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Jun 7, 2016 2:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Discovery Land Changes Time Of Saturday Informational Meeting

Jun 10, 2016 10:13 AM

UPDATE: Friday, 9 a.m.:

Discovery Land changed the time of Saturday's meeting where officials will be discussing water quality and The Hills. The meeting will be held on Saturday at 9 a.m. at New Moon Cafe in East Quogue.

ORIGINAL:

An accidental scheduling conflict or a calculated move?

A pair of competing meetings—both scheduled for 10 a.m. this Saturday in East Quogue, and both of which will focus on different projects by the same developer, Discovery Land Company of Arizona—has the leader of the local civic crying foul.

Al Algieri, president of the East Quogue Civic Association, said this week that his group scheduled its meeting—which will be held in the cafetorium of the East Quogue Elementary School on Central Avenue—weeks ago, and mailed fliers about the gathering to an estimated 4,500 homeowners two weeks ago.

Discovery Land, meanwhile, recently scheduled another one of its informational meetings—for the same time, though at a different venue—to answer questions about its proposed The Hills at Southampton project that calls for the construction of 118 homes and an 18-hole golf course on nearly 600 acres in the hamlet.

“We were weeks ahead of their mailing,” Mr. Algieri said, referring to an oversized postcard that Discovery Land Company recently distributed in the hamlet about the competing meeting.

Dr. James M. Cervino, a marine scientist from New York City who has traveled to the Bahamas and completed independent studies of the water and a reef situated near Discovery Land’s Bakers Bay Golf and Ocean Club in the Bahamas, is the scheduled guest speaker for the civics meeting. That development, on which ground was broken nearly a decade ago, currently features 125 homes, 240 buildable estate lots, and an 18-hole golf course on 585 acres located on the island of Great Guana Cay.

In an interview this week, Dr. Cervino said he would be sharing his findings of that project and how he believes, based on his research, that nitrogen and phosphorous from Discovery Land’s golf course down there has damaged a nearby reef. “They managed to destroy a 1,000-year-old reef in the matter of two years,” Dr. Cervino said

He added that his findings have been backed up by other scientists, including Dr. Thomas Goreau, president of Global Coral Reef Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to growing, protecting and managing coral reef, and Brian Lapointe, principal investigator and research professor at Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Cervino added that he and his colleagues are speaking out at Saturday’s civic association meeting because they believe that Discovery Land, which is proposing a similar-type development in East Quogue, is again making promises that it cannot keep, and that its development could further threaten already damaged water supplies. The company is seeking Southampton Town approval of a planned development district, special zoning that allows developers to bypass established zoning, that will allow Discovery Land to built 118 residential units and an 18-hole golf course on nearly 600 acres.

Mark Hissey, vice president of Discovery Land, this week dismissed Dr. Cervino’s allegations about the Baker’s Bay golf course.

“It’s absolutely not true,” he said of the allegations. “What I can tell you is that the scientists that have commented—they haven’t been on the property,” he added. “In our opinion, it’s not based on scientific facts.”

He also dismissed Mr. Algieri’s suggestion that Discovery Land purposely scheduled conflicting meetings. “We had intentions on scheduling a Saturday morning thing for a while now that the weather is getting nicer,” Mr. Hissey said.

Jessica Insalaco, who was hired by Discovery Land to schedule and facilitate the ongoing series of informational meetings, said this week that she started telling people about the meetings “a couple of weeks ago.”

Mr. Hissey said that company officials attending their meeting, which will be held at the New Moon Cafe on Montauk Highway, will focus on how golf courses have received an unfair labeling even though they are not the hazards that many environmentalists make them out to be. He also noted that Southampton Town is especially critical of golf courses, noting that they place strict restrictions on their developers and operators to limit runoff and the utilization of potentially harmful pesticides.

“Southampton Town has proved to be an incredible 
overseer to ensure that golf courses do the right thing,” Mr. Hissey said. “I doubt there’s a municipality that is as good as they are.”

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... what Discovery's employees have to say Saturday should not take long, maybe one Bloody Mary. Plenty of time to make it over to the East Quogue school for a reality check.
By William Rodney (446), southampton on Jun 7, 16 3:16 PM
3 members liked this comment
Plenty of proof out there on the coral reef degradation. Notesfromtheroad dotcom guana says "CORALS OFF NORTH END OF GUANA CAY ARE SHOWING UNIQUE DISEASES CONSISTENT WITH GOLF COURSE RUN-OFF". Just a simple google search of Baker's Bay reef will show plenty more.

