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Aug 5, 2016 3:39 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Offer To Purchase The Hills Property In East Quogue Is Rejected

Southampton Town Board Offer For The Hills Property Rejected By Discovery Land  JEN NEWMAN
Aug 5, 2016 4:06 PM

An offer by the Town of Southampton to purchase all 592 acres on Spinney Road in East Quogue that could otherwise house the proposed golf course and development known as “The Hills at Southampton,” was rejected by the developer on Friday.

Discovery Land officials sent a letter to the Town of Southampton on Friday, officially rejecting the offer for the property.

Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the money to purchase the wooded land owned by the Discovery Land Company, or DLV Quogue, LLC, would have come from the Community Preservation Fund—preserving the property as open space.

"I’m not particularly surprised, but I am disappointed,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I felt the offer was a strong offer. I’ve been trying to preserve this land for a decade but I can’t force them to sell.”

Mr. Schneiderman declined to disclose how much the town was offering for the property on Friday.

In the letter to the town, Discovery Land representatives declined the Town Board’s offer, saying that they were not willing to sell the property.

It reads: “As was noted over three years ago when the town’s first offer was declined, DLV has made a substantial investment in the community.” It goes on to say, “DLV is not a willing seller and is not desirous of negotiating the sale of the land.”

This marks the second time that the town has attempted to purchase The Hills property. Officials explored the possibility in 2011, when they had planned to team up again with Suffolk County and split the cost of the acquisition. But former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy vetoed the purchase, which he said would have cost the county between $15 million and $30 million, stating that not enough of the land was environmentally sensitive.

The town is currently in the process of considering a proposal from The Hills at Southampton which would feature 108 single-family homes, 10 condominiums and a golf course on 168 acres along Spinney Road.

In 2010, the town paid $5 million to buy and preserve 150 acres in the hamlet known as “The Links,” which runs adjacent to “The Hills” property. Suffolk County pitched in the other $5 million for the 2010 purchase.

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The town stalls the owner's development plans, all the while trying to purchase the property. Does anyone else see the ethical problems here??? The developer should sue.
By Babyboo (209), Hampton Bays on Aug 5, 16 3:58 PM
How were the development plans stalled? Review of the application and the SEQRA process is on-going. Nothing was put on hold.

The developer is smart to reject the offer - if approved it's worth so much more (based on an appraisal). If denied, he still has as-of-right and an offer would likely be made again for the same price. At least he can calculate his costs while knowing what's on the back-end.

All of the above being said, the Town should reject this PDD on the merits ...more
By Nature (2952), Southampton on Aug 5, 16 4:02 PM
I couldn't say it better.

By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 5, 16 4:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Likewise I can think of better uses for CPF funds.
By Toma Noku (579), Southampton on Aug 5, 16 9:00 PM
Good.

Save the tax payers money.
Maybe, after the Town denies the MEGA rezoning they thought they would get - it'll stay unbuilt and on the tax rolls for years.
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 5, 16 4:05 PM
I know of a nice parcel in Speonk that could make a wonderful Hamlet green area and park putting those CPF funds to good use. #41NPhillips
By littleones (23), Remsenburg on Aug 5, 16 4:08 PM
2 members liked this comment
As Supervisor Schneiderman said, he can't force them to sell. But, by keeping the PDD alive, he is offering them a strong incentive, not to sell.
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 5, 16 4:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
As Supervisor Schneiderman said, he can't force them to sell. But, by keeping the PDD alive, he is offering them a strong incentive not to sell.
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 5, 16 4:29 PM
If Trump were on town council he'd take them head on as businessman and stfd their predatory development and hammer their attempt to hold the community hostage
By dave h (176), calverton on Aug 5, 16 10:40 PM
3 members liked this comment
The Town Board and their consultants are doing exactly what they should be doing - carefully examining the request for re-zoning. It's a process that will work its way to a rejection. It's not a Republican verses Democrat affair. It's about our neighborhood!

At an appropriate time - the Board will turn down this wildly
aggressive and outrageous application for the biggest zoning change in Southampton Town's history.

It's 5 or 6 years since the area was up-zoned to 5 acres ...more
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 6, 16 2:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's time for the Town board to reject the PDD out of hand. That is, if Schneiderman et al are serious about preserving the pine barrens. Stop this insanity already!

