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Apr 12, 2017 10:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Dr. Chris Gobler Shares Opinion, Concerns Over 'The Hills' Proposal

Dr. Chris Gobler
Apr 27, 2017 10:53 AM

A newly submitted report, researched by one of the East End’s most well-respected water quality experts, challenges the science used and conclusions reached in the draft environmental impact statement filed by the Arizona developer pushing for a zoning change that would permit the construction of a luxury golf resort in East Quogue.

In his highly anticipated report filed last month with Southampton Town, Dr. Chris Gobler, a marine science professor at Stony Brook Southampton, also states that the proposed 118-home, 18-hole private golf course being pursued by Discovery Land Company—dubbed “The Hills at Southampton”—would add more nitrogen to the environment than if the firm was allowed to develop the nearly 600 acres according to its current zoning. The land owned by Discovery Land currently carries 5-acre residential zoning, the most restrictive in the municipality.

His 16-page report makes it clear that he thinks the proposed project would further damage already compromised groundwater in the hamlet—pollution that would, in turn, further undermine the quality of water in Weesuck Creek and nearby Shinnecock Bay.

When reached this week, Dr. Gobler, who lives in East Quogue, and whose wife, Dianna, serves on the hamlet’s Board of Education, declined to state that his report means that he opposes Discovery Land’s request for a change of zone, called a planned development district.

“That’s not my decision to make …” said Dr. Gobler, who was asked by the town to complete the report and did so pro bono. “I gave my best scientific opinion with how [the development] lines up with the different scenarios. Now it’s up to the policy-makers to decide.”

Still, his report makes it clear that the zoning change, if approved by the Town Board, would result in the introduction of an estimated 3,600 pounds of nitrogen a year to the hamlet’s groundwater. In comparison, he wrote that one as-of-right alternative—which calls for 118 residential units but no golf course—would yield between 1,600 and 3,500 pounds of nitrogen annually, depending on the intensity of development, and whether or not the homes would be clustered on the property. A clustered development would most likely produce less nitrogen.

When reached this week, Dr. Gobler said he thinks the total amount of nitrogen generated from the development, if Discovery Land had to build under current zoning restrictions, would be closer to the lower end of his estimates. “I gave a range just to be fair,” he said. “I’m just using their numbers and doing my own assessment.”

In his report, he notes that current conditions—sections of the property are already disturbed, while other portions have preexisting pollution, some of which can be traced back to a working farm—yield, on average, about 1,200 pounds of nitrogen annually. “Calculations demonstrated that the lowest nitrogen loading rates are associated with current conditions, whereas the PDD yielded the highest nitrogen loading rates between these extremes,” Dr. Gobler wrote in his report.

His estimates include nitrogen loading from various sources, including fertilizers that would be used on the proposed golf course and septic systems serving the homes. Discovery Land has proposed installing the most modern sewage treatment facility possible if the town were to approve the zoning change. While the proposed treatment plan would help mitigate the nitrogen, it still wouldn’t completely reverse the problem, according to Dr. Gobler.

Mark Hissey, Discovery Land’s vice president and who has been leading efforts to get the PDD approved, said this week that he has reviewed Dr. Gobler’s report and that his team will review the document and rely on it to improve the draft environmental impact statement, or DEIS, once they receive approval from the town to prepare the final environmental impact statement, or FEIS.

“We have to—there is no question about it,” Mr. Hissey said when reached on Tuesday. “All of the agronomic, the hydrologic, and the marine biology issues must be addressed in the FEIS. I’m compelled to update it, actually.”

Dr. Gobler, who met twice with Discovery Land’s scientists before filing his study with the town, points out in his report that they used different models when calculating their estimations in terms of current conditions and the project’s potential impact on the environment. In other places, he said the developer relied on older and, in his opinion, outdated or inaccurate figures.

For example, the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan—designed to reduce the amount of nitrogen in surface waters and groundwater across Long Island—is still being developed and, therefore, was not finished when the town deemed Discovery Land’s DEIS complete six months ago. Though the state plan is still preliminary, some of its recommendations are now available on the DEC website, dec.ny.gov, though that information and recommendations were not included in the current version of the DEIS.

Additionally, Dr. Gobler’s report notes that Discovery Land’s estimates related to the fertigation process—the injection of fertilizers and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system—are unreliable, because the process itself is still experimental, meaning there is no concrete data that attests to the effectiveness of such a practice. As part of its proposal, the developer is offering to capture nitrogen-rich groundwater and using it to irrigate the golf course—and then capturing some of that water through the installation of liners.

Though he describes the suggestion as a “novel” idea and an “innovative approach for mitigation nitrogen on the property,” Dr. Gobler warns that Discovery Land’s estimation that such a practice would remove some 2,500 pounds of nitrogen from the ground annually represents “a significant overestimate.” Additionally, he wrote that there “are questions with regard to how the turf will respond to the constant dosing of high nitrogen groundwater.”

While he likes the concept of recycling already contaminated water, Dr. Gobler said that, as a scientist, he needs to know more about the success of the fertigation process before supporting such an experimental measure. “I love the idea, frankly,” Dr. Gobler said. “I just don’t see how you can begin to count that. You can’t rely on that if it’s totally unknown and an experiment. It’s theoretical.”

