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Jun 23, 2017 11:27 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Fred Havemeyer Calls For Pine Barrens Commission To Review 'The Hills'

Fred Havemeyer.
Jun 27, 2017 5:10 PM

Fred Havemeyer, a former Southampton Town Trustee who plans to seek the Democratic nomination for town supervisor in a September primary, this week called on the Pine Barrens Commission to review a proposal for a luxury golf course resort community in East Quogue.

He argued that at this point in the process, the commission should be able to say whether the proposed development, “The Hills at Southampton,” complies with the Pine Barrens Protection Act.

Mr. Havemeyer expressed his concerns to the commission—which includes Chairwoman Carrie Meek Gallagher, and members Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter—during the public comment portion of its most recent meeting on June 21.

“I went there to wave a flag over there, like, ‘Hey, this is here. This is happening,’” Mr. Havemeyer said.

The commission did not respond to Mr. Havemeyer at the meeting—which is common practice when someone speaks during the public comment portion.

Mr. Schneiderman said on Thursday, June 21, that it’s still too early in the process for the commission to make a ruling on the application filed by the Discovery Land Company of Arizona for The Hills. The company seeks special zoning to build 118 residential units, along with an 18-hole golf course, on 600 acres along Spinney Road in East Quogue.

He said the application, which seeks Southampton Town Board approval of special zoning called a planned development district, won’t be in the hands of the Pine Barrens Commission until the Final Environmental Impact Statement, or FEIS, is deemed complete by the Town Board. The town has not received the FEIS yet, though Mr. Schneiderman said he expects it to arrive by the end of June.

“There is no application in front of the Pine Barrens Commission,” he said. “At some point there will be.”

Mark Hissey, vice president of Discovery Land Company, said on Monday that he expects the document to be re-filed with the town by the end of the week.

Mr. Havemeyer, along with other critics of the project, say that such a high-density development should not be constructed in the Pine Barrens. The land targeted by the development features 5-acre residential zoning—the strictest in the municipality.

“It’s an atomic bomb waiting to go off in Southampton,” Mr. Havemeyer said of the application.

The same demands were made by actor Alec Baldwin of Amagansett last summer in front of about 140 people in Riverhead. He also argued that the Pine Barrens Commission should reject the proposal because of its potential effect on the environment.

Mr. Havemeyer said it’s vital for the commission to make a decision. “If they vote in disfavor, that’s the end of the project,” he said. “It’s a very serious thing and the Pine Barrens Commission has a very serious job.”

At a separate press conference held on Monday along Spinney Road, near the entrance to The Hills property, Bill Kearns of East Quogue, a longtime critic of the project, applauded Mr. Havemeyer for stepping up and challenging Mr. Schneiderman.

“Havemeyer is a man who’s been in government, he’s been on the East End forever,” said Mr. Kearns, who lives off Spinney Road. “He spearheaded the sport-fishing movement many years ago and, in doing that, he came to realize that fresh water, clean water and maintaining [fishing] stocks are most important … in terms of the future of the East End.”

Mr. Kearns added that Mr. Havemeyer’s dedication to the environment, and staunch opposition to The Hills, are why he should be the next town supervisor.

At Monday’s event, Mr. Havemeyer said he wants to see the Hills property preserved or a reduced-impact alternative adopted—one that is more restrictive than the one proposed by Discovery Land and calls for 118 clustered single-family houses and no golf course.

“The groundwater has already become ground-zero for nitrogen contamination, which produces harmful algae blooms and resulting brown and red tides, compromising Weesuck Creek and Shinnecock Bay,” he said.

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From the Long Island Builders Institute Newsletter November 2016:

"The LIBI Community Outreach Committee has been hard at work this month on a mobilization for Discovery Land Group’s project called “The Hills at Southampton”.

"This Outreach mobilization has been a model of how we mobilize our members. We were able to collect over 600 signatures in support of the project on petitions from our members and their employees. We were able to provide numerous speakers ...more
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Jun 23, 17 6:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
Once again Fred Havemeyer tries to make a platform out of jumping the line, doing things out of turn, ignoring the rules. There's no possibility of The Hills going before the Pine Barrens Commission until the Town declares the final environmental impact statement complete, and the Town hasn't even got the document to review yet.

So what is Fred Havemeyer talking about? He knows the rules, and yet he's calling for the government to break the rules in this case, as when he calls for Southampton's ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Jun 23, 17 10:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Or maybe Fred is tired of seeing the Democrat Leadership sell our party out to developers and the Independent party. The Democrats are actually running a Hills Lobbyist for Trustee. The Democrat Leadership has been telling us that they are pro-environment but they want to put a Hills person in charge of our waters. That makes no sense. Go Fred!!!
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Jun 28, 17 8:28 AM
Fred please read MS-13 Has Presence On South Fork, Police Officials Say and help us understand how this sneaky church expansion in Hampton Bays can be stopped.

Thank you sir.
By 27dan (2814), Shinnecock Hills on Jun 24, 17 11:02 PM
As I stated previously, the Democrat party hierarchy will not back Fred, right on cue Turkey Bridge
By bigfresh (4593), north sea on Jun 25, 17 9:52 AM
Of course they won't! Fred's a not-so-crypto Republican and they've already cast their lot with Jay, and incumbent who's shown that he can be controlled.

If the GOP were smart, they'd have Ray Overton drop out after the Democratic Primary and thrown their (unofficial) support to Fred. -- see ya around, Jay!

By Frank Wheeler (1823), Northampton on Jun 25, 17 3:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hopefully Fred will kick Jay's ass in the primary, if the registered Democrats vote for the best candidate and not the establishment hack he will prevail. Time to ignore party politics and do the right thing.
By bigfresh (4593), north sea on Jun 25, 17 3:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
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