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Oct 7, 2015 11:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Environmentalists Demand Repeal Of PDD Law In Southampton Town

Oct 7, 2015 3:19 PM

A growing group that already includes 30 environmentalists and community leaders, including State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., is demanding that the Southampton Town Board repeal the municipality’s planned development district legislation, charging that the system is broken, allowing would-be developers to bypass proper planning and ignore zoning.

Those now calling for the revocation of the PDD legislation—a group that also includes Long Island Pine Barrens Executive Director Richard Amper and Group for the East End President Robert DeLuca—said this week that they were prompted to action by the Town Board’s willingness to continue to entertain an application that seeks permission to construct a golf resort community on several hundred acres of environmentally sensitive land in East Quogue.

Though they all oppose that particular project, dubbed The Hills at Southampton, Mr. Thiele, Mr. Amper and Mr. DeLuca agreed that the bigger issue is with the continued widespread abuse and manipulation of the PDD legislation itself—a pattern that they fear will continue unless the board eliminates the law entirely.

“I don’t mean this in a criminal way, but it’s zoning for sale,” Mr. Thiele said about the PDD legislation, explaining that he decided to get involved because The Hills project, if approved, would have a regional impact, most prominently in the form of water pollution that extends beyond the boundaries of the hamlet of East Quogue.

On Tuesday, Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said she has no intention of repealing the legislation—or of supporting a one-year moratorium on PDD applications that has been pitched by this year’s Democratic Town Board candidates—explaining that the legislation, though not perfect, remains a valuable planning tool that allows the town to have greater control of development.

She said she has already been working on plans to update the legislation, which was last modified in 2011 under her guidance, so that the town can retain more control when it comes to future applications.

“If PDDs are done right … and the checks and balances are there, I think they have a role to play,” Ms. Throne-Holst said.

She also dismissed the suggestion that the Town Board has never rejected a PDD, pointing out that it kicked back the first two incarnations of the Sandy Hollow PDD that was ultimately approved by the Town Board in June 2014, allowing the construction of 28 below-market rental apartments on 2.6 acres in Tuckahoe. Prior to that, she added, the board killed another PDD, called Serenity Estates, that sought to construct 60 condominiums on 15 acres in Speonk near contamination known as the Speonk solvent plume, a large swath of polluted groundwater.

Most recently, the board approved the Canoe Place Inn PDD, an ambitious project that calls for the construction of 37 townhouses on 4.5 acres on the east side of the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays and also permits the redevelopment of the old inn on the western side of the canal. In addition to restoring the building and opening a 25-room inn, the developers are adding a cluster of guest cottages and opening a 300-seat catering hall. In that instance, the supervisor noted, the Town Board rejected earlier proposals, eventually negotiating a deal that guarantees public access along the eastern side of the canal and other public benefits to the Hampton Bays community.

But opponents contend that, especially with The Hills project that’s proposed by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, the developers are continuing to wrestle more control from the town in the process, dictating what qualifies as a community benefit rather than being told by town officials—who they said should be leading the discussion—what a specific community needs.

Pointing to the East Quogue project, which seeks permission to construct 118 homes—95 single-family homes, 13 clubhouse cabins and 10 clubhouse condominium units—and an 18-hole golf course, Mr. DeLuca said that some of the proposed community benefits are absurd. He and others contend that promised tax revenue—The Hills is expected to generate some $4.4 million in annual tax revenue for the East Quogue School District—and $500,000 in earmarked funds for various school improvements do not qualify as benefits because they have absolutely nothing to do with proper planning. The developer has also promised to build a new playground for the elementary school.

“The planning should be done first,” Mr. DeLuca said. “You can’t just make it up as you go along.”

Last month, interim East Quogue Superintendent Robert Long signed a letter stating that he acknowledges the proposed benefits that the development would have on his school district. However, he stressed that the letter was not meant to be an indication of the district’s support for the project.

Mr. Thiele said he is worried that other financially strapped school districts could find themselves in similar situations, signing documents that could be construed as indirect support, if the PDD legislation is not tossed.

“I’m involved with the East Quogue School District,” Mr. Thiele said. “They are having financial issues. They are very vulnerable. It’s not a position they should be in.”

According to the application, the developer intends to concentrate construction on approximately 180 acres near Spinney Road in East Quogue, leaving the remaining 400 acres as open space. The developer is also pitching its project as a nitrogen-neutral one, pointing to its plans to install high-end septic systems to service the homes; the developer has also agreed to set aside money for groundwater remediation projects in East Quogue.

Under the current PDD legislation, which was last modified in 2011, developers seeking this special change of zoning must offer some sort of community benefit. Presently, the town does not specifically detail what those benefits should be, deferring in most instances to the would-be developers who, in turn, reach out to the community. But Mr. Amper and Mr. DeLuca note that most residents are not qualified planners, so they are not in a position to conclude what is truly needed in a community or whether those proposed benefits are truly that.

