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May 6, 2015 1:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Residents Warn Southampton Town Board To Run From 'The Hills'

Southampton Town Board Councilman Stan Glinka and Councilwoman Bridget Fleming. ALEXA GORMAN
May 6, 2015 1:45 PM

Nearly a dozen residents and environmentalists voiced their concerns about the potential impacts of a high-end golfing community that targets the largest remaining undeveloped parcel on the South Fork during a scoping hearing hosted by the Southampton Town Board on Tuesday night.

“The Hills at Southampton,” a mixed-use planned development district proposed for East Quogue, calls for the construction of 108 homes, a clubhouse featuring 10 condominiums, and an 18-hole golf course, all concentrated on 168 acres. The applicant, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, actually owns an adjoining property, and also is in contract to purchase others in the hamlet, upping the total acreage of its application to nearly 500.

Tuesday’s hearing, the first of two scheduled scoping hearings on the application that would require the approval of four of the five Town Board members, allowed residents and environmentalists to share their concerns about nitrogen pollution, as well as potential risks for flooding and spikes in traffic if the development gains approval.

“We have to get a grip on the overall [nitrogen] loading,” said Kevin McAllister, the founder and president of Defend H2O, a nonprofit that’s focused on water quality. “The devil is in the details when it comes to the [Draft Environmental Impact Statement], so I ask you to look carefully at what’s being proposed and the threat to water quality.”

Dr. Christopher Gobler, a marine biology professor at Stony Brook University and an East Quogue resident, focused on the application’s potential threat to the hamlet’s drinking water supplies. He also pointed to ongoing issues with nearby Weesuck Creek and Shinnecock Bay, two local bodies of water that are already polluted due to nitrogen overloading.

If developed in accordance with current 5-acre zoning, the main property that’s now owned by Discovery Land could accommodate up to 82 single-family homes, according to the applicant. That 168-acre property, dubbed “The Hills South” parcel, lies between Lewis and Spinney Roads. Discovery Land is in contract to buy two additional properties—the 62-acre Kracke property and the 101-acre Parlato property, both in East Quogue—to increase the density on the main property so it can accommodate 118 residential units. Both the Kracke property, which could accommodate up to 13 single-family homes, and the Parlato property would be designed as open space under the PDD application.

Environmentalists, many of whom said they would prefer that the main property’s zoning be kept at the existing 5-acre residential, are contending that only about 50 homes could now be built on the 168-acre property. Ideally, environmentalists said they would prefer that the town buy and preserve the land.

“That’s one of my main questions,” Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said. “We need to understand what the as-of-right is as it is currently written in order to compare it to what is written [in the PDD application].”

Other members of the community expressed concerns about whether proposed benefits of the PDD, the ones that are supposed to improve the quality of the water, should be labeled as community benefits. In order to seek a PDD, an applicant must provide the town with a number of benefits that offset the issues that arise with an more intense development.

“Many of the items listed under the proposed benefits should be carefully considered,” said Jennifer Hartnagel, senior environmental advocate for The Group for the East End. “I think many of them don’t pass what I call the ‘smell test,’ and should be considered mitigation, not benefits.

“I also think the DEIS should contain an analysis of the nitrogen impacts using the wastewater treatment system proposed with the as of right versus impacts using advanced wastewater management with alternatives and impacts with and without the golf course,” she continued.

Still, some who spoke on Tuesday wanted the forthcoming environmental study to focus on the potential economic benefits that the development could bring to the hamlet and the East Quogue School District. Discovery Land is estimating that its resort community, which would be marketed for second and third homeowners, would generate an estimated $4.4 million in annual tax revenue for the cash-strapped single-school district. The district is also supposed to receive $40,000 for various improvements and an acre of land for free from the applicant as well.

“I’m speaking for the silent majority tonight,” said Lawrence “Chip” Porter of Westhampton Beach. “The developer is doing their homework, and they won’t leave any possible constructive criticism go by the wayside. The ultimate truth is The Hills is a good investment for our community, and it is an opportunity not to be wasted.”

The Town Board adjourned the scoping hearing until 6 p.m. on Monday, May 18, when it will resume at the East Quogue Elementary School on Central Avenue.

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Hey, "Chip" Porter of Westhampton Beach how is it you are speaking for the" silent majority" of those residents WHO LIVE in East Quogue????? Last time I looked, "The Hills" is proposed for East Quogue NOT Westhampton Beach.

Note to the SHP, why are you quoting a resident of Westhampton Beach when they are not impacted by this development at all?????? Couldn't you find a resident of EAST QUOGUE who endorsed "The Hills" project?????

By crusader (391), East Quogue on May 6, 15 8:24 PM
By greeneyedlady (55), East Quogue on May 7, 15 10:36 AM
my thoughts exactly, lol
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on May 7, 15 1:54 PM
Is that the Chip Porter who is a real estate agent?
By tenn tom (259), remsenburg on May 7, 15 7:40 AM
Yes. Brown, Harris & Stevens Real Estate Agency. Wanna bet they have a stake in the development of "THE HILLS" in East Quogue?

