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Jul 13, 2016 11:42 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Alec Baldwin Will Push Pine Barrens Commission To Review 'The Hills'

Alec Baldwin
Jul 13, 2016 1:41 PM

Actor Alec Baldwin is continuing to express his opposition to a proposed luxury golf course resort in East Quogue—this time by scheduling a press conference in Riverhead where he will push for the State Pine Barrens Commission to review the project.

Mr. Baldwin, an Amagansett resident who has also been a longtime environmental advocate, is against the project, dubbed “The Hills at Southampton,” because of its potential adverse impact on groundwater and nearby surface waters, and because a portion of the development would fall within the Pine Barrens, according to a release issued by Robert DeLuca, president of Group for the East End, and Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. Both Mr. DeLuca and Mr. Amper also oppose the project being proposed by the Arizona-based developer Discovery Land Company.

Discovery Land is seeking permission from the Southampton Town Board in the form of a planned development district, or PDD, to construct 118 homes—95 single-family homes, 13 clubhouse cabins and 10 clubhouse condominiums—and an 18-hole golf course centered on 168 acres along Spinney Road in East Quogue.

Mr. Baldwin said in the release that he is concerned that The Hills would add nitrogen to nearby waterways.

“This is a proper and compelling way to insist on a proper review of this dreadful project,” Mr. Baldwin said. “Nearby Shinnecock Bay is already experiencing a Brown Tide, caused by nitrogen contamination, which ‘The Hills’ project would only make worse and more frequent.”

Mr. DeLuca said he hopes that Mr. Baldwin’s involvement at the conference—scheduled to begin at noon on Wednesday, July 20, at the Dark Horse Restaurant on East Main Street, and just before the monthly meeting of the New York State Pine Barrens Commission—will help further the goal of environmentalists to get the panel to review the application.

“He’s a public figure with opposition to it,” Mr. DeLuca said. “Baldwin, over the years, has offered a lot of support for Pine Barrens protection … We think it’s very clearly within their jurisdiction.”

This upcoming conference will not be the first time Mr. Baldwin took a stance on The Hills. In January, Mr. Baldwin filmed a public service announcement and added his voice to a campaign started by Mr. DeLuca and Mr. Amper demanding that the Town Board repeal its PDD legislation. Opponents argue that the special change of zone provides developers with too much leeway in terms of extra density in exchange for questionable public benefits.

“I think sometimes, when it’s a celebrity as opposed to a tree-hugger, it stands for something,” Mr. Amper said when asked about Mr. Baldwin’s recruitment. “When he filmed the commercial the response from the public was terrific.”

In that commercial Mr. Baldwin called The Hills “the biggest and baddest development on Long Island.”

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Somebody drive to Amagansett now, throw Baldwin in the car and challenge him to find the site he is so interested in. If he can't find it, make him walk home. Just don't publicize the event - no reason to feed his ego any more.