Ms. Throne-Holst this week acknowledged those concerns and admitted that the process could be improved, again stressing that board members are already looking to modify the legislation.

“I’m troubled with a couple of things,” she said. “Especially the community benefit part of this. I think what we’re seeing here is the developer driving the bus instead of the town.”

Still, she does not support ditching the special zoning all together, explaining that it is the Town Board’s job to stay current and that means occasionally revisiting and updating legislation. All PDDs are approved by the Town Board, and four out of five members must sign off.

“I think this process needs to be changed,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “We have a responsibility as elected legislators to stay current.”

PDD legislation opponents said they intend to continue their push for the outright repeal of the PDD law, with Mr. Amper stating that such action could be accomplished if one of the Town Board members introduces a simple resolution. It remained unclear, as of earlier this week, if they have a willing partner.

Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera said while she does not think the law needs to be repealed, she believes that the Town Board needs to be having more conversations with the public regarding PDDs in general—and not just about The Hills application.

“If there is a desire to have a conversation, I have no objection to having a conversation,” Ms. Scalera said. “It always seems to happen through a particular project, but it should be discussed on its own merit.”

The other council members—Stan Glinka, Brad Bender and Bridget Fleming—said Tuesday that they had not yet been contacted by the environmentalists.

“Nobody has approached me about it,” Mr. Glinka said. “I heard about it this week and I welcome anyone who wants to talk about it to come in—that is what I’m here for. You can always do some tweaking, so it is a good idea to take a look at the legislation to see if there is anything that can be improved upon, but it all depends on the project.”

Ms. Fleming and Mr. Bender offered similar responses.

Although he supports the campaign to kill the PDD law entirely, Mr. Thiele stressed that not all PDDs are bad, pointing to the Canoe Place Inn project as one that offers some public benefits though not everyone is pleased with the final product.

The problem with the legislation, he continued, is that “bad” projects, like The Hills, can continue to gain traction because Town Board members never stop them in their tracks, making outright rejection a more difficult option once a developer has invested months, or even years, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the application process.

“You can have a good project, but I think ‘The Hills’ is a bad project,” Mr. Thiele said. “You don’t know what is going to land in your community, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

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Repeal the PDD law? Subject all PDDs to a referendum? Declare a one-year moratorium on PDDs?

All worth serious consideration. This is a discussion which the Town Board should have, now.

At a recent candidate debate, the Dems supported a one-year moratorium to allow review of PDD history and consideration of possible changes. The GOP candidates -- Yastrzemski, Hagan & Ms. Scalera -- said no, the Town Board should "do its job" by simply looking at each PDD application as it ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 7, 15 1:46 PM
Putting it on hold for a year is a way of letting the candidates side step the issue. The law needs to be taken off the table. It was stated in this article this is the first they are hearing about the community's concerns with the PDD law and it only seems to come up in regards to certain projects. In that aspect they are sort of right, it comes up almost EVERY TIME a new project is submitted. We the residents of Southampton understand this is pay to play, quite literally in some cases, with ...more
By Noelle (15), southampton on Oct 7, 15 3:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
Agreed, the PDD scam is just a way for development to occur that otherwise would never be possible. The developers win, the politicians are paid off and the residents get screwed. We should DEMAND the repeal of this disaster.
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Oct 7, 15 6:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just out of curiosity, which of the PDD's that have been approved have been disasters and why? I'm genuinely curious.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 1:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
What would a moratoium do? Zero. That is why each application is based on it's merits. No one wants development after their house is built ain't that right Turkey Bridge.
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Oct 7, 15 7:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
After the attempt at a "gag order" regarding the open forum at the Trustee meetings DLC has revealed it's qualities.

"We" need to go with the "Montaukian Method" cited by fellow poster btdt. Flood town hall with your voice, presence, letters (snail mail), and let the People be heard. Let's see just how much the Supervisor and Board can ignore...
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 7, 15 7:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
The current Town Board seems to be very resourceful in ignoring the Southampton residents. Our Supervisor isn't leaving fast enough for me. May G-D have mercy on the rest of the residents of Long Island if she does find a way to best David Calone. He is a very bright, worthy and long time Democratic resident of Suffolk County. David has an unblemished record as a hard working & effective Democrat, working on the Suffolk County Planning Commission & is our best candidate to beat Zelden in 2016.
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Oct 9, 15 11:23 PM
This spot zoning legislation as I have argued before has been a boon to the developers and elected officials who have greatly benefitted in terms of Campaign Finance Committee Contributions.

All one need do is look at the list of contributors to the current lame duck
supervisor in both her state and federal campaign finance filings to see how the PDD law has encouraged what has been termed legalized bribe giving.

