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Sep 20, 2017 1:07 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Expected To Vote On Findings Statement For 'The Hills' Next Week

Sep 20, 2017 1:17 PM

Southampton Town Board members are expected to vote next week on the findings statement for a proposed luxury golf course targeting nearly 600 acres in East Quogue and, if approved, the final step would be a vote on the controversial application itself.

Last Thursday, September 14, board members unanimously accepted the final environmental impact statement, or FEIS, filed by the developer, Discovery Land Company of Arizona, possibly clearing the way for a vote on the findings statement this Tuesday, September 26.

No one spoke during the public comment portion of last week’s meeting, which was also held at Town Hall.

At Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, board members are expected to vote on the findings statement for the proposed development, called “The Hills at Southampton.” Compiled by staffers in the town’s Planning Department, the document is supposed to offer an independent conclusion on the project’s potential impact on the environment, while also noting how it compares to that offered by the applicant in the FEIS.

On Wednesday, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said that the findings statement is nearly complete. The document, which requires only the support of three Town Board members, is part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, process.

If approved, board members can then schedule a vote on the application itself, a planned development district, or PDD, that seeks permission to bypass current 5-acre zoning on the 600 acres so that Discovery Land can build 117 homes and an 18-hole private golf course on 168 acres along Spinney Road in East Quogue.

Unlike the findings statement, however, approval of the PDD requires the support of four of five Town Board members, a supermajority.

If approved, The Hills at Southampton will be the last PDD permitted in the town: The board voted earlier this year to strike the legislation from the books, arguing that it offers would-be developers too much latitude when seeking to bypass zoning restrictions.

Board members have not yet indicated how they intend to vote on the application itself once it is before them. First, however, the board must accept or reject the findings statement, and many in the community are eagerly awaiting the vote as it could provide the first indication of where members stand on the application.

Robert DeLuca, president of Group for the East End and a vocal opponent of the project, noted that the actual vote on the findings statement could very well set the stage for the PDD’s approval or rejection. A 3-2 vote in favor, for example, could mean that the PDD application will be short the required four votes needed for final approval.

“It’s very important, because it essentially represents the town’s final opinion on the results on the final environmental impact statement,” Mr. DeLuca said.

Mr. Schneiderman dismissed the notion that there will be a direct correlation between how the votes fall on the findings statement and the PDD, explaining that the former will focus only on the development’s potential environmental impact.

“You can vote against [the PDD] for other reasons,” the supervisor added.

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A PDD vote in the middle of Jewish holidays when many can't attend. Shameful.
By Taz (488), East Quogue on Sep 21, 17 11:31 AM
Pretty sure that the entire board is required for a vote, i dont think that the holiday will have any effect.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (568), southampton on Sep 21, 17 11:46 AM
Dude, this isn't the PDD vote. Read the article. Your hate for this project has prevented you from even reading articles before spewing your nonsense.
By i'mrightyou'rewrong (5), Southampton on Sep 21, 17 3:27 PM
Since Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said that the Board will vote on The Hills PDD by the end of September, I wonder if he will have the vote on the Findings first and then at the same meeting call for a final vote on The Hills PDD. The other scenario could be that Supervisor Jay Schneiderman will stall until after the November election. We will see!
By SpeedRacer (114), Southampton on Sep 21, 17 10:12 PM
The Jewish holidays will affect the attendance of the public for the public comments part of the meeting, not the board members presence. This is a public meeting, not just a board vote. No need to be rude.
By Taz (488), East Quogue on Sep 22, 17 9:35 AM
The Southampton Town Board has posted their September 26 agenda, which states that the vote on The Hills PDD will take place on October 19 at 6PM.at East Quogue Elementary School. So it seems Supervisor Jay Schneiderman has lied to the voters once again by extending the vote past the end of September deadline. He thinks he is being slick, along with the other members of the Board, by limiting the time to organize a write in candidate for Supervisor. The TIME TO UNITE IS NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!.
By SpeedRacer (114), Southampton on Sep 22, 17 8:20 PM
Supervisor Schneiderman lie? How can you tell? I am not sure if he even knows how to to tell the truth anymore. It is so sad for him, but he needs to go.
By HB Proud (879), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 17 8:54 PM
At last night's Southampton Town Board meeting, called to vote on The Findings on The Hills, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman showed his true color - "YELLOW" - when he tabled the vote, fearing a loss. The room was packed with Mr. Mark Hissey's goons, who were there to intimidate The Town Board - but they failed, as Councilwoman Julie Lofstad and Councilman John Bouvier stated that they would cast a "NO" vote, had one been taken. The other two Town Board members, sadly, remained silent.
By SpeedRacer (114), Southampton on Sep 27, 17 9:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well, that meeting has happened, and it's bad news for The Hills. First, Board members Julie Lofstad and John Bouvier came out, courageously and eloquently, against the Findings Statement, each making a clear statement of position. They both held firm on this in the face of attacks by pdro-Hills speakers.

It's the belief of many that a member voting against a positive Findings Statement like this will vote against the project itself in the final analysis, so no supermajority and no Hills. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1868), Quiogue on Sep 27, 17 10:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well Lofstad and Bouvier have restored my faith in the Democratic party. If the supervisor hems and haws much longer, I will vote Republican despite my very blue blood. I am quite disgusted by the lack of courage exhibited by our other elected officials. Shame on them.
By zappy (46), east quogue on Sep 27, 17 10:32 AM
1 member liked this comment