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Nov 28, 2017 5:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town's Conservation Board Says The Hills Project May Hurt The Environment

Nov 28, 2017 5:55 PM

Southampton Town’s Conservation Board has expressed concerns about a development project in East Quogue, just days before a final vote on the project is expected next week.

In an opinion to the Town Board, the Conservation Board said it’s hard to support “The Hills at Southampton,” a proposed golf course resort development off Spinney Road, noting the “enormity” of the proposal and “its possible effects on wetlands, pine barrens and ground water quality.”

Pitched by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, the 118-unit housing development and golf course requires a local law creating special zoning on the site, which covers more than 600 acres.

During a special meeting on December 5 at 1 p.m. in Southampton Town Hall, the Town Board will take two votes related to the project: It will vote to accept the findings statement, the last step in a required state environmental review, and on a proposed law creating a planned development district to clear the way for the project. The first vote requires only majority approval, but the latter requires a supermajority—four of five board members—and is expected to come up short. Councilman John Bouvier and Councilwoman Julie Lofstad have both said they will not support the project, also citing environmental concerns.

While the Conservation Board will never have the project formally before it, as there are no wetlands on the property, in a letter to Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on November 15, the board pointed to several issues the proposed development could have on the environment.

In the letter, signed by Conservation Board Chairman Harry Ludlow, the board worried that the golf course “may contaminate the drinking water supply, as well as Weesuck Creek and the greater Shinnecock Bay.” The letter also calls for clearing standards beyond what is required in the Aquifer Protection Overlay District because of the “heightened environmental sensitivity of this site,” however the property is eventually developed.

Additionally, the Conservation Board suggested that the developer should be required to install alternate onsite wastewater treatment systems for any homes not hooked up to a sewage treatment plant.

The Conservation Board was the only interested party that did not support the project. Both the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the town’s Planning Board have supported the project—albeit with some conditions related to its potential impact on the environment—while the Pine Barrens Commission declined to make a recommendation until the application was formally in front of its board.

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The Conservation Board articulates the principal concern about The Hills -- in the end, it's all about the water. Our water quality, surface and underground, is far too important to take any chances on compromising it. It's the very essence of both our quality of life and our economy.

Why on earth would we gamble on the technologies and practices touted to us by Discovery Land as ensuring that our water will be OK? Those technologies and practices have scanty track records, and that ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1762), Quiogue on Nov 29, 17 10:38 AM
Why argue, say no to the zoning change??? No pay offs, no building.
By knitter (898), Southampton on Nov 29, 17 11:39 AM
2 members liked this comment
Environmental concerns are breaking out all over: from the Wall Street Journal: . Meat-processing as Tyson are finding it harder to build new plants in America’s heartland, despite promises to bring new jobs and other economic benefits. Many communities have raised alarms about groundwater pollution, infrastructure burdens and noxious smells.
By dfree (326), hampton bays on Nov 29, 17 2:27 PM
some one is afraid of the boogyman if your worry so much the ground pollution and environment what about the sand pit just to the west of the hill project
By RonnieCampsey (1), East quogue on Nov 29, 17 3:25 PM
RonnieCampsey you are right about the sand pits, BUT you don't create another major pollution problem because another problem already exists. I've been to many of these Town Board meetings and all you pro "Hills" people talk about is how DLC is going to give you whatever.. in your case a paved parking area for your restaurant. Maybe you should think about your grandchildren and what we leave to them to clean up and not all the "Freebies". THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH, even if you own a ...more
By SpeedRacer (71), Southampton on Nov 29, 17 7:46 PM
2 members liked this comment
We the people must be heard no to the Hampton Jitney taking over the diner in Hampton Bays and no this development at The Hills southampton.Our way of life is being taken away one development at the time.I am ready to run for public office or support new young talent to our appointed and elected boards.I can’t take it anymore.Lets show up at Town Hall meetings and NOT be intemininated our voice matters
By watchdog1 (409), Southampton on Nov 29, 17 4:35 PM
Long Island is just that, and island. There comes a time when only so many inhabitants can be sustained by the infrastructure. Anyone who spends time on the water can see the direct results of too much sewage, and lawn chemicals can do. Dark brown and rusty looking water in the middle of the bays shouldn't be there.