The Supervisor now, in this article, seeks to back her way ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 7, 15 8:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
We need to call all of our friends, family & business associates to vote on election day.
Remind them - EVERY VOTE COUNTS !!!
If we don't vote - we can't complain...
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Oct 9, 15 11:26 PM
Fred Thiele - what a joke. If he's against it, I'm for it. It's a good project and the TB will watch this project like hawks. Is it me or is it weird that a NYS Assemblyman testifies at a local TB meeting? That's unduly using his position to influence the Board and highly improper.

We should ban Fred Thiele!
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Oct 8, 15 7:41 AM
Fred is pissed he didn't get his envelope from Discovery Land. They probably told him to piss off.
By GALAXIE (43), SAG HARBOR on Oct 10, 15 1:19 AM
Come on Fred Thiele is a guy that is in the state assembly. The most corrupt legislative body in the ountry. The members are constantly being indicted, and are self serving. Im tired of seeing him, and his hat wearing counter part Lavalle.
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Oct 8, 15 7:47 AM
Quote:

"Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said she has no intention of repealing the legislation—or of supporting a one-year moratorium on PDD applications ..."
---------------------------------------------

So, on the one side we have the residents, the environmentalists, and, now, our state assemblyman. On the other we have property developers. With this clear a divide, was it necessary to ask which side our Anna is on?

Next year (after her loss of the Democratic ...more
By highhatsize (4186), East Quogue on Oct 8, 15 9:03 AM
"PDD legislation opponents said they intend to continue their push for the outright repeal of the PDD law, with Mr. Amper stating that such action could be accomplished if one of the Town Board members introduces a simple resolution. It remained unclear, as of earlier this week, if they have a willing partner."

Bridget, that's your cue as you're the only real Democrat on the Board. Stand for your true beliefs and leave a legacy. You know that Anna and her Sancho Panza, Brad, will never ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 8, 15 10:03 AM
2 members liked this comment
Understand that a moratorium isn't just a way of kicking the can down the road and ducking the issue for this campaign cycle. If you don't have a moratorium, then as soon as developers learn the Board is considering PDD repeal or referendum, they'll all rush their applications in to get the benefit of the present law, and you'll have a pile of pending projects that can't be affected by any change the Board makes. A moratorium is necessary to prevent that maneuver.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 8, 15 11:41 AM
4 members liked this comment
I see now why Trump is getting so much support in the country. Take one look at what is going on in Southampton. Our elected officials are not doing the will of their constituents by the continued approval of developments which the residents do not want. Take the "Hills" for example, this project could/should be squashed from the start by the elected SHT Supervisor & Town Board. They allowed this project to continue regardless of the outcry from residents, environmentalists, and a host of other ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 9, 15 8:03 AM
Moratorium-Greek for "I don't know what I am doing, so lets ban it for a year" PDD's were created to circumvent zoning...get past it. Also, these so called "environmentalists" should go away. When they start walking to their press conferences and all become Vegan then maybe they can Pontificate their point. Maybe if the process was a little easier, LOCAL entrepreneurs could afford smart growth. Instead, only large developments could occur. BTW, the canal looks great with abandoned buildings over ...more
By The Real World (368), southampton on Oct 9, 15 9:34 AM
This PDD rhetoric is all election related and a way to push the Democratic platform. PDD legislation helps us all with the preservation of the Pine Barrens cause that is where you get the Pine Barrens Credit mechanism. We also got Stop and Shop, The Hampton Bays King Kullen/Community Center, agricultural preservation etc.
The Hills seasonal resort is WAY better than another subdivision. I want high-end tourists in the Summer who pay lots of taxes and use few resources and then go home once ...more
By SportsMom (16), Quogue on Oct 9, 15 10:06 AM
Really, if you want the golf course put it in your backyard not mine!

As a longtime Republican who normally votes the party line I am voting the Democratic line strictly because of the pro-development rhetoric by SHT Republicans.

BTW, Democrat Bridget Fleming was the lone SHT Town Board elected official to vote against allowing this project to move forward when initially presented to SHT by "The Discovery Land Company." She, in turn will have this Republican's support when she ...more
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 9, 15 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Crusader, you've got it right, and not because you're supporting my Dems or Bridget Fleming's manifest courage, but because this project is bad for the environment, and hence bad for the economy in the long run, whatever the short-term benefits may seem to be.

SportsMom has it wrong, and not because she's apparently GOP or because she's a new poster, but because she's comparing the PDD with the as-of-right alternative. In the practical sense, there is no as-of-right alternative here, because ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 9, 15 12:44 PM
Hi Crusader. So you are in favor of subdivisions instead? What do you have against a golf course? Curious....
By SportsMom (16), Quogue on Oct 9, 15 1:14 PM
Hello Turkey Bridge. What an interesting handle! Why do you think the project is bad for the environment? Have you seen the Environmental Study that has not yet been submitted? The developer said they will develop it one way or another and the "another" is the as of right subdivision which makes no sense. In fact, anyone could go to the planning board tomorrow with a subdivision plan and maybe they could apply for additional density with affordable housing in the subdivision. I am waiting ...more
By SportsMom (16), Quogue on Oct 9, 15 1:17 PM
SportsMom, you're still making the crucial mistake of comparing this proposal with an as-of-right subdivision, as shown in your next-to-last sentence: "If it is seasonal with high-tech systems, it will be a lot better for the environment than subdivisions."