Dr. Gobler said he has been studying the massive DEIS, which totals 473 pages, ever since the first version was submitted to the town in December 2015; the Town Board did not approve the draft report until September, after it underwent multiple revisions. Dr. Gobler did not publicly share his concerns about the document until a January public hearing hosted by the town.

In his report filed late last month, Dr. Gobler also warns of future threats through the introduction of additional nitrogen to the groundwater in East Quogue, pointing to western Shinnecock Bay which, in 2010, was deemed an impaired body of water by the DEC. He also wrote that any increase in nitrogen loading could potentially increase the intensity and toxicity of future algal blooms and further undermine the quality of both the bay and already compromised Weesuck Creek, resulting in more frequent shellfish bed closures.

He also warns of the potential threat to drinking water supplies: “Enhanced nitrogen loading will push already high nitrate levels in public and water supply wells for East Quogue closer to [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] federal limit for drinking water.”

The public comment period on the DEIS was closed on April 1, after the town requested an extension due to the sheer volume of written opinions filed regarding the project. Now that the comment period is closed, Discovery Land has 45 days to file its FEIS with the town. It is unclear when the Town Board could vote on the PDD itself, though a super-majority—or four of five board members—must sign off for it to be approved.

For now, Dr. Gobler said the ball is in Discovery Land’s court to update the DEIS with more reliable information.

“They were receptive, which I think was positive …” he said, referring to the developer’s representatives. “I don’t think we have full agreement on everything, but we’re putting some numbers on the table.”

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Has the Dr. from Stony Brook Southampton researched the environmental impact of the proposed development of the hospital at.......Stony Brook Southampton?
By Mouthampton (296), Southampton on Apr 14, 17 8:21 AM
2 members liked this comment
Why would he? Have you read the environmental study for that project?
By But I'm a blank! (1274), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 17 10:56 AM
REMEMBER SANDY HOLLOW !!!
REMEMBER THE ALAMO !!!
By pw herman (483), southampton on Apr 30, 17 1:14 PM
To those of you as puzzled as I am as to why the reporter added the last few paragraphs here on 27E that were not in the printed story and what they mean I suggest you will get all the information you need regarding this issue by reading Dr. Gobler's report.

Please read the report. It is clear.
By CleanWater (94), East Quogue on Apr 14, 17 11:07 AM
Its more puzzling that this man can insinuate that houses developed on 600 acres, with no regulation of fertilizer being put down would create less nitrogen than an County and DEC regulated golf course and 118 housing units occupied on a part time basis would?
By 11953guest (27), southampton on Apr 14, 17 11:49 AM
2 members liked this comment
It doesnt sound like Dr. G 'insinuated' anything. He created an evidence based report from research and presented a his conclusion.

It's ok that you're puzzled but if you would like to become un-puzzled there are plenty of options for you to get some information and context.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on Apr 14, 17 12:09 PM
Forget about nitrogen loading and take a look at what Discovery has completed at other locations they are beautiful. This would create open space for free, no kids in the school system and probably 100 jobs, I bet the Town gives full approval and they would be doing the right thing for everyone overall.
By 11953guest (27), southampton on Apr 14, 17 12:22 PM
haha. To DLC, you need to pay more to get higher quality internet commenters.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your opinion of beauty for us @11953guest
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on Apr 14, 17 12:33 PM
And you got your PhD Where???????
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 16, 17 11:39 AM
One more nail in the coffin of The Hills. This project must have one of the tightest coffins ever, with all the nails that have been pounded in there.

Dr. Gobler has here identified one of the strongest points against granting this application. That is the fact that the developer's science and technology claimed to reduce nitrogen in the mix is unproven. It hasn't been done before, at least not to the extent that would support scientific conclusions.

Translation: It's an experiment, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 14, 17 12:26 PM
3 members liked this comment
Actually the fertigation/nitrogen mitigation isn't a deal killer. It is something that has has a big upside and no downside. There is plenty of empirical evidence that this is a sound method for removing nitrogen from the environment.

Fertigation has actually been going on for a very long time in the East End alone and nitrogen and other toxin mitigation through running through vegetation is a very tried and trusted process that isn't even remotely experimental.

Nails? No I don't ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 18, 17 12:06 AM
2 members liked this comment
Dr. Gobler is a wonderful scientist, a man dedicated to his students and his field. He also doesn't look like he has aged a day since I had him as a professor many years ago.
By nsea93 (39), Southampton on Apr 15, 17 1:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
Was he teaching Hydrogeology at the time? That's the field he has put himself into here.
By VOS (898), WHB on Apr 15, 17 2:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
are you only able to understand something based on the courses that you teach? what are you saying @VOS?

Where did you study internet commenting?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on Apr 17, 17 9:20 PM
I'll jump in for VOS.

What it does mean is that someone with a lifetime of work in a specific field is to be deferred to when you have a rudimentary knowledge of that same subject. It is professional courtesy and accuracy.

Dr Martin Petrovic is possibly the world's expert in turf science and leaching. He is THE expert in this field just as Dr Gobler is in marine science. Dr Petrovic disagrees completely with Dr Gobler's assumptions.
it isn't a matter of who paid for what; it ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 18, 17 12:17 AM
2 members liked this comment
Got it. So you write Dr. Gobler's findings off as assumptions in your comment yet in the article state that :
'Mark Hissey, Discovery Land’s vice president and who has been leading efforts to get the PDD approved, said this week that he has reviewed Dr. Gobler’s report and that his team will review the document and rely on it to improve the draft environmental impact statement, or DEIS, once they receive approval from the town to prepare the final environmental impact statement, ...more
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on Apr 18, 17 12:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Those statements aren't contradictory. I am compelled to answer submissions in in this process. That includes Dr Gobler's comments in his submission. Ultimately, the TOS experts will decide on who has gotten the science correct.