Those of us against this project are only more determined to stop it. David will kill Goliath!!!!!
By Taz (283), East Quogue on Aug 6, 16 10:19 AM
I believe someone from Discovery was quoted in a newspaper or magazine saying that they usually out last the environmentalists.

They think we will lose focus.

"Goliath" thinks "David" doesn't live here anymore !!!

By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 6, 16 2:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
To the environmentalist learn what it means to have a as of right. There will be houses there either what there legally allowed to do or a golf course with some summer homes. Keep fighting and you will have another Southampton pines that was originally going to be a golf course and condos with little effect on the school district and now you have aprox 120 year round houses that effects local resources. The residents should get behind it. There will be tax dollars with little drain on the local ...more
By Remsen (66), Southampton on Aug 6, 16 2:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Remsen, there is no such thing as "as of right". It is a fantasy of the developer. Read the DEIS, and the Town scoping documents. This property is zoned five acre, in the Aquifer Overlay Protection District. When you get to see what can or cannot actually be built on the property you may change your mind. What the Cornell Study has told us is that what we don't what is 5,000,000 square feet of fertilized turf adding to the toxic brown and red tides we are already experiencing. There are hundreds ...more
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 6, 16 3:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Build as of right or not at all! We no longer have our old political prostitute as Supervisor thank God, let"s hope doesn't choose that career too.
By bigfresh (2980), north sea on Aug 6, 16 3:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
Big fresh they turned down the offer the only reason an offer was made is because they have legal right to build on it. A supervisor can't stop someone legal right. Keep fighting it because u will look like a bunch of clowns like the pines protesters. Eventually the developer will give up on the golf course and you will have aprox 90 homes. Try to understand reality. My favorite is when protestors complain about higher taxes but they support taking massive chucks of land off the tax rolls. Smart ...more
By Remsen (66), Southampton on Aug 6, 16 4:12 PM
... smart like the Bridgehampton PDD?
By William Rodney (461), southampton on Aug 6, 16 7:25 PM
The Pines in East Quogue is almost 20 years old. It has about 54 homes built out of 120 building lots.

Extrapolating this suggests that The Hills build out will be in the year 2065 - maybe?
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 7, 16 4:16 PM
3 members liked this comment
Only a government would buy something that they are getting 75 percent of for free???
By jeffscan (17), sh on Aug 6, 16 6:28 PM
The offer praise of course takes this into consideration. It doesn't matter if they can get 99% for free, I'll gladly pay if it means protecting my ground-water and my bays.

And not for nothin', but the CPF fund is so stacked with money it would be foolish not to make an offer. This is exactly why there *IS* a CPF fund
By Nature (2952), Southampton on Aug 6, 16 7:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Have we missed the recent CPF acquisitions, including East Quogue parcels and the driving range? Between the Southampton driving range and Poxabogue Golf Course the town has spent $13 million from CPF on land use that apparently you don't support. The Hillls proposes a sophisticated best management and groundwater monitoring plan. How come all the CPF acquired farmlands were not required to submit and abide by similar groundwater protection efforts? Now there is a proposal to use 20% of CPF for ...more
By Lion (219), southampton on Aug 7, 16 7:59 AM
Poxabogue Golf Course already exists, is *one* land-use (and seasonal at that) and the only reason money was spent was to buy it out from East Hampton. It preserves a recreational use that's available to every resident in the Town (at a discounted price). How you could possibly equate Poxabogue with The Hills is mind boggling.

Farmlands are subject to BMP and, again, are existing uses. Purchasing development rights off of farmland accomplishes several things - including preventing ...more
By Nature (2952), Southampton on Aug 7, 16 10:40 AM
Which farms are using groundwater monitoring plans as part of a town operating agreement ? What "pre approved" protocols for limiting fertilizer and pesticides use have been mandated under a CPF management plan for AG acquisitions? Where are the water quality test results and BMPs filed for public access? AG use has every right to use pesticides and fertilizers but under CPF they could be monitored and required to install storm water detention areas or vegetated Swales just as golf courses do. Add ...more
By Lion (219), southampton on Aug 7, 16 11:08 AM
And each of those "seasonal at best" facilities are open year round. The money was spent to the tune of $13 million. The town has purchased wetlands with CPF even though development within these areas would not take place.
By Lion (219), southampton on Aug 7, 16 11:47 AM
So the DLC rejects the SHT's offer because they have made substantial investment in the community for the past three years. Holding informational meetings in EQ eateries which included free food and drinks while trying to ram this project down our throats and lying to us must have cost them plenty.