As I explained above, the subdivision thing isn't happening. Sure, the developer would say they'll go forward "one way or another" -- that's the poker game aspect, but they're bluffing. The market won't support that alternative, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 9, 15 4:10 PM
Thanks Turkey Bridge. Well I look forward to seeing what everyone has to say once the Environmental Study comes out. I am looking forward to reading it.
By SportsMom (16), Quogue on Oct 9, 15 4:46 PM
Dear Turkey Bridge,
I'm hoping that someday we'll see a proper "as of right" subdivision plan submitted for the original 436 acres. A land planner told me that they couldn't possibly get a yield of 82 lots - considering that the land north of Sunrise may be unbuildable. It's "land-locked". No access to Sunrise Highway. Split into 2 pizza-pie shaped parts by land OWNED by PSE&G (not a Right Of Way). Severe elevation changes. The Town Planning Department has not reviewed a standard layout ...more
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Oct 9, 15 11:58 PM
why do you think Discovery Land won't pursue the as/of development rights? Unless there is natural gas to frack underneath the land, its worthless if left empty, and actually a negative carry given taxes and debt interest. So they're just gonna leave it empty? If they don't want to build, they'll sell the land to someone who does under as/of. That's what will happen when the PDD application is rejected.
By GALAXIE (43), SAG HARBOR on Oct 10, 15 1:26 AM
Turkey Bridge, please refresh my memory on the Environmental Impact Study particulars. Who is paying for this study and in your opinion are the persons who will be conducting this study impartial?

By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 10, 15 10:26 AM
Lion, it's too subjective for a serious wager. I said the study will show "plenty that's wrong with the project." Who's to decide what's "plenty"? Sorry, no real bet there.

Fiddler Crab, I think you're right.

Galaxie, your comment assumes the developer owns the land already & will be stuck with the carry, but my understanding is that their deal allows them out of any obligation to purchase if they don't get the PD. They can walk clean, and they will.

Crusader, state ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 10, 15 11:22 AM
I'll give you some clarification Turkey Bridge. There will absolutely be an as-of-right development on this property if the PDD isn't approved. I'm not sure if your position is pure speculation or that you are getting bad information from somebody.

What isn't a choice is preservation or PDD approval. Many seem to think that is the case. It isn't. Calling a bluff is a very dangerous game and one which will not result in preservation. Rather, this PDD will result in benefits for the water ...more
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 12:51 PM
Hi Turkey Bridge. If you read the PDD application at the Southampton Town website, the owner for the largest pieces of property in the PDD is Discovery Land Company. They appear to be in contract or some other formal connection with the current owners of the smaller Kracke and Parlato pieces, based on their inclusion in the PDD application. I think Galaxie is right that something will get built there.
By SportsMom (16), Quogue on Oct 10, 15 1:00 PM
One more clarification TB. Discovery owns the land. Galaxie's assumption is correct. We will not walk clean, and we won't.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 1:00 PM
When you file a PDD, a draft environmental impact statement is filed and paid for by the applicant. Not just speculation and hyperbole, but science based studies. Those studies are then reviewed by experts hired by the Town to peer review. Given that they work for the Town, they not only have to be impartial, but they have to be mind the interests of the Town and the laws that are in place for the process.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 1:16 PM
591 acres. 5 acre zoning. 118 units. Clustering is required. The land north of the highway IS unbuildable but the rights get transferred. That is one of the reasons for clustering.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 1:24 PM
And there are alleged scientists who dispute the otherwise generally scientifically acknowledged scientific community regarding the effects humanity has on global warming.

Like numbers one can find scientists to say whatever one wishes them to say.

There is a time when development qua development needs to be brought to a halt. There is a time when we need to allow the law of supply and demand to limit areas for development here in Southampton both residential and commercial. ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 10, 15 4:56 PM
The last [expletive deleted] thing we need is another [expletive deleted] golf course.

Last time I counted, there are ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FOUR golf courses on Long Island. At least 13 are east of the canal, including one which destroyed a race track which should have been a historic landmark.