Dr Gobler has made some excellent comments and suggestions in this process and we've accommodated some. He's also made some errors and all will be addressed and corrected on both sides at the end of the process.

By the way, Dr Petrovic works for you, not ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 19, 17 1:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
Two words:

Tetraethyl lead

They found a guy to say that was "safe"...
By Mr. Z (8951), North Sea on Apr 19, 17 5:42 AM
Excellent Sean Spicer impression, Mark.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on Apr 19, 17 2:37 PM
I doubt your "paid for " experts would produce any document that showed this disaster of a project in an unfavorable light.
By bigfresh (2710), north sea on Apr 18, 17 5:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
... move this thing over to the Grumman site in Calverton. Plenty of open space there. It is not gonna work in the Pine Barrens. Too much risk assumed by the people of the town. Call today, if you haven't done so.
By William Rodney (426), southampton on Apr 18, 17 10:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
No. I won't be doing that. I'll be developing this land as I have told you on many occasions. There's a reason why the Pine Barrens Law determined the area to be designated and a Compatible Growth Area. It's because it is compatible for growth as opposed to the Core Preservation Area which isn't.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 19, 17 1:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
...and as I have told you on may occasions you have no right to do what you are attempting to do on this property. You and your cabal of consultants were Gobler's staunchest supporters at the town hearings. Now with the presentation of a damning document - written in consultation with one of your guys - you attempt to question his work. His work is reality.

You can't keep plugging different numbers into the same equation and expect different results. Some people define that as insanity.The ...more
By William Rodney (426), southampton on Apr 19, 17 9:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Build as of right or not at all.
By bigfresh (2710), north sea on Apr 19, 17 5:46 AM
I could be wrong, but I think the Town's offer is off the table. If it isn't, it should be off, and it should stay off, because this developer's PDD application is going to be denied, and as I've said many times, his as of right alternative isn't the least bit economical for him. 118 high-end houses on five-acre lots back in the woods in East Quogue with astronomical price tags and no golf course? Give me a break!

Discovery has nowhere to go. No point in buying even an acre from them, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 19, 17 8:33 PM
The as-of-right will be much less than 118 homes currently zoned for after SEQRA and other environmental rules are applied. New septic rules by both Suffolk County and Southampton Town will increase the costs while reducing environmental impact on the likely 85 homes they will get approved if DLC is lucky. The competition next door from Southampton Pines are selling for around $1 million. DLC is between a rock and a hard place. They are big boys and went into this poker game with open eyes, upping ...more
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 20, 17 11:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
SAY NO TO THE HILLS NOW! Don't waste any more time with this PDD, it will be something history will not smile upon if built.
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 20, 17 11:12 AM
Please note my last comment three posts above this one, saying that the numbers just don't work for the developer with the so-called as of right alternative. Please note also that Mark Hissey has troubled to answer every opposing post in this thread, except my last one. Why is that, do you think?
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 21, 17 1:17 PM
A few more words from the A. Martin Petrovic report:

"bifenthrin, tridiamefon, prodiamine, bensulide, chloropyrifos. flutolanil, propaconazole, myclobutanil, flutolanil, paclobutrazol and imidacloprid"

"Issue: High risk pesticides described above should not be use at the proposed Hills project site unless there is a very strict set of conditions defined for their emergency use plan."

So Mr. Petrovic says its OK to use carcinogenic toxic pesticides/chemicals over the aquifer ...more
By CleanWater (94), East Quogue on Apr 22, 17 9:15 PM
Scary names in your opinion? Ever taken the time to actually find out the toxicity or velocity of any of these compounds?

What is your science background exactly? Is it in the same ballpark as Dr Petrovic? He is an eminent and world renowned turf science expert who has devoted his life to studying these compounds and their effects.

I will hazard a guess that you have an extremely limited knowledge of science given your comment about proximity to the school. Still peddling that ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 27, 17 10:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
STILL WAITING, MR. HISSEY. You really haven't got an answer for that one, have you? You know as well as I do that the as of right alternative is a loser for your company because no one's going to pay top dollar for a high end house on a five-acre lot out in the East Quogue woods without a golf course.

I'll even grant that you might sell 20 or 30 such houses out of a planned 118, but that's it. The bottom line is that the Town has all the cards here -- all the Town Board has to do is ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 24, 17 11:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
I've answered it numerous times and you know it. Both on this forum and at public hearings that I know you have attended.

There is something very strange about you trying to make this point time and time again when you know my position precisely.

By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 27, 17 10:47 PM
When? Where? I've never seen or heard the answer you claim you've given.

Please be specific, Mr. Hissey. It's probably more useful for you to cite to this forum than to public hearings, because you can just state the title of the relevant 27east article and the date and time of your post.

Of course, since you've given this answer "numerous times" as you claim, it will likely be easier for you just to state it once more here instead of playing so coy. Throughout this thread, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 28, 17 10:35 AM
My God, You really know it all don't you?

