Two Strong Voices - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1685923

Two Strong Voices

Two of the most environmentally respected elected officials in New York State have weighed in on the proposal by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company to build a mega golf resort and mansion development in the Pine Barrens of Southampton Town.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele, who has led protection of the Pine Barrens in Southampton, has been particularly critical of the former “The Hills at Southampton” project, now the Lewis Road planned residential development. He observed, “The regional scope of this project and its impact on Long Island’s water supply and the Central Pine Barrens makes this project a matter of regional and state concern.

“In summary,” he said, “the proposed project before the [Pine Barrens] Commission is completely inconsistent with the legislative history and the actual provisions of the Central Pine Barrens Act, which seek to protect our drinking water. In addition, the Town of Southampton has not complied with the legal dictates of the [State Environmental Quality Review Act] process. Approval of this project would throw out nearly 50 years of planning efforts to protect the Central Pine Barrens. The commission should reject the project.”

The co-main sponsor of the Pine Barrens Protection Act, Steven Englebright, is chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee of the New York State Assembly. He testified at the recent public hearing on this proposed project. He said:

“Our regional Pine Barrens watershed is a public drinking water watershed and should continue to be treated as such, and the proposed new golf course of the instant application is a direct affront to quantitatively based studies that we codified into the Pine Barrens Protection Act more than a quarter century ago. Please uphold the legacy tradition and a lawful policy-based public expectation of the Pine Barrens Protection Act and protect the Pine Barrens by rejecting the application before you.”

These respected public officials are right. This mega-development in the Pine Barrens should be rejected.

Richard Amper

Executive Director

Long Island Pine Barrens Society

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