On the whole topic of our home, do you know what happens when you call someplace "paradise"? You can kiss it goodbye, because when everybody and their mother shows up, well...
Oct 11, 15 8:33 AM appended by Mr. Z
Oh, and considering your really shouldn't **** where you eat, why p*$$ where you drink? It's the Pine Barrens, for cripe's sake.
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 11, 15 8:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
sounds like Queen Anna is posting through an alter ego !!
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Oct 9, 15 2:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
... any as of right subdivision will be a total flop, one house at a time with two thirds of the lots remaining empty. We've seen this before in East Quogue, nothing new here. These developers think they are doing us a favor by sharing their clientele with us. Again, nothing new here. The East End is crawling with these folks, and, trust me, at the end of the day, they do not want to live in the Pine Barrens in East Quogue.
By William Rodney (559), southampton on Oct 9, 15 3:28 PM
2 members liked this comment
We'll have to disagree on that Mr. Rodney. People want to live in East Quogue. It's a lovely place. Why wouldn't they?
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 12:55 PM
I have lived here for some time and love my hamlet, but those who live in Quogue/Westhampton refer to us in the same vein as Mastic. There are many homes for sale because people have seen the change in our community and the ones who can are getting out.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 11, 15 8:17 AM
Hmm Turkey Bridgee what do you think the environmental impact of your waterfront house might be on the bay? Runoff from the lawn, bulkheading, and that septic system? Ill bet its worse than a subdivision in the woods. Do what I day not what I do.....just saying
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Oct 9, 15 7:03 PM
Chief1; [1] My house is on a creek, not on "the bay." [2] Any "runoff from the lawn" will be harmless because we don't use fertilizer or any chemicals. [3] We have permeable rip rap, not bulkheading. [4] Entire septic system is upgraded and elevated, at a ruinous cost. [5] One waterfront house alone "worse than a subdivision in the woods"? Who are you kidding? Not my house, that's for sure. You know, it is possible to have a house on the water without trashing anything.

What ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 10, 15 4:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
It should be no surprise that ATH won't consider eliminating PDDs. How else will she fill her campaign coffers? On the other hand I too believe PDDs should be kept as they are a potentially useful zoning tool. In use however the only acceptable solution to PDD's is that after vetting by the town board they must be placed on a ballot during the next general election. Clearly the board has shown they can't be trusted with the authority to approve them on their own. Also, TB's observation above regarding ...more
By bird (824), Sag Harbor on Oct 10, 15 4:06 PM
NTiger. My assertion is this. The PDD is absolutely the best thing for water quality of all three options. For the following reasons:
1. The use of nitrogen laden water on the golf course will prevent thousands of pounds of nitrogen entering the bay.
2. The $1million+ of subsidy money to upgrade septic systems in East Quogue is unprecedented and will begin a movement to reduce off site and current nitrogen issues being caused by septic systems.
3. There will be a huge effort to seed ...more
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 10, 15 10:42 PM
Why don't you share with us the names of all your investors, friends, etc and the amounts of money they have donated to Southampton Town elected officials and candidates for public office as well as the to the two major party town committees and three active minor party committees in town.

Give us full disclosure on that and than maybe we can have a full and frank discussion about the effect any additional development in the Pine Barrens and East Quogue would create.

Exactly ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 1:27 AM
3 members liked this comment
One last point. Are you seriously saying that scientific proof is not the ultimate arbiter of what is the truth? If the answer is yes from you, then there is little point in having any sort of dialogue with you. The people why deny the reality of scientific proof are lumped together with the cadre of global warming deniers.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 2:53 AM
Interesting analogy with respect to global warming. With that in mind, you should be aware that there are scientific arguments on both sides of this issue.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 11, 15 8:05 AM
There is no argument that CO2 has exceeded 400 ppm, that the ocean is acidifying like seltzer water, coral bleaching is becoming too common, and phytoplankton as well as crustaceans are finding carbonate ions more scarce.

Science doesn't care what one believes...
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 11, 15 8:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
No what I am saying and previously said is you can find scientists to agree with either side of a dispute, neither may be 100 per cent correct but experts scientific and otherwise know who is buying their assessments and their opinions.

Now what you neglect to respond to is the campaign finance donations to state and federal campaign finance committees of elected officials and candidates and the major political party committees. We both know by reviewing them online that cash has been ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 6:47 PM
The process will answer all of the questions that are required to be answered. Everything will follow to the letter of the law,

Golf courses are good for the ground water, among other reasons, when the vegetation is used to use up the nitrogen.

As for golf courses being good for groundwater, that isn't a blanket statement. There are some courses that don't do things right and there are others that do things incredibly well. Thus course will be absolutely state of the art.

Will ...more
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 2:46 AM
In the interest of transparency, why don't you release the names of all investors and the names of everyone on your payroll. How about the money given to local businesses to sell your propaganda to the community?
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 11, 15 8:10 AM
The State of New York currently is a nefarious organization.

It is the Number One most corrupt in the country. The State of New York boasts the most Federally convicted personnel in the last forty years.