This is no bluff. I've said it on numerous occasions too. And you will keep bleating on about it and you will be proved wrong. And you'll shrug your shoulders and move on to your next piece of titillation and the people who actually believe you will wonder what the hell happened.

You have absolutely no clue about DLC's client base, demand or history. None whatsoever. I just hope that people refuse to believe your uninformed, arrogant statements. ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 28, 17 7:00 PM
That previous post is in reply to a post of yours in which you claim, as you repeatedly have in public, in letters and on this website, that I will not just build 118 homes without a golf course and that I'll just walk away.

You can search for the rest. It's easy. Search for the stories abut the project and you will see you peddling your incorrect theory and me correcting you.

There is no coyness about it. I've answered this ad nauseum and you have either deliberately ignored ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 28, 17 7:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
Clear indeed, and I say you're bluffing. Oh, and I'll keep on saying it, because it's vital that your bluff be exposed for the falsehood that it is. You seem to think that when you've given out your version of things, that should be the end of it, and no one should question you.

Think again. I'll question you as long as I have to, as long as this misguided application is on the table. The Hills is the biggest and most threatening project in the history of Southampton Town. It has the ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 28, 17 9:43 PM
Well I hope you have the decency to apologize to the people you have fooled when you are proved wrong in one way or another. Don't say you weren't clearly told.

And I take exception to being categorized as a liar. But given your profound arrogance, it's hardly surprising that you are indecent enough to say something like that.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 28, 17 10:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
It won't work to attempt a distraction by personal insults. This is far beyond personal because it's about the survival of our town as we know it. All I'm doing is calling your bluff and I'll do it as long as I have to.
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 29, 17 7:39 AM
Come to think of it, your reaction is kind of interesting. I don't really equate bluffing in a card game, or even in a business situation like this, to lying, but you apparently do. I say you're bluffing and bing, bing, off go the alarms, "he's calling me a liar!"

Where is that coming from? A very guilty conscience, is my guess, based on a bluff that the bluffer knows to be so devoid of truth as to amount to a lie, in his mind. If the shoe fits, wear it.
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on Apr 29, 17 11:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you for the clarification that you think I am a liar. Good to know.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 29, 17 1:58 PM
"It's about the survival of our town as we know it."

Seriously? The whole town" Better check, I think that entire herd left the barn decades ago. Time to stop living in the past; stop with the hysterical rhetoric and the talk of "potential" cataclysmic events. Try to deal with reality and leave your scare tactics for your cheap political campaigns.

You have the potential to cause more damage just by riding your bicycle up Lewis Road when the wrong combination of loaded trucks, ...more
By VOS (898), WHB on Apr 29, 17 11:51 PM
You've hit on a very important fact that the likes of TB, Taz and William Rodney completely disregard.

The TOS has an incredibly detailed and proficient protocol for monitoring newly constructed golf clubs. One which is a national leader. Yet this fact isn't sufficiently publicized or used as an example for management elsewhere. The results of testing are there for all to see; it is just that opponents elect to ignore these facts for there own misguided agendas.

Here's an interesting ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on May 1, 17 1:21 AM
"A person who talks much and pretentiously but says little of importance."
You attack the sponsor's representative on a personal if not disrespectful level, rather than directing your comments to the article? That is an unnecessary digression in the debates between you and Mr. Hissey. Shameful.
By Lion (138), southampton on May 1, 17 5:39 AM
Why has this article disappeared from 27east Search engine?
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 24, 17 11:42 AM
There seems to be a technical issue with how 27east indexes articles for the search results. We will try to resolve it soon.
By BOReilly (130), Eastport on Apr 24, 17 11:45 AM
Thank you. This is a hot topic and needs attention.
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 24, 17 11:48 AM
Mr. Hissey, we are anxiously awaiting your response to Turkey Bridge? Cat got your tongue?
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 24, 17 11:50 AM
You've gotten the answer for the delay from Mr O'Reilly.

Now I have a "cat-got-your-tongue" question for you. What's your name?
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 27, 17 10:44 PM
The 500 pound gorilla in the room remains the question of how DLC will fare without the golf course?
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 28, 17 11:01 AM
... someone seems to be unraveling. Glad I got this thing re-posted. 118 as of right, Thing #2 - impossible.
By William Rodney (426), southampton on Apr 29, 17 2:25 PM
Wishful thinking Bill. Wishful thinking.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 29, 17 3:46 PM
DLC is in denial about the environmental laws already in existence that will prevent 118 homes from being built. SEQRA? Not to mention the Suffolk County and Southampton plans to impose costly new septic rules in 2017. How can Mr. Hissey continue to threaten with 118 homes when he knows that can never happen. Disingenuous to say the least.
By Taz (162), East Quogue on Apr 30, 17 12:20 PM
Five acre zoning is the most restrictive in our area. That is what this property is subject to. It is a relatively new enactment so to make it even more restrictive after recent up zoning would be a non-starter. It is also scientifically unsupportable. 592 acres gives a yield of 118. The five acre zoning was imposed to produce 2mg of nitrogen with regular septic systems. Far below any federal, state or local limits.

