17 12:58 AM
Your observation of my post is in error. I was responding to Turkey Bridge as were you. If I was responding to you, VOS, I believe it would have been one step indented!
By RANGER66 (15), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Sep 3, 17 10:07 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RANGER66 (15), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Sep 3, 17 10:08 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By RANGER66 (15), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Sep 3, 17 10:09 AM
This article is going to be updated to show that it's actually an Advertorial

Thanks editors!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Aug 24, 17 4:26 PM
Nobody cares about the hllls.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Aug 28, 17 6:12 AM