What other fluff ya' got?
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 11, 15 8:45 AM
I wonder how much money Hissey has pledged to Anna's congressional bid. Or maybe she gets the exclusive listings for the units at the Hills if she doesn't get to Washington.
By grey ghost (6), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 9:05 AM
If the Board turns down this massive change of zone, as they very well should, what will you do? Build as of right? Bribe the new Supervisor and Board members and try again or just leave? Why do you feel that just because you grease the wheels of local government that you are entitled to a change of zone? Did you have your ducks in a row before the land was purchased? So many questions
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Oct 11, 15 7:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
FYI: No Kids Allowed? In Housing, Limits Have Limits

The developers, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, told the Southampton Town Board that home buyers at "The Hills at Southampton" could be required to sign documents agreeing not to live there more than 60 to 90 days per year. Because the school year is longer, this would essentially ensure that the school district will not have to educate more students, they said.

http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/East-Quogue/125696/No-Kids-Allowed-In-Housing-Limits-Have-Limits#comment132999
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 11, 15 8:57 AM
Are you finished now, Mark Hissey? Sure there isn't any more? Your serial comments above made me reluctant to answer right away in case you thought of something else you wanted to say.

Let's see, your posts identify you as coming from Melville. Pretty far away. So what's our interest in The Hills? Oh, that's right, you're being paid to advocate for the project. Of course, how forgetful of me!

Actually, I kind of sympathize, as people are always running down my comments because ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 11, 15 10:03 AM
Three comments.

1. This isn't poker. I'm being honest with you. You are speculating. I am not. If that doesn't resonate with you then you must think I am a liar.
2. This isn't my first project in the Hamptons. I've been here for a very long time. And I care deeply about the environment. Being a board member for the GFEE and a committee member for Mr Amper tends to support that fact.
3. Education isn't fattening. Just don't eat or drink. That part is optional.



By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 10:50 AM
Mr. Hissey - how many acres are REQUIRED to be preserved under the as-of-right development and how many are PROPOSED to be preserved under the PDD?

P.S. To anyone interested - google "Discovery Land Company Lawsuit" and click on the numerous articles over the years. DLC has left a long trail of beat and broken local communities in its wake including a boy scout camp where the lawsuit was thrown out essentially on a technicality. The people of the Bahamas weren't too happy either... ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 10:52 AM
Let's not be too quick to judge Discovery.
The following quote was taken from Sept 19th, 2014 post about Discovery's Bakers Bay (Bahamas) Golf Course project:
http://www.notesfromtheroad.com/guana.htm

"I spoke with the former monitoring team for Bakers Bay. They reported back that this type of project was abandoned because it was rejected for environmental reasons. I then spoke with the current and sole environmental monitoring consultant for Baker's Bay, who explained that ...more
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Oct 11, 15 11:12 PM
Turkey Bridge your septic system leaches into the creek. Just because you have 3 ft of sand between your sewage, and the water level doesnt mean you're not polluting. When you cut your grass clipping loaded with nitrogen find their way into the creek. When your car leaks fluids right into the creek. You are a hypocrite, and disengenious to think any house is ok on the waterfront including you.
Nature you are libeling the Discovery Land Company. To say a lawsuit was thrown out on a technicality ...more
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Oct 11, 15 11:23 AM
Mr. Hissey, this last comment of yours is not typical of your posts. Your previous comments have all been very specific, citing particular facts directly responsive to issues that I and others have raised. Understand, I'm not saying they've been convincing, just specific and focused.

Your last post,on the other hand, is somewhat vague, decidedly non-specific and plainly non-responsive to the points in my last comment.

What's going on? Why don't you flatly deny that there are ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 11, 15 2:06 PM
I flatly deny that there are side deals made. We are 100% committed to the project because we believe of all the possibilities available, the PDD is the best plan for the property.

It absolutely stands to reason that an as-of-right development will not be as profitable. That is why the PDD allows for so many public benefits. But it will be profitable nevertheless. I'm not particularly worried about it succeeding if we get to that option. What would bother me would be the lost opportunity ...more
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 7:23 PM
Mark - can you please answer my question? I would like to know how many acres your as-of-right development would be REQUIRED to preserve pursuant to Pine Barrens regulations and how many are being PROPOSED by the PDD.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 8:29 PM
Names and amounts contributed to state and federal campaign finance committees and by whom and their relationship to the project.

Names and cv's of the scientific experts.

Full disclosure.

Let us decide on the benefits, if any. Perhaps we might decide some amount greater than $1 million dollar would be a more equitable public benefit, perhaps other public benefit requirements. Even the pro developer Supervisor appears to admit the Town has not made the most of the public ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 8:42 PM
It will be detailed in the DEIS. What I can tell you now is that that every clearing regulation, both Town and Pine Barrens, will be met. The DEIS will outline every scenario required by the Town. This isn't a small document.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 8:49 PM
Feel free to follow the process. The scope has been established and the DEIS will address all of it.

