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Aug 18, 2015 1:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Discovery Land Schedules Four Hearings To Discuss East Quogue Golf Resort Project

Aug 18, 2015 1:15 PM

The developers behind a luxury golf resort in East Quogue that targets the largest tract of undeveloped land on the South Fork have scheduled four informational meetings over the next two months to address concerns and answer questions from the community.

The meetings—the first of which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. this coming Wednesday, August 26, at Dockers Waterside Marina and Restaurant on Dune Road in East Quogue—will allow residents to ask questions about the project, dubbed “The Hills at Southampton.”

The hearings, all of which will be held in East Quogue restaurants, will allow concerned parties to question those who will be overseeing the environmental impact study for the project, which has been proposed by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company and seeks to construct 108 single-family homes, 10 condominiums attached to a clubhouse and an 18-hole golf course centered on 168 acres along Spinney Road. Most of the remaining land, more than 400 acres total, would be set aside as open space, according to the application now on file with Southampton Town.

“We want it to be interactive,” said Jessica Insalaco of Quogue who recently completed web design work for Discovery Land and was later asked by company officials to facilitate the upcoming informational meetings. “There are some locals around town who have incorrect information … I think, with these upcoming meetings, it will be great to have a conversation with these people.”

The schedule for the remaining meetings is as follows: Thursday, September 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the New Moon Cafe on Montauk Highway; Wednesday, September 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Stone Creek Inn on Montauk Highway; and Tuesday, October 6, also from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Cucina Family Style Ristorante on Montauk Highway.

Water experts Paul Grosser, president and CEO of P.W. Grosser Consulting, an environmental engineering company in Bohemia, and Bob Grover, vice president and director of Environmental and Coastal Sciences at Greenman-Pedersen in Babylon, will be in attendance. Jeffrey Seeman, owner of the East Quogue Golf Corporation, a company that consults clients about golf course development and management, has also been invited and will answer questions about the types of fertilizers that would be utilized at The Hills. He will also explain how the golf course would be maintained.

Similarly, Charles Voorhis, managing partner of Nelson, Pope and Voorhis in Melville, the surveying and engineering company that is overseeing the ongoing environmental impact study, will be in attendance. Mark Hissey, the senior vice president of Discovery Land Company, will also attend the meetings to answer any questions about the development. He intends to provide visuals for attendees, including proposed layout designs.

Discovery Land Company first submitted a pre-application for a planned development district—a special zoning change that can be granted only by a super-majority of the Southampton Town Board—in June 2013. The developer later modified its proposal, upping the number of residential units from 82 to 118, a move that angered some hamlet residents even though the applicant has since offered to acquire former farmland and donate it as open space.

The revised application was deemed complete by the Town Board this past January and, a month later, members initiated the State Environmental Quality Review process. That process requires these public hearings to be held so that community members can request what specific studies, protocols and alternatives they expect the developer to include in the environmental impact study.

Ms. Insalaco noted that the study should be completed by late fall.

Critics of the project have argued that any new development, especially one as intense as a golf course and 118 residential units, would further degrade already impaired waterways in East Quogue, namely Weesuck Creek that feeds into Shinnecock Bay. As part of these upcoming meetings, officials will discuss proposed water and wastewater treatment systems that the developers intend to install to help project the groundwater, according to Ms. Insalaco.

“The goal of the advanced water system is that it will clean the water before it goes anywhere, so there’s no nitrogen pollution going into the groundwater,” she said.

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These informational meetings are open to the public but require pre-registration as space is limited at each venue. Please send an email to info@TheHillsEQ.com to request a space. Thank you.
By Jinsalaco (2), Quogue on Aug 19, 15 2:31 PM
From what I see in this article, there will be no SHT elected officials and/or those SHT personnel charged with the review of this project in attendance. Having attended the scoping meetings held by SHT our questions were asked/answered during these sessions. Those in attendance posed our questions and concerns to the SHT supervisor and board. I see little reason to attend another meeting with the Discovery Land Company, their paid advisors and those businesses who are in favor of "The Hills." I ...more
By crusader (368), East Quogue on Aug 20, 15 6:19 PM
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