A life raft can only support so many people before it sinks, and it's time to say that this one is full. ...For the people who want short term monetary gains, at the sake of ...more
By Harbor Master (82), Sag Harbor on Nov 29, 17 4:50 PM
2 members liked this comment
Couldn't have said it better. However, New Jersey has done far more to protect and preserve their Pine Barrens than New York has for us. A much, much greater portion (over 1 million acres) of NJ's Pinelands have been preserved and protected from development. That cannot be said here on Long Island. The state should have made the Pine Barrens Core Preservation area much larger than it actually is. Then developments like the Hills would have been dead in the water. While parts of New Jersey are no ...more
By PineBaron (10), Westbury on Nov 30, 17 8:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
No, No watchdog... What do you want at the diner? What kind of food? Friendlys died because it was DIRTY. Clean places work...
By knitter (898), Southampton on Nov 29, 17 4:53 PM
Watchdog1, where did you get that information about the Diner. I "heard" something completely different, but i am realistic enough not to spread rumors...they hare just that rumors.
By HB Proud (781), Hampton Bays on Nov 29, 17 5:52 PM
Lat couple times we were there we noticed some drug attic types coming in and out--playing with the stupid vending machine and then going to the bathrooms . . over and over. Staff came and went, never confronted them. never saw any management.In the RH Friendly's the boss is out front, going around to tables, asking how everything is.Frankly, we stopped going to HB because I didn't want to park my car in the back and eat with these young ghost-like zombies standing five feet from me.
By fire11 (272), east hampton on Nov 29, 17 8:26 PM
Last couple times we were there we noticed some drug attic types coming in and out--playing with the stupid vending machine and then going to the bathrooms . . over and over. Staff came and went, never confronted them. never saw any management.In the RH Friendly's the boss is out front, going around to tables, asking how everything is.Frankly, we stopped going to HB because I didn't want to park my car in the back and eat with these young ghost-like zombies standing five feet from me.
By fire11 (272), east hampton on Nov 29, 17 8:28 PM
sorry--drug addicts! Yes, they did look the part though
By fire11 (272), east hampton on Nov 29, 17 8:38 PM
The same concerns were raised at Golf at the Bridge, which was a race track bought by a wealthy man who developed a golf course. This sits on top of the aquifer. I know that there was tremendous concern on this place and that its monitored. So what does Golf at Bridge do that's acceptable that the Hills is not proposing. More recently another wealthy individual bought the IBEW3 property in Sebonac and built a golf course. This borders Cold Spring Harbor and Great Peconic Bay. What does Sebonac do ...more
By North Sea Citizen (454), North Sea on Nov 30, 17 6:33 AM
And, Mark Hissey managed both of those projects...

This is simple NIMYIsm
By Draggerman (689), Southampton on Nov 30, 17 7:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Let's allow DLC to develop the property with the as of right zoning instead. How does the Conservation Board feel about that? Further, let's have them build on the Parlato property and yield another 30-40 units.

When we bought our property in East Quogue, we needed to be mindful of the easement on the property prohibiting us from clearing more than 50% of it. We submitted a plan from our Land Engineer and built on it. DLC will do the same, with their AOR restrictions.

This land ...more
By EastEnder3 (12), East Quogue on Nov 30, 17 8:13 AM
Southampton did offer to but the land but the developer refused. The Town hasn't been serious about stopping this development since Day 1. There is clear and warranted use for eminent domain to acquire this property and stop development here. Drinking water for people in the area is essential, so is the Pine Barrens. So much has already been lost that it should be made illegal to clear any Pine Barren habitat. Yes the developer will sue, let them, we need a town that will stand up for the environment ...more
By PineBaron (10), Westbury on Nov 30, 17 9:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sebonack and Golf at the Bridge are not in the pine barrens.

Sebonack and Golf at the Bridge are not in the aquifer overlay protection district.

Golf at the Bridge was built over an automobile race track and Sebonack was built on a property that had hundreds of structures and buried tanks.

They were not built in a virgin forest.

They were well thought out projects in the right locations.

Not even apples vs oranges. Two different species.

...more
By CleanWater (118), East Quogue on Nov 30, 17 8:41 AM
2 members liked this comment
Sebonack and the Bridge ARE built on top of the aquifer. As is your house, my house, and Town Hall. You know that, stop playing with words.