DLC has committed to a STP in the PDD which will make the impact even lower ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 30, 17 2:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
The larger question is how the 118 full time residential unit development conflicts with the EQ Hamlet Study, attendant GEIS and SEQRA Findings Statement, which specifically identifies resort style housing with at least one golf course? These recommendations are adopted into the Town's Comprehensive Plan. By what method do you unravel this, and reverse the entire environmental argument made in the Hamlet Study? If DLC has proposed development consistent with the Comp Plan, mitigated or avoided significant ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 1, 17 6:02 AM
... call it Southampton Pines - West.
By William Rodney (426), southampton on Apr 30, 17 1:07 PM
Ouch! The zingers keep on coming.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on Apr 30, 17 2:44 PM
There is no guarantee of a zoning change when purchasing property, none! So build your homes on 5 acres each, good luck getting the big bucks , doubtful there are many suckers who will pay large to live there.
By bigfresh (2710), north sea on May 1, 17 6:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mark. GYB.
By JohnHealey (1), New York, New York on May 1, 17 8:16 PM
Mr. Hissey has a disconcerting habit of making unsupported declarations, in strong terms, and expecting us to accept them on that basis, merely because he has spoken from on high.

Example 1 is his attempted response to the notion that greater environmental/zoning restrictions can be placed on the land in question, thus limiting his "as of right" plans. Mr. Hissey tells us that, given how recently the current zoning was imposed, any further restriction "would be a non-starter."

How ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 3, 17 9:33 AM
2 members liked this comment
"A person who talks much and pretentiously but says little of importance."
You attack the sponsor's representative on a personal if not disrespectful level, rather than directing your comments to the article? That is an unnecessary digression in the debates between you and Mr. Hissey. Shameful.
By Lion (138), southampton on May 3, 17 5:55 PM
And once again for the one who doesn't accept it,
The larger question is how the 118 full time residential unit development conflicts with the EQ Hamlet Study, attendant GEIS and SEQRA Findings Statement, which specifically identifies resort style housing with at least one golf course? These recommendations are adopted into the Town's Comprehensive Plan. By what method do you unravel this, and reverse the entire environmental argument made in the Hamlet Study? If DLC has proposed development ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 3, 17 5:58 PM
Your opinion of me has made discourse with you pointless. No answer or logic can avoid that.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on May 3, 17 4:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
What a convenient cop-out! I know you'd love to avoid dealing with my arguments, but it won't work. You're taking refuge in the playground excuse of "Turkey Bridge called me a liar so I won't talk to him any more."

That's nonsense. I'm on record (Apr. 29, 11:41 AM above) as stating that I don't equate the bluffing you're doing here to lying, but you seem to. The fact that you view it that way does not entitle you to file it away as a "clarification" that I think you're "a liar" (your ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 4, 17 10:36 AM
And a predictable response from you. You clarified exactly what you meant. You came in with a second post hours later to do so. Maybe you forgot about that like you forgot about the clarification that I provided you to your "When? Where?" post.

Frankly, your opinion doesn't matter one iota to me. Your arguments are both ignorant and devoid of logic. There's little point in any discussion with you as a result when you couple that with the fact that you think I lie.

As for my job, ...more
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on May 4, 17 1:26 PM
Kinda makes a person wonder why you spend so much time and put out so very many words on this comment board if you don't think it has importance. You're not an old retired dude like me, so this board must have something to do with your job and/or your own invested money. Nothing wrong with that, but you erode your credibility still further when you deny it.

More to the point: What "second post hours later" of mine? What are you talking about? Show me where I have any post between the ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 4, 17 2:43 PM
Mr. Hissey: What we have all been trying to say both on this forum and at the public hearings is that the Town Board and the Supervisor answer to US, the voters of Southampton Town, not to you, Discovery Land nor your troupe of paid performers.
By zappy (25), east quogue on May 4, 17 5:58 PM
4/29 at 7:39am followed by your second thought on labeling me at 11:41am.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on May 4, 17 6:45 PM
Wrong again, Mr. H. My 7:39 post to which you refer says nothing about lying. The later post (11:41) says bluffing isn't lying, IMO. So what are you talking about, saying of me, "you think I lie."

No I don't and I've never said that, so please stop using it as an excuse to avoid the discourse. Unless of course you want to stick with your other charge, i.e., "Your arguments are both ignorant and devoid of logic," but that's really nya-nya-nya kid stuff.

Come on and support ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 5, 17 2:46 PM
JUST SAY NO AND END THIS FIASCO!
By bigfresh (2710), north sea on May 3, 17 6:04 PM
Who should I contact to voice my opposition to this project? Discovery built another oversized development in the Abacos and destroyed an entire reef -- I want to do what I can to prevent them destroying the Hamptons, too.

http://www.savethebays.bs/2015/02/24/guana-cay-reefs-suffering-extensive-damage/
By Tay (26), Hampton Bays on May 4, 17 11:51 AM
Mr. Hissey, a town process is dependent on the citizens of the town and their votes. To minimize the opinion of a citizen (voter) is a grave mistake.
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 4, 17 2:14 PM
It is that voter in particular Taz. There's not too many places to go what I make a statement and I'm countered with an accusation of bluffing.