To the best of my knowledge, the only people for this development are those who stand to personally profit. The H--- with the environment or what the residents of East Quogue want!!!!!!!
By crusader (391), East Quogue on May 7, 15 11:14 AM
And does Chip Porter have any long time residence in Southampton Town? Like was here born on the East End?
Year round residents from the west end of Southampton Town to the east end have a stake in this in this fight.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on May 7, 15 10:02 AM
Bring it on over to Eastport! I'll take the tax break, thank you very much!
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on May 7, 15 11:33 AM
Oh, crusader and greeneyedlady, you are so wrong. Chip Porter has every right to speak, as a resident of Southampton Town, and especially as someone living in the area of western Shinnecock Bay. The most important issues surrounding The Hills proposal involve ground water and surface water, and that can't be confined just to East Quogue; it spreads out all over, as you must know.

What happens to East Quogue's water directly affects me in Quiogue and Chip Porter in Westhampton Beach, and ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 7, 15 11:36 AM
I see your point on allowing Chip Porter to speak. However, just who is the "silent majority" he speaks for? Perhaps other real estate agents?

In spite of all the scientific data, the Town Board will make their decision based upon politics. I hope that I am wrong, nevertheless we have the plastic bag ban which protects the environment.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on May 7, 15 1:53 PM
Residents town-wide have a huge stake in this fight. Why? It is part of the heavy assault being led on this town's basic character by Supervisor Holst and her developer buddies. For years developers have been giving generously to the political parties who endorse her each election cycle. She's already approved large condo projects benefiting developers, not residents or the town, over local objections, and is on track to continue. Even the Suffolk County Planning Commission has said it thinks The ...more
By moonpie (43), Southampton on May 7, 15 12:08 PM
I would like to add that the main info needed at this point is a comparison of pollution of ground water between "as of right" and there proposal. That's pretty simple. Which is the lesser of the evil's. He can alway's build less house's to meet our need's. I would also think they should donate some acreage to the preservation fund. 1 acre is an insult.!!
By Mark S (1), Hampton Bays on May 7, 15 12:40 PM
She is in every act but road repair. You should go examineTuthill Lane in Remsenburg. What a terrible job was done on the potholes. Amateur work! Still ruts in the repair spots. Pebbles etc all around the work. Entrance to street still has a dip that they didnt bother with. The road needs total repavement, and Alex the reliable claims they don't have it in the budget to repair after 5-8 years. Just half hearted fill for holes that will only fall apart after next rain. A joke. Taxes up, school budget ...more
By Ibill (47), remsenburg on May 7, 15 1:33 PM
Seriously Southampton Press - please watch who you quote... I am a resident of QUOGUE and feel this is an horrific proposal! We already have pushed the entire scope of the environmental impact and human population to the limit! We would be INSANE to add to our current and very real mess!
By Mark A. Krauss (1), Quogue on May 7, 15 4:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
its very simple these property owners have rights to!

1. the preservation fund or any other government agencies isn't buying this property there hands are tied as discussed by the town board.
2. The Westhampton school district is the district for the east Quogue students at a cost of roughly $15,000. per student per year totaling north of $4 million this year
3. if homes are built without the golf course the sale price of the homes will not be as high and the taxes will be lower ...more
By LawrencePorter (5), Miami Beach, Florida on May 7, 15 7:36 PM
The Discovery Land Company has the right to build 82 +- homes with the current 5 acre zoning and NO golf course. The builders are looking to circumvent the current zoning which is not acceptable!!! Just where are their rights being taken away????

BTW, I'm OK with giving more of my tax dollars to the EQ school district if spent wisely and no golf course in"The Hills. " I am not OK in giving WHB school district more money since I cannot vote in WHB elections!
By crusader (391), East Quogue on May 7, 15 9:23 PM
And the article states, that the "as-of-right" may actually only be 50 homes contrary to previous estimates. 50 homes without a golf course is far superior to the PDD specs.
By Shootingstar (9), Southampton on May 7, 15 10:23 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 7, 15 8:08 PM
.... the only thing worse than your spelling, grammar, punctuation and logic is your command of the facts, Lawrence Chip. You blew it the other night. The discourse between parties on both sides of this issue has been courteous and professional. You were uninformed and nasty. Keep it in Miami.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on May 7, 15 9:04 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on May 7, 15 9:10 PM
The only people speaking out in favor of this project are business owners and clearly their interests lie in the immediate, perceived, economic impacts for their storefronts and not the long term, sustainable (and yes, economic) impacts of a viable bay ecosystem.
By Shootingstar (9), Southampton on May 7, 15 10:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
This just about sums it up:

"Many of the items listed under the proposed benefits should be carefully considered,” said Jennifer Hartnagel, senior environmental advocate for The Group for the East End. “I think many of them don’t pass what I call the ‘smell test,’ and should be considered mitigation, not benefits."

...mitigation, not benefits
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on May 8, 15 8:39 AM
Hey folks, check out the piece that just went up today on 27east: "DEC Closes Western Shinnecock Bay To Shellfish Harvesting Due To Toxin."

The problem is saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin, in Weesuck Creek. It's so potent that "it has sickened hundreds and even caused deaths in the Pacific Northwest" when people ate infected shellfish, according to the report.

Weesuck Creek is where the drainage from The Hills will go. If the toxin concentrations in Weesuck Creek are already enough ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 8, 15 11:46 AM
Malibu East, here we come.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on May 8, 15 11:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
There you go again George thinking that somehow facts, logic and little old fashioned common sense will resolve the conflict.

Use your persuasiveness as a Town Democratic Committee Executive Committee member to insure that your party candidates understand how facts, logic and common sense provide