The Hills - Virgin forest??? - not quite, much of the land had been stripped down to the sand, no topsoil never mind vegetation. But you knew that already too.
By loxman (15), Remsenburg on Nov 30, 17 10:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
I just saw some back room plans that leads me to believe that this golf course is a done deal. Sorry Caroline and George this is happening one way or another... developing
By joe hampton (2932), The Hamptons on Nov 30, 17 9:36 AM
Any more details you're willing to divulge? Don't be a tease!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (675), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 30, 17 10:06 AM
Corruption:"Back room plans" says it all if this goes through.Voters have spoken,yet are ignored. Jay is the leader of the "swampy pond" here on the east end. He should do well when he runs for higher office and leaves SH holding the bag.
By Taz (316), East Quogue on Nov 30, 17 11:21 AM
Or, maybe take everything written by anonymous strangers on the internet with a grain of salt.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (675), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 30, 17 11:39 AM
Mr. loxman,

The Southampton Town Code Chapter 330 Article XIII 330-63 created a defined district which has been found to be water catchment regions. It is not under your house or under Town Hall. It is under the Hills. See the Town Code sections below.

Also the stripped down to the sand portions you speak of are about 25 acres out of 600 acres of virgin pine forest.

I'll bet you didn't know any of that.

Chapter 330. Zoning Article XIII. Aquifer Protection ...more
By CleanWater (118), East Quogue on Nov 30, 17 11:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Back room plans"? Maybe they listened to the East Quogue residents who packed their meeting Tuesday night and shared their concerns for an hour and a half.
By cmac (100), East Quogue on Nov 30, 17 12:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
If you were at the meeting or watch the video you can see that there weren't really any compelling pro-hills arguments made... For some reason a bunch of east quogue residents decided to take turns describing how they didn't understand what's going on.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (424), southampton on Nov 30, 17 1:04 PM
Really Wordy Turdy... no compelling arguments? What room were you in? If by, “how they didn’t understand what’s going “ you’re referring the Town Board members - I would tend to agree ...they’re clueless... the EQ folks were genuine, organized,honest, prepared with facts and respectful. The Board took that rare moment to actually engage in a dialogue- something they have publicly avoided during the four SEQRA hearings and several meetings designed to stumble ...more
By Lion (260), southampton on Nov 30, 17 3:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
...Right on cue lion...we've all got to make a living somehow i guess.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (424), southampton on Nov 30, 17 3:37 PM
Lion... You are right about one thing ..the EQ people are well organized by DLC. The only thing that was missing was their "YES" tags. The EQ people who usually show up all have the same lines ... DLC is going to GIVE us everything and they will never need services from EQ. I thought begging was a third world thing and as far as not needing services, I guess if one gets sick or drunk at the "Hills Club" they will just have to tuff it up and hope to get better. O yes, if their is a fire in one of ...more
By SpeedRacer (71), Southampton on Dec 1, 17 7:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Speed...The EQ people organized themselves when Julie and John said they would vote against the PDD. The final findings statement (which is available on the Town's website) lists all of the reasons why we are supporting The Hills vs an AOR. The taxes generated alone are vastly different. Over $3.5 million dollars different with no new children in our school or sent to WHB funded by taxpayers. Spinney Hills isn't going to be preserved, and two AOR subdivisions would cripple EQ. We have organized ...more
By cmac (100), East Quogue on Dec 4, 17 8:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
No, WE did not organize, you and your cronies did. There are plenty of people in EQ for whom YOU, CMAC, do not speak. Those of us not allowed on your social media page are opposed to the ruination of our drinking water and our bays.
By zappy (46), east quogue on Dec 4, 17 1:11 PM
Zappy, if you are referring to The Concerned Citizens of East Quogue I have not denied anyone who is an East Quogue resident access to that group page nor have I censored what is posted there. I wish I could say the same for our EQ Civic page where community members were blocked and had their comments supporting The Hills removed.
Zappy, I am so glad you have the courage to call out my "cronies" and I while hiding behind an anonymous screen name. Hope it made you feel real big. I can't wait ...more
By cmac (100), East Quogue on Dec 4, 17 8:45 PM
Cmac, you keep saying that '137 homes in Spinney Hills and 30+ homes at the headwaters of Weesuck Creek ' will be constructed, yet no one has said that they will build this, it's just not true. (it's an empty threat used as a tool by DLC and an easy talking point). Think about it please.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (424), southampton on Dec 5, 17 9:06 AM
Discovery said that they will build and at the last hearing the attorney representing the Parlato property said that they will also. The applications for both subdivisions have already been submitted.
By cmac (100), East Quogue on Dec 5, 17 12:18 PM
You're being played by DLC, 100%
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (424), southampton on Dec 5, 17 12:57 PM
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