As I'm sure you well know you will have every right to form your own opinion of it as will everyone else in the Town of Southampton.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 9:10 PM
Let's not judge AnnaT-H too quickly - just because she has a penchant for slipping things onto the Town Board agenda at the last minute - barely giving her other board members time for review. Why do they need to waste their precious time - Anna has already sorted it all out!!!
Like the time she pushed a last minute resolution onto the agenda to transfer $500,000 of a mitigation payment - into an account to pay for some other property deal she liked, that was UNDER-FUNDED. The 500K was specifically ...more
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Oct 12, 15 12:03 AM
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The words are right there in the first part of the story - Anna Throne Holst wants the CHECKS - Please leave the "balances" to the communities that have to face and shoulder the burden of construction nightmares - traffic nightmares - and overuse of their communities by non-locals themselves in their daily lives of trying to get the kids to school and the errands down. Keep on counting the money on your rise to political power Anna...your campaign strategy is BRILLIANT. Not.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 3:47 PM
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I'll correcting inaccurate comments from now on. Best to let the process take its course and have it deliberately and clearly answer every issue that has been incorporated in the scope.

TB, feel free to get first in line for a septic system upgrade subsidy. You clearly, genuinely care.
By Mark Hissey (171), Melville on Oct 11, 15 9:32 PM
As Sunkist Tuna used to say to Charlie, Sorry Charlie.

Well sorry Mark. Its clear from your silence that your PDD applicants do not wish their names or the amounts they have contributed to be disclosed. That's is of course their right.

As for your failure to provide CV's of your scientific experts.

That's is also their right.

But when you hide information which will not be revealed in the EIS following Court procedure we must hold that failure against them and ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 11, 15 11:18 PM
Wow Neil Tiger is talking about who took money in a campaign, and political favors. It's ironic that a guy who comes from the OTB would have a problem with political favors. Better yet a former Democratic chairman is mad, because politicians are taking money.
The cahones for you or any other political hack to even mention this is outrageous.
The political system is ruining this country, and guys like you, and Turkey Bridge act as if politics is some sort of noble hobby. When you two ...more
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Oct 12, 15 8:26 AM
Easy with that "clean hands" stuff, chief. NTiger will speak for himself, but I am as clean as they come, and I don't take at all kindly to such innuendo. What you're saying is very close to actionable, if not already there.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 12, 15 10:25 AM
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My hands are clean, in the past, now and in the future.

I have a problem with any one from any political party who does not recuse themselves from issues involving persons or corporations that have given them campaign contributions.

If you can point out a single instance I acted improperly either back when I was Dem Town Leader or during my tenure as Corporate Counsel for OTB or for that matter while I was Democratic Commissioner at the Board of Elections we can schedule an appointment ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 12, 15 12:09 PM
Chief 1, I agree with a lot of your points having to do with corruption, incompetence, and accountability in the local yokel governance in Southampton Town government, including and especially the Police Dept., and the local schools and unions feeding greedily from the Town troughs.

I know of both individuals and many people who know them well and you will not find straighter, more truly public interest oriented, and more untainted personal records than either of them. Anyone can turn over ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on Oct 12, 15 6:46 PM
It's "cogliones", Einstein.
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 12, 15 7:32 PM
Mark - your response that you will be following all applicable laws is only a hair better than no reply at all.

You must know the answer to the question - but you also know it's not favorable.

You have previously made comments on articles touting the amount of preserved acreage (400+) as some sort of significant benefit - as if DLC is, on their own accord, PRESERVING land in EQ to offset some of the impacts of the project.

In reality, much of the land is in the CORE which ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Oct 12, 15 10:14 AM
Actionable? Lol so what your saying is that political contributions aren't Ggiven for favors? You're telling me there aren't employees in goverment that are there as favors? When I say clean I mean someone acting as if they don't know our ridiculous system. I wasnt inferring that you guys were doing something illegal just the fact you were acting surprised that Discovery dontrs campaign money. I disagree with you and N Tiger on alot of issues, but am not questioning your integrity. Hope that clears ...more
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Oct 12, 15 10:41 AM
It does, and thanks for the prompt reply.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Oct 12, 15 11:33 AM
Thanks for that Chief.

Now what I am saying is that there are ways to limit the effect of political contributions and they should and could be put into place. We all know to well that a goodly percent of political contributions are made in the hopes of sway votes from elected officials.

What I am saying is let them accept all the cash they can but require them to recuse themselves from voting on any issues that benefit or harm those contributors. The Supreme Court has said contributions ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 12, 15 12:23 PM
I feel I should throw a little American History in the mix here. Prior to the Civil War, chartered entities were not permitted in civic life. They were not permitted to influence elections, or contribute to political campaigns. Their charters were limited, and did expire. They could not own stock in other companies, nor own any other property which was not for the chartered purpose. Lobbyists were not permitted to exist. Citizen authority clauses limited capitalization, debts, land holdings, ...more
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 12, 15 7:56 PM
NTiger what you are saying makes sense but you are living in dreamland. I know cause "been there done that". You state the same thing "we expect the ---"
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Oct 12, 15 7:41 PM
Its like Arlo Guthrie sang in Alices Restaurant. As long as we keep trying and one of us becomes two of us and two of us becomes four of us. Sooner or later there will be enough of us to effect some change.