As for Mr. Hissey's comment that there's no science behind Dr. Cervino's comments - he's a scientist, who "has traveled to the Bahamas and completed independent studies of the water and a reef situated near Discovery Land’s ...more
By Earthgirl (52), Southampton on Jun 7, 16 3:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
What a conundrum for SHTB and the new supervisor. Which meeting do they attend or do they stay away from both of them?

I'll be at the EQ Civics meeting held at the EQ Elementary School. Those looking for a free meal and willing to listen to yet another "informational" propaganda session will be at the "New Moon". Food by New Moon & Goldbergs, how wonderful. Some of us in EQ cannot be bought by the "Discovery Land Company."

To our new supervisor and SHTB your job has been made relatively ...more
By crusader (363), East Quogue on Jun 7, 16 6:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Everyone seems concerned about the ground water and chemicals used for a golf course in East Quogue. Has any of those people asked the same questions about the farms that have been pumping pesticides into the ground for over a hundred years?Also farms have Zero resonsiblity for their runoff(unlike a golf courses or developments) as all of us EQ residents should know if you have ever traveled down Lewis road in the rain.
By tunagirl84 (6), east quogue on Jun 7, 16 10:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yes That may be true, but we need to eat. Does anyone "need" to play golf?
By CleanWater (108), East Quogue on Jun 8, 16 8:33 AM
3 members liked this comment
no one cares what Al Algieri has to say -
By farmlocal (83), Southampton on Jun 8, 16 9:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Only those who want to know the truth care what Al Algieri has to say! Intelligent people need to hear both sides to make an educated decision. Those with selfish reasons to approve the Hills don't want the rest of us to see the facts.
By Taz (225), East Quogue on Jun 8, 16 10:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
Since when do 2 wrongs make a right? Fix the farming issue and don't let more pollution into our groundwater just because others do it.
By Taz (225), East Quogue on Jun 8, 16 11:02 AM
Shouldn't we learn from our mistakes. Just because "that's how we did it in the past" doesn't mean we must continue to be detrimental going forward.
We recycle, we use cleaner grades of gasoline, we want to move away from coal, etc...
Why allow developers to pollute our water supply and bays?
By FiddlerCrab (89), Westhampton Beach on Jun 10, 16 10:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Im not saying that two wrongs make a right, I'm simply pointing out that people are all up in arms about the development and what it will do to our water, when there has been an underlying issue for over one hundred years.
By tunagirl84 (6), east quogue on Jun 8, 16 1:13 PM
So let's start the conversation with the Town board on pollution: tell them to reject the Hills and begin to put limits on farm pollution!
By Taz (225), East Quogue on Jun 8, 16 2:50 PM
2 members liked this comment
Accidental scheduling - oxymoronic...
By Vikki K (483), Southampton on Jun 9, 16 3:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
According to Dr. Gobler's various reports on the State of the Bay (specifically Shinnecock/Tiana, the most significant area of nitrogen loading impacting the bay comes from the 100's of houses that ring the north side of the East Quogue/Hampton Bays perimeter. Specifically in the main section is Shinnecock Shores, Pine Neck Landing, etc. Why is it that when the focus on reducing nitrogen impact is discussed at a Civic Association meeting, stopping a new project is the focus. Why isn't pushing existing ...more
By roverton (18), Westhampton on Jun 9, 16 10:15 PM
We need to do it all. Upgrade septic, absolutely. But the Cornell Report says 80% of nitrogen comes from turf. So we also have to stop planting new turf. The proposed golf course has 4million square feet of turf.
By CleanWater (108), East Quogue on Jun 10, 16 8:35 AM
2 members liked this comment
What Cornell report is that- I thought the County said 80% of N is generated by sanitary systems?
By Lion (167), southampton on Jun 10, 16 10:17 AM
In the five acre zone, 80% of nitrogen from Turf.
See
Land Use and Ground Water Quality in the Pine Barrens of Southampton Cornell 1983
Page 29
Figure 6.2
By CleanWater (108), East Quogue on Jun 10, 16 11:21 AM
And by the way, the Cornell Study is an appendix to the Discovery response to the Town's scoping document from September 2015. So you won't have to look far to find it.
By CleanWater (108), East Quogue on Jun 10, 16 11:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
4 MILLION SQUARE FEET OF TURF - why would Jay Schneiderman consider this?

86 homes X 2,500 sq.ft. of turf = 215,000 sq. ft. total.

Why give these developers the 18 TIMES (or more) of POLLUTING TURF ?

A change of ZONE to poison us and future generations. What is the Developer offering for this?

By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Jun 10, 16 10:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
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