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Dec 14, 2018 12:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Planning Board Says it Needs More Time To Review East Quogue Golf Course

Southampton Town Planner Anthony Trezza making recommendations to the Planning Board. JD ALLEN
Dec 18, 2018 11:04 AM

Southampton Town Planning Board members said they need more time to review a contentious plan to construct a private 18-hole golf course at a proposed luxury housing development in East Quogue.

Under state law, the meeting on Thursday, December 13, was supposed to start the clock on a 62-day time line to hold a public hearing on a complete preliminary application submitted by Arizona-based Discovery Land Corporation. However, because the board still needs to establish whether there were any changes to the proposal that could significantly affect its environmental impact, board members opted to stop the clock.

The board voted on Thursday, 5-1, with one abstention, to deem Discovery Land Corporation’s application incomplete, allowing board members to review several maps and binders of information submitted by the applicant since November 1, as well as what implications a recent approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals, allowing a private golf course to be an accessory use of the development, could have on the environment.

The board’s deadline was extended once before on November 1, after the developer had started submitting the preliminary application in pieces. Because of the magnitude of the proposal, the applicant agreed to an extension of the public hearing deadline at the recommendation of the Planning Department.

The applicant’s attorney, Wayne Bruyn, called the board’s vote last week “unacceptable,” considering that the department has had the application for more than a month. Even the Planning Department, based on its analysis, recommended that the board consider the application to be complete.

The applicant also submitted a binder that outlined changes that had been made since the Planning Board last saw the proposal in May, before it went to the ZBA for its interpretation of a key question regarding the zoning code.

Last year, under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Town Board concluded that the proposed development would not have a significant impact on the environment if it followed certain criteria to mitigate harmful effects. Since then, 10 on-site affordable housing rentals and two off-site homes have been added to the proposal, and the amount of open space has been increased to 65 percent of the total property, among other changes.

Planning Board members need to determine if the changes to the proposal are in compliance with the Town Board’s approval. If board members do find significant changes, supplemental review based on that new information would be required. The board may hire an independent third party to review the changes.

However, the Planning Department submitted a report saying it does not find that a supplemental is needed.

Meanwhile, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society may seek to overturn the ZBA decision in court, which also could stay consideration of the application.

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Discovery Land’s counsel says the Planning Board’s decision is “unacceptable.” What cheek! As if if were for an applicant to say what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Discovery’s got it wrong — the Board determines whether an application is acceptable, not the other way around.

Of course it’s not surprising that Discovery would adopt this tone. They’ve been practicing terrorism by litigation and probably think they can get away ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Dec 14, 18 10:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
The article seems to indicate that state law requires action within 62 days but the writer uses the imprecise "supposed to" instead. Which is it? The article also states that the Planning Department recommends the application be deemed complete - why is it not? The applicant has already permitted the extension of time allowed and appears to be well within their rights to cry foul at this delaying tactic by the Planning Board.

There is nothing in the story saying that the Planning Board ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Dec 15, 18 2:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sounds like the Planning Board playing games. No doubt the applicant has played games too. But I care more when people play games with the power the public entrusted them with. That undermines everything, and eventually effects everyone.
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Dec 15, 18 7:08 AM
The developer has and is trashing, destroying, infecting, polluting and poisoning our community's social environment. Demanding they get their way, bullying our Town Board with a $100,000,000 lawsuit. Nice guys.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Dec 15, 18 2:08 PM
... they should be made to drop this $100,000,000 law suit before the town takes another step.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Dec 15, 18 3:01 PM
Is there a particular rule of law you have in mind to support this requirement or are you simply looking to completely undermine our judicial system and the rights that entities have to seek redress for their grievances?

Are you looking to completely eliminate the First Amendment of the Constitution or simply suspend it in those cases where you fear the outcome?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Dec 15, 18 10:20 PM
Do you get paid by Discoveryland by the word or by the post?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 16, 18 8:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Discovery has a few relentless advocates who are always there with one argument or another in support of this golf resort proposed to be built in the middle of the protected Pine Barrens and the Aquifer Overlay District that guards our drinking water.

Fortunately there are always equally persevering people making the case that we don’t need the fake economic stimulus, nor can we afford the ruinous environmental cost, of this benighted project. One way or another, we will always be ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Dec 17, 18 9:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
Good job in abandoning the fake doomsday scenarios this time, Bridge.

You could have been a bit more accurate if, rather than "Discovery has," you simply stated that the well considered plan, in compliance with all regulatory requirements of the Pine Barrens and Aquifer Overlay District and the Comprehensive Plan of the Town many believe will benefit East Quogue, the Town and the wider area has a few relentless advocates who will continue to spread the truth and counter the ignorance ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Dec 17, 18 3:55 PM
bananas , nimby's - of course!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 17, 18 5:24 PM
The preceding infomercial has been paid for by Discoveryland.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 17, 18 4:46 PM
We need a building moratorium NOW!. No golf courses, no stripping open space for "affordable housing", There are so many vacant homes that could be renovated for housing. The east end can't handle any more development.......
By rvs (106), sag harbor on Dec 23, 18 10:47 PM
2 members liked this comment