But if we sit silently by - give up all hope then the forces of evil win. I kind of think both Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy would ask us to keep in this battle. Its not about political philosophies we can agree to disagree on any number of issues. Its about honest, transparency, ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 12, 15 8:30 PM
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You gotta be cruel to be kind
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Oct 13, 15 4:21 PM
cruel

adjective cru·el \ˈkrü(-ə)l\

1. used to describe people who hurt others and do not feel sorry about it

2. causing or helping to cause suffering : terrible and unfair

3. disposed to inflict pain or suffering : devoid of humane feelings

4a: causing or conducive to injury, grief, or pain

4b: unrelieved by leniency
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 13, 15 10:17 PM
Anyone else notice the $1,000.00 contribution to Town Board candidate Hagan.

How about that one Mr. Hissey? Care to comment on that particular donation.

Perhaps Mr. Hagan might want to tell us what is expected in return. Or perhaps he might wish to return it.

Maybe that question will come up at the next trying to buy the hearts and minds of East Quogue residents forum explanation come eat and drink on us meeting.

Well at least you guys are blatant about using ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 13, 15 8:48 PM
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"You wanna buy our elected officials like cheap hookers, political prostitutes. You know I hear the US Atty Eastern District reads these local blogs looking for leads on potential political corruption. Pay for play thats become real sexy with the Feds these days."

I'm no DLC fan, but maybe you should tone it down NTiger.... "Cheap Hookers"? Really?

Every candidate in America running for office accepts private donations for their campaigns. Everyone who donates to a campaign ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Oct 14, 15 9:27 AM
I think if you review my many comments here you will find that I hold both the donors and recipients equally culpable.

No surprise, shock and awe at all. The correct word would be disgust.

Far from toning it down, it needs to be ramped up.

Pay for play is corruption. Corruption is a crime. Those participating in crimes are criminals. Giving campaign donations in anticipation of favorable treatment is against the law.

Political corruption, misfeasance, malfeasance ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 14, 15 10:00 AM
2 members liked this comment
Food for thought. Note the last few sentences of the second paragraph...


Third Guilty Plea In Redflex Red Light Camera Scandal
Redflex lobbyist admits extortion in ongoing photo ticketing scandal in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio.

John P. RaphaelA lobbyist for Redflex Traffic Systems on Friday became the latest to fall in the ongoing federal photo enforcement corruption investigation. John P. Raphael, 60, told the US Department of Justice that he would plead guilty to ...more
By Mr. Z (11698), North Sea on Oct 14, 15 6:59 AM

Here is the link to view reports filed by law with the state

http://www.elections.ny.gov/CampaignFinance.html
By Brad (28), Northampton on Oct 15, 15 12:53 PM
In addition to the $1,000 to Mr. Hagan, Mr. Schneiderman received $490 from Mr. Hissey.

In full fairness Mr. Schneiderman and Ms. Scalera received additional campaign donations from other prominent PDD developers in Town

That should each pledge to recuse themselves from any votes involving any of the proposed projects from the contributors to their campaign finance committees.

Barring such a pledge if elected none of the three will receive my vote and I hope others will ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 15, 15 7:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
"That should each pledge to recuse themselves from any votes involving any of the proposed projects from the contributors to their campaign finance committees."

Are you kidding me? If they can be bought for $490 we have bigger problems.

Please post a list of every political contribution you have made in the last 5 years. Money where your mouth is NTiger
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Oct 16, 15 9:10 AM
You should check the State BOE site and see the contributors and the amounts given. Mr. Schneiderman has received thousands of dollars from PDD adventurers in this election cycle.

As for my contributions or lack thereof both the FEC and State BOE have sites to view contributions. You ought to check them and you might just find yourself wondering about bigger problems.

There is a reason the public has such a low regard for government. And pay for play crosses party lines and ...more
Oct 16, 15 10:00 AM appended by NTiger
I should mention that I am neither a lobbyist for nor a shareholder, partner or in any project requiring approval by any Town Board. My contributions are based my assessment of the ability of the individual to serve the public. I have provided assistance to both Democrats and Republicans and not necessarily to those who have the support of the party organization. My most recent contribution was to advance the Congressional Campaign of David Calone, someone I first met back in the 1990's. I hope others will join me in backing David and hopefully electing him as our next Congressperson.
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 16, 15 10:00 AM
You want my 5 year history? Oh that's easy.... here it is:
2015: $0
2014: $0
2013: $0
2012: $0
2011: $0

Would you like me to continue (it's pretty boring).

I did ONCE, ONCE give $50 to a candidate running for supervisor (2009? I don't remember). But, in my defense, I did it because I was going to get more than $50 worth of food and drink out of it, and it was at a close friend's family restaurant, so... that was my angle.

And why are you giving money ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Oct 16, 15 10:00 PM
anyone check out Horowitz' contributors? very interesting.
By bigfresh (4595), north sea on Oct 16, 15 6:18 AM