Nothing Wrong HereLast week, I attended a meeting of the Suffolk County Planning Commission. This commission is charged with reviewing proposed development in Suffolk County, and after careful review and subsequent recommendations by their planning team, they render a non-binding vote as to the merits of any project.
The composition of the commission typically consists of pro-development builders and real estate types. Oddly, there is no representation on this commission from either Southampton or East Hampton towns, despite seats for them.
The issue of interest was the Lewis Road PRD – the 130-unit housing development and golf course now proposed for East Quogue after being effectively shut down by the Southampton Town Board.
I took away two things. Firstly, the developer’s highly touted “fertigation” plan for removing nitrogen from toxic Spinney Road drinking water wells was called “a relatively unknown, unproven approach to reduce nitrogen.” It might not work.
Secondly, the Planning Commission did not get the sufficient number of votes to carry the development resolution forward, resulting in a “non-action.” They did not approve the recommendations of their planning staff for this development. A pro-development governmental body could not come to agreement on this issue.
When does “no” actually mean “no”?
East Quogue residents are asked to choose between our existing form of government or a potential incorporation whose “leaders” tout this troubled development in the Pine Barrens. Their “de facto” leader is an employee of the developer. The plan is fraught with fudged numbers and proponents who lack the ability to lucidly explain them even if they were real.
When I wake up in the morning after a heavy winter snowfall, my street is plowed. If I choose to put bagged leaves curbside, they are removed by the town in a timely fashion and the road shoulders are consistently mowed as needed.
Rapid response by police and fire departments are a given, thankfully. The summer concerts continue yearly, and I hear owls hoot nightly in the Pine Barrens.
Our children are safe and being well educated in our school. There is nothing inherently wrong with East Quogue that calls for restructuring.
Incorporation will lead to “government by a few” that will disturb the bucolic nature of both the hamlet and the lives we lead.
I don’t look forward to opening my tax bill each year despite the fact that I am obliged to pay my share. What I am not obliged to pay is a second bill from an incorporated village that will annually increase my tax burden for purposes that I do not believe to be honorable.
Vote no to incorporate East Quogue.
William R. KearnsEast Quogue
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One fine body…