Wasn't he to have left the country by now anyway?
By VOS (985), WHB on Jul 14, 16 3:36 AM
2 members liked this comment
It is apparent Mr. DeLuca. Mr. Amper and Mr. Baldwin have fundamental misunderstanding of the State Environmental Review Act. Once the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is circulated for review and comments it's likely the Pine Barrens Commission will thoroughly review the application. To publicly suggest the application will not receive "proper review" is ridiculous.
By Lion (219), southampton on Jul 14, 16 6:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lion, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) specifically requests that involved agencies participate in the review process from the earliest stages of an application. The problem with waiting until a DEIS is final is that much of the impact assessment, development design and proposed mitigation is already defined and the opportunity to make substantial changes is reduced as a regular matter of practice. For the record, I spent nearly a decade conducting involved agency reviews for the ...more
By Group for the East End (12), Bridgehampton on Jul 14, 16 11:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
Under the Type 1 coordinated review process and request for Lead Agency status there exist opportunities for involved agencies to participate very early in SEQRA. Agencies are encouraged to offer comments and/or challenge the position of Lead Agency request. Public Scoping allows involved agency participation and public input.
If the public, involved agencies or interested parties choose not to participate-including PBC- then the DEIS comment period is available. As there are no decisions or ...more
By Lion (219), southampton on Jul 14, 16 6:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
This group is lobbying the PBC to choose to participate, instead of choosing not to participate. Why is asking for additional review a dis-service? Baldwin and the Pine Barrens Society and The Group For The East End are saying this is a way to "insist on proper review". My understanding is that Mr. Collins of the planning department has been touting this project as the best thing since sliced bread before the first draft of the DEIS was even submitted. He also was involved in the failed attempt ...more
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Jul 14, 16 9:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Kindly separate the SEQRA review and planning process from publicity stunts orchestrated by lobbyists. The DEIS and PDD application are public documents, available for anyone to review and comment upon. The PBC is not, was not or will not be denied its review. This insistence of "proper" review is a clear attempt to erode the public's trust in Lead Agency's objective administration of the SEQRA process. The "proper" review requires a technical objective review of the application, DEIS and offering ...more
By Lion (219), southampton on Jul 15, 16 3:55 AM
You write "The PBC is not, was not or will not be denied its review." Are you suggesting you are not aware that Discovery Land, through it's consultant NPV, made a formal statement to the PBC, in writing, in 2015 that the PBC has no jurisdiction for this application? That is what triggered the environmental groups to work to insure the PBC looks at the application. Let's replace your pejorative terms "prejudices and preconceptions" with the term opinions. I'd argue we are all entitled to our ...more
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Jul 15, 16 9:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
You write "The PBC is not, was not or will not be denied its review." Are you suggesting you are not aware that Discovery Land, through it's consultant NPV, made a formal statement to the PBC, in writing, in 2015 that the PBC has no jurisdiction for this application? That is what triggered the environmental groups to work to insure the PBC looks at the application. Let's replace your pejorative terms "prejudices and preconceptions" with the term "opinions". I'd argue we are all entitled to our ...more
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Jul 15, 16 9:48 PM
... their handling of the Bridgehampton PDD, their own sordid proposal, was a dis-service too their professional practice, was it not?
By William Rodney (461), southampton on Jul 16, 16 12:06 AM
The PBC's determination of jurisdiction can be evaluated by the commission during the DEIS review and comment period. That argument is based on the application's technical aspects (clearing limits, development within CGA, core area protection, hardship application, etc.). Typically evaluations are performed during the EIS review because the applicant must provide comprehensive information, necessary for that determination to be valid. The pep rally and use of an out of town celeb is purely beyond ...more
By Lion (219), southampton on Jul 16, 16 5:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
And I'm sure, just like Al Gore, Alex Baldwin does nothing to contribute to greenhouse gases, doesn't use fertilizers or water on his lawn, or in any way harm the environment more than regular folks.
By HamptonDad (109), Hampton Bays on Jul 14, 16 4:12 PM
2 members liked this comment
All golf courses add nitrogen to ground water and bays, etc.
The last thing we need is this development dumping chemicals in this ecologically sensitive area.
Who gives a rats-butt if they're going to "monitor" the damage they're going to do!
Don't do it in the first place!!!
By FiddlerCrab (90), Westhampton Beach on Jul 15, 16 11:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
The guy that calls his little daughter s pig wants what?
By SlimeAlive (623), Southampton on Jul 17, 16 6:16 AM
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the PBC decided the project should go forward? Then you would all be singing the praises of those who wanted their insight! Oh, wait, since you don't want their opinion, you must therefore think they would be against the Hills. But why? Is there something you don't want the public to know? Either this is a good, environmently safe project or it is not! The more eyes we have on it the better!!!
By Taz (282), East Quogue on Jul 17, 16 11:12 AM
Over the past four decades, affluent people like Mr. Baldwin moved to the east end, built mega mansions which have lush lawns, and use far more water irrigating those lawns than the average household. Together those with mega acre plush green lawns have contributed far more to problems with the water supply than one golf course. How about installing water meters on these huge homes which cut off their supply once they reach the average water user!
By Walt (264), Southampton on Jul 17, 16 5:21 PM
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