And as I said, I don't take too kindly to being labeled as a liar.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on May 4, 17 6:50 PM
For the last time, you haven't been "labeled as a liar," not by me. Bluffing yes, lying no. See my above post of May 5, 2:46 PM and stop hiding behind this totally fake excuse not to engage. Come out and answer my arguments. Do your job.
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 6, 17 10:53 AM
... you know, these people promised to come into this town and be good neighbors. Yet, that which they post above shows just the opposite, real "in the gutter" type stuff. Lion should be advising them to remain civil, but they refuse.

It only leads me to believe any attempt to develop in this town by them will be done in the same fashion - confrontationallly, only considering those that have skin in the game and those to whom they have made promises.

The Rechlers took a lot of ...more
By William Rodney (426), southampton on May 4, 17 5:18 PM
These consultants aren't supposed to bring anything new to the table other than a peer review.

Have you had a chance to take a look at Dr. Gobler's model? You should. It's in the Town Clerk's office. There are some addendums to it too.
By Mark Hissey (109), East Quogue on May 4, 17 6:56 PM
Thanks for the suggestion , WR but I learned long ago not to referee a pissing contest between two skunks.
In my view Mr. Hissey has responded to TB on the whole build no build issue. Certainly within EQ the conditions are becoming toxic (and it's not about the water quality). Shop owners are intimidated and fearful of losing customers if in support. The casual friendly atmosphere has been tainted with suspicion "are you for or against?" I've read the reports, attended the hearings,and know ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 4, 17 9:43 PM
... there exist no toxic conditions in EQ, other than those that might emanate from the DLC office. Business is seasonal on the east end, as such business owners are looking for ways to increase their production, understood. But, as you have stated many times, the hills is a seasonal resort closing down in the off season. Don't see how this will increase revenues to a few businesses since there will be no new residents to support them. they will be gone. The seasonality continues.

The PDD ...more
By William Rodney (426), southampton on May 5, 17 9:56 AM
Guess you don't frequent the corners of EQ that have, because that's what I've seen and heard from my peeps. Mr. Hissey is no skunk -I agree, and the Hills does not stink. The idea it's the mega development of Southampton is contrary to the redevelopment of Riverside-Flanders with over 1000 residential units and no confirmation of sewage treatment. The PDD law was on the books and in the EQ Hamlet study recommendation long before Discovery landed in EQ. If you've any familiarity with private golf ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 5, 17 4:26 PM
...your peeps are on the payroll, so they report what DLC needs them to say. The world-class golf courses dotting the east end close up shop and everybody goes to Florida - those that remain go on the dole and collect unemployment. The high end residential areas on the east end do the same - close up and head to warmer climates, not much difference here. The economy, or the part that services these developments go into hibernation mode until Spring. DLC purports to bring things that have never been ...more
By William Rodney (426), southampton on May 5, 17 5:14 PM
Yesterday the NYS DEC closed all of Western Shinnecock Bay to shell fishing due to a toxin caused by nitrogen linked to paralytic shellfish poisoning!

Cutting down trees in the Pine Barrens - to plant 4,000,000 square feet of turf for a golf course - is not a good idea.

This is not a hysterical prediction - this is what happened yesterday.

By sag2harbor (115), sag harbor on May 5, 17 1:24 PM
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Q.E.D.
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 5, 17 1:36 PM
Heyyy, I've just been doing a little counting and came up with some very telling stuff. In the last 5 issues of the Southampton Press, Western Edition --4/6/17 through 5/4/17 -- there are 26 letters on The Hills, 11 for the project and 15 against.

What's really interesting, though, is who said what and why. Of the 11 pro letters, 10 were written by people in the pay of the developer, Discovery Land. That's right, 10 out of 11, which is 91%!

No one was paid to write any of the ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 5, 17 2:58 PM
I think you have a warped interpretation of professionalism. Do you argue with your doctor over his or her diagnosis? Or do you instead rely on you barber to do a bit of blood letting and offer him a few schillings as tip?
What's the difference between Environmental professionals paid to write the impact assessment and those paid to review it? Professionals are not going to place their credentials on the line for a project sponsor or risk the public's health,welfare and environment for a fee. ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 5, 17 4:43 PM
I'm just glad that DLC paid you to keep posting here, you're a lot more cordial than Hissey.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on May 5, 17 5:22 PM
I subscribe to the Press, pay the annual fee and post at my own discretion. That dear friend Might be interpreted as a derogatory suggestion iand effort to (much like Mr. TB) cloak me as a mindless goon, more inclined to accept money over intellectual exchange.
Please, don't go there.
By Lion (138), southampton on May 5, 17 6:16 PM
I subscribe to the Press, pay the annual fee and post at my own discretion. That dear friend Might be interpreted as a derogatory suggestion and effort to (much like Mr. TB) cloak me as a mindless goon, more inclined to accept money over intellectual exchange.
Please, don't go there.
By Lion (138), southampton on May 5, 17 6:18 PM
I don't like your Hills project. Go away with it. Far away. And please don't come back.
By toes in the water (460), southampton on May 5, 17 6:45 PM
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Did you ever hear of getting a second medical opinion? It does not mean going to a barber for blood letting, nor does it necessarily impugn the reputation of the first doctor. Different professionals have different opinions based on their educational and professional experiences. It is the intelligent thing to do and the patient gets to decide which doctor to go with. In the case of the Hills, we must consider all professional scientific opinions and IMO, not risk the dangers to our environment ...more
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 6, 17 11:10 AM
Have you read the actual reports or are you depending upon the Press and the opinions of others? In the article above Gobler states fertigation is unreliable. What experience does he or his associates have in turf grass management, hydrogeolgy and toxicological assessments? Has he ever written or co authored a SEQRA or NEPA document? Every one can have an opinion. Professionalism in specific areas of science and engineering carry with it legal responsibility that limits professional practices to ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 6, 17 3:26 PM
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Would NOT trust..* corrected
By Lion (138), southampton on May 6, 17 3:28 PM
Would NOT trust..* corrected
By Lion (138), southampton on May 6, 17 3:28 PM
Why are you asking these questions here? Dr. G's resume is pretty accessible ...

