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Mar 1, 2019 2:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Planning Board Seeks More Information From Hills Developer Before Deciding On Environmental Study

Southampton Town Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty consults with Michael Bontje and Anthony Trezza. VALERIE GORDON
Mar 4, 2019 9:45 AM

Consultants hired to determine whether a supplemental environmental review is necessary for a proposed golf course resort in East Quogue told Southampton Town Planning Board members that additional information is needed from the applicant before a decision can be made.

The main concern, however, that Planning Board members Jacqui Lofaro and Robin Long repeatedly stressed at a meeting on Thursday, February 28, was the need to know whether the environmental impact statement, or EIS, approved by the Town Board last year is compatible with the developer’s revised plan.

Under the original plan, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company had planned to limit the 118-residential units to seasonal occupancy. However, after failing to secure a necessary change of zone for that plan, the developers may now, in fact, allow year-round residency.

Discovery Land has also added 10 on-site affordable housing rentals and two off-site homes along Old Country Road to the proposal, as well as limited use of the 18-hole golf course to residents only, as a recreational amenity, rather than allowing membership in other ways.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board asked Michael Bontje, president of B. Laing Associates—the consultant hired by the board last month—to determine the implications of year-round use versus seasonal use.

“We’re looking at what could happen,” Ms. Lofaro said.

To do so, Mr. Bontje said he plans to include what he called the “threshold question” in a document to be sent to the applicant in the next week, seeking additional information on several aspects of the project.

Those aspects include detailed information on the developer’s agreement with the Suffolk County Water Authority to tap into the authority’s water main for irrigation purposes, as well as the effects of splitting a proposed clubhouse into three buildings rather than one.

Additionally, board member Glorian Berk expressed concern that the 12 additional workforce housing units—two of which are off-site—were not originally included in the developer’s proposal, and, therefore, their impact has not been taken into consideration. “If they are not part of the original PDD, where are the effects of those?” she asked.

Mr. Bontje said that, depending on the applicant’s response, the changes to the project may warrant a supplemental environmental impact statement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

“I think it would be in the board’s interest to get a response from the applicant to make an informed decision,” he said.

The Planning Board intends to meet with Mr. Bontje at the next board meeting on March 14 at Southampton Town Hall to determine whether an additional environmental review is necessary.

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So the consultants hired by the board have told the board that the consultants need more time to consult? Now if the threshold of the EIS or environmental impact statement is not compatible with the State Environmental Quality Review Act or SEQRA we will definitely be SOL. The problem with SOL is that the Planning Board intents to meet on March 14th, so if the PDD has not taken into account the "threshold question'', then the bilateral component of the entire developmental conglomerate will be ...more
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Mar 4, 19 7:50 AM
Have the consultants considered the recently announced Superfund designation for the toxic waste site aka the Hampton Bays Fired Department? It seems common sense to consider the poisonous contamination could migrate bilaterally to the East Quogue aquifer and necessitate remedial rectification.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Mar 4, 19 9:02 AM
Indian burial ground???
By knitter (1903), Southampton on Mar 4, 19 10:42 AM
I was at the site of the proposed golf course and saw this critter do you think that's important? The tiger salamander is one of the largest terrestrial salamanders in the United States. The biggest specimen recorded was 13 inches long. The average size ranges between seven and eight inches. It is stocky with sturdy limbs and a long tail. The body color is dark brown, almost black, and irregularly marked with yellow to olive colored blotches.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Mar 4, 19 11:14 AM
This town hall is so comical. It’s legally allowed you losers. All these donkeys need to go in November. Bouvier is a complete disaster. Guy is so clueless on so many levels
By watchoutnow968 (56), Southampton on Mar 4, 19 11:35 AM
Don't you get it? The people don't want this golf course!
By Taz (700), East Quogue on Mar 4, 19 12:51 PM
Robin Long, Jacqui Lofaro and Glorian Berk deserve our greatest thanks for raising these vital concerns. The whole approach of the developers, and of their sympathizers in Town government, has been to rush this thing along without the close scrutiny that the community’s health and welfare demand. That was the tactic during the PDD process and it’s the tactic now. Be thankful we have a few people who stand up to say we must slow down and look carefully at everything.
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Mar 5, 19 9:19 AM
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