If Anna Throne-Holst and the TB which included current TB elected official Scalera-Preston and Glinka would have nixed this project when the EQ community and various other environmental groups ...more
By crusader (368), East Quogue on Aug 7, 16 10:11 AM
3 members liked this comment
I understand there are still some homes in Southampton Pines that haven't been finished. DLC should have accepted the Town's offer. How many 5 acre homes will be sold in a development near the railroad without a golf course, miles from the bay and ocean? That is, of course, if there is no understanding on the part of DLC that the TB will approve the PDD. ??? What's really going on here? A political strategy to offer CPF funds to placate the citizens, and then an approval of the PDD????
You ...more
By Taz (283), East Quogue on Aug 7, 16 12:13 PM
I believe in Santa.

I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy.

I believe that the Town Board, as it is now populated, will turn down this request for a MEGA-ZONE-CHANGE. And, in due time.
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 7, 16 4:26 PM
And, I think Mr. Glinka and Ms. Scalera will not be returned to the Town Board if they persist in pushing this "dog" along...
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on Aug 7, 16 4:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
THE SUPERINTENDENT DECIDES

Lion, your statement that "The Hillls proposes a sophisticated best management and groundwater monitoring plan" is from the developers marketing materials and is not based in science or reality. It is intended to mislead. There are no limits and no protections.

Please read the DEIS and the consultants reports. When the 5,000,000 square feet of turf has bugs only the golf course superintendent will decide which toxic pesticides should be used, when, ...more
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 9, 16 11:40 AM
The statement explains that Southampton golf courses constructed in the last 15 years are required to provide sophisticated BMPs and ground water monitoring- as approved by the Town- these golf courses are privately owned properties- in contrast the CPF purchased AG-land require no filed pesticide management plan, restricted fertilizer use or monitoring plans nearing this level of complexity, yet AG-lands are purchased with public monies. BTW it is called agricultural science, and the proposed ...more
By Lion (219), southampton on Aug 10, 16 5:12 PM
Classic double-speak. Please provide one instance, ever, where the town, after reviewing a monitored property required a reduction in application of toxic chemicals or fertilizers and enforced it. One instance, ever.
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 10, 16 9:50 PM
You can read the golf course reports for yourself, as it appears to be difficult for you to be objective or comprehend my response. If a product sample exceeds the mandated threshold it cannot be used. The thresholds are set well below the NY State water quality standards. It's a protocol and its enforced by the town.
By Lion (219), southampton on Aug 11, 16 8:03 PM
Your response is not responsive. You repeat that it is enforced by the town. Who in the town enforces it? How do they enforce it? Have they ever actually enforced it?
Read the protocols submitted. At best they say they will try really hard not to use more toxic pesticides than they absolutely have to. But the decision maker remains the golf course superintendent whose primary responsibility is lush green grass.
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 12, 16 2:39 PM
The planning department and TB have the controls. A golf course superintendent is well educated, qualified and not interested in lush green grass, (that might be a homeowner's view). With all do respect, do a little research.
By Lion (219), southampton on Aug 13, 16 10:13 AM
Good try, Town Board, pity it didn't work out. Now, unless the Central Pine Barrens Commission steps in, we goback to the PDD application.

Every indicator points to denial of that application, but there may still be some concern about what can be built "as of right" in the event of such denial.

Town Board, don't worry about that. Remember, as of right isn't a blank check; there are significant restrictions that apply.

Also, remember that the as of right option may not ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1740), Quiogue on Aug 10, 16 8:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Rejected $35 million. Really. Withdraw the offer, reject the PDD, and watch how the land sits empty for the next 20 years.
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 10, 16 9:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
Where is our elected Town Board? Cat got their tongue? Are they still seriously considering the PDD? Isn't it clear the Discovery Land Company cares not for our community, they are risking our drinking water and bays for hundreds of millions of dollars in profits and throwing us a few cents. How naive are those who believe that they are "invested" in our community. Laughable if not so seriously sad.
By Taz (283), East Quogue on Aug 12, 16 9:48 AM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CleanWater (116), East Quogue on Aug 12, 16 2:48 PM
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