Your efforts to discredit Dr. G. are (very) weak and your motivation i$ tan$parent, 'Lion'.

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on May 6, 17 4:07 PM
Turkey Bridge asked "What do you think?" With respect to professionals who write letters to the Press and explain their conclusions. In response to TB's question,I've as much credibility to state my views including Goblers limitations as you have expressed doubts of the Hills experts.
By Lion (138), southampton on May 6, 17 4:48 PM
I also wonder about objectivity. Gobler has consistently opposed the project, and it comes as no surprise his report disagrees with the other professionals. Where did he stand on the Riverside-Flanders development of over 1000 units, and no clear discharge point for sanitary disposal; did he file a similar report for the Canoe Place Inn development? If ANY amount of additional nitrogen is too much (a gross exaggeration IMO) for the water resources to handle why only apply it to the Hills, and in ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 6, 17 5:23 PM
conflate, conflate, conflate.
You're not saying anything Lion. You can certainly express 'your' views ...so what else do you have to say? It seems that your whole point is that you dont feel like google-ing Dr. G's resume, you just keep noting that you dont understand his credentials.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (331), southampton on May 7, 17 8:31 AM
I'm guessing google missed his background in groundwater modeling in both unconfined and karst aquifers, or perhaps an oversight in experience with groundwater remediation? Oh, that civil or environmental engineering degree slip thu the cracks. He's a fine scientist and contributes significantly to his field and water quality as it pertains to the marine and surface water resources. Not at all questionable. Careful how one critiques the scientific work of professionals with experience, academic ...more
By Lion (138), southampton on May 7, 17 12:26 PM
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NEW ARTICLE IN TODAYS SH PRESS:

Biotoxin Prompts Shellfishing Ban In Western Shinnecock Bay
May 5, 2017 8:39 AM
By Greg Wehner

The State Department of Environmental Conservation temporarily closed approximately 1,400 acres in western Shinnecock Bay to shellfishing on Thursday, May 4, after a potentially dangerous marine biotoxin was found in mussels.

The DEC said the closure comes after mussels collected from biotoxin monitoring sites in the bay by both the state ...more
By sag2harbor (115), sag harbor on May 5, 17 4:08 PM
And there is serious consideration to razing the pine barrens for a golf course??? Kill the Hills!!!!
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 6, 17 11:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Taz, it appears you are not familiar with the DEIS. It might help you to read that document if you would like to intelligently debate the merits of the project. Things like placement of the golf course largely in areas presently disturbed and the public benefits of the development offered to the community.

Or, you can simply proceed in your ignorance.
By VOS (898), WHB on May 9, 17 2:02 AM
What PUBLIC BENEFITS are there in this proposal, not just a bribe paid to the East Quogue school district, but benefits to the rest of the Town. Since this project has the potential to cause damage to our aquafer and bays there should be some benefit to all of us.
By bigfresh (2710), north sea on May 9, 17 5:39 AM
Excellent article; Dr. Gobler's analysis makes sense. I have been raising oysters at Tiana Bay in cooperation with Cornell Marine Science for the past 6 years. Unfortunately. I have not been able to hang my oysters in WeeSuck Creek because the DEC has declared the creek polluted and off-limits. Adding more nitrogen to the creek as a result of fertilizers from The Hills' golf course will only harm and do more damage to WeeSuck Creek and Shinnecock Bay. Stop the Hills. Thanks, Dr, Gobler.
By citykid (11), east quogue on May 6, 17 4:43 PM
The potential risks to water quality should outweigh the perceived need for a golf course, which very few Southampton town residents will ever use, or even care to use.
It's not like there's some overwhelming demand for this golf course. The demand is actually imported in this case.
This risk/reward scenario, where the reward benefits so few, and the risk could potentially impact so many, should make this version of the Hills project DOA.
By Craigcat (119), Speonk on May 7, 17 5:54 PM
Yes, this is a PRIVATE golf course, not for public use. How is that a public benefit?
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 8, 17 11:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Imported demand, I like that. Thanks, Craigcat, this is another angle on the matter. It's perhaps been raised before, but not lately, as far as I know. Who needs this dog? Or at least, who around here needs it, or wants it? As Craigcat points out, "It's not like there's some overwhelming demand for this golf course." Spot on.

So where's the community benefit that PDDs are required to have? It used to be that the community benefit had to be something intrinsic to the project itself, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1653), Quiogue on May 8, 17 11:29 AM
3 members liked this comment
VOS: How can regrading 166.86 acres (28.23%) of the property not invlove razing the pine barrens? Yes I can and DO read. Personal attacks of your critics do not change the facts. See page S-9 of the DEIS: "Topography - Planned grading of strategic locations of the site will be necessary to provide
appropriate and stable surface areas to allow development of the proposed project. In addition, construction of the golf course will utilize existing topography to the greatest extent practicable ...more
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 9, 17 10:33 AM
You and Big Fresh need to refer to the entire DEIS which is available online. He will see that community benefits extend beyond those offered to the school district - things like providing badly needed parking in downtown East Quogue. The golf course itself will be available to the community for charity events. But most important is the nitrogen reclamation process that will actually extract nitrogen, deposited by a century of farming, from the groundwater.

While you're looking at the ...more
By VOS (898), WHB on May 9, 17 4:55 PM
Sorry VOS the "benefits" are minuscule in comparison to the size of the project and the very real potential of destroying OUR aquafer and causing harm to OUR bay. A bribe to the school district or parking in East Quogue does nothing for the rest of the Township.
By bigfresh (2710), north sea on May 9, 17 5:16 PM
Please give us some detail on "destroying OUR aquafer (sic) and causing harm to OUR bay." How do you get to such a conclusion? It's not in the DEIS, not even close. Alarmist rhetoric will not work in your favor - there exist too many people who prefer to deal with facts rather than scare tactics.

Do you deny that extracting nitrogen laden groundwater from the area will provide a public benefit? You can't have it both ways, BF.
By VOS (898), WHB on May 10, 17 1:13 AM

Fertigation by definition is the injection of fertilizers INTO an irrigation system.

Fertigation is NOT a method to use ground water to irrigate a golf course and use the golf course to clean the water.

Fertigation is an unproven theory created on the Developers lap top to provide a talking point and confuse the issue.

Cutting down trees in the pine barrens to plant turf? So all we need to do to clean the bays is cut down all the trees and build more golf!


By CleanWater (94), East Quogue on May 10, 17 10:11 AM
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It appears, once again, that you are not familiar with the proposal to extract groundwater from the area between the golf course and Weesuck Creek; groundwater that is already laden with nitrogen. Or you are simply obfuscating while you jump to whatever cause-and-effect scenarios suit your argument.

Similarly you link the Hills development to a closing of shellfishing areas west of the watershed for the East Quogue project without determining the cause of the saxitoxin increase. After ...more
By VOS (898), WHB on May 10, 17 3:32 PM
Congrats on expressing the facts and science. Good luck trying to have the opposition accept them. Objective discussion here has been difficult. Once the project facts conflict with the opposition's view, they'll attack your professionalism- suggest a Gobler isn't an expert in all areas of environmental science and they'll tar and feather you.
Ask if any of them studied and professionally practice science other than political or social....
By Lion (138), southampton on May 12, 17 5:19 PM
"Alarmist rhetoric". Really. How's this for alarmist rhetoric?

Biotoxin Prompts Shellfishing Ban In Western Shinnecock Bay
The State Department of Environmental Conservation temporarily closed approximately 1,400 acres in western Shinnecock Bay to shellfishing last Thursday, May 4, after a potentially dangerous marine biotoxin was found in mussels.

Get you head out of the sand. It's time to stop making this worse. Then we can focus on making it better.
By CleanWater (94), East Quogue on May 10, 17 2:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
Let's help inform the members of the community so that a better decision can be made.
Please give us one example, anywhere, where a forest has been cut down, a golf course planted, and irrigating the golf course with the groundwater has resulted in better water quality and less nitrogen.
Clue: Read Dr. Goblers report to get the answer.
By CleanWater (94), East Quogue on May 10, 17 4:39 PM
Please give us one example of how Doctor Gobler is qualified to speak to matters of hydrogeology, leaching of groundwater and turfgrass science. Clue: Unless he has qualifications heretofore not revealed, his is simply another opinion.

As Gobler is recognized for his studies in a marine environment, others are recognized in the realm of groundwater. Your blinders won't change that fact.
By VOS (898), WHB on May 11, 17 2:18 AM
I won my bet. I bet a colleague that you would answer by attacking Gobler instead of answering the question posed.
By CleanWater (94), East Quogue on May 11, 17 9:42 AM
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SOP - Attack the opposition when you have no answers -Standard Operating Procedure.
By Taz (162), East Quogue on May 11, 17 10:05 AM
Mmm sounds much like the approach of your pal Turkey Bridge.
By Lion (138), southampton on May 12, 17 5:10 PM
Credentials & qualifications of Dr. Gobler:

SHPress - Jan. 9, 2017 & updated Jan. 12, 2017 article by Amanda Bernocco

"Dr. Chris Gobler, a marine science professor at Stony Brook-Southampton and arguably one of the region’s most respected water quality experts, shared for the first time this week that he thinks that a luxury golf course resort community proposed in East Quogue would add more nitrogen to the environment than if the developer was required to adhere to the ...more
By sag2harbor (115), sag harbor on May 13, 17 5:01 PM
Credentials & qualifications of Dr. Gobler:

SHPress - Jan. 9, 2017 & updated Jan. 12, 2017 article by Amanda Bernocco

"Dr. Chris Gobler, a marine science professor at Stony Brook-Southampton and arguably one of the region’s most respected water quality experts, shared for the first time this week that he thinks that a luxury golf course resort community proposed in East Quogue would add more nitrogen to the environment than if the developer was required to adhere to the ...more
By sag2harbor (115), sag harbor on May 13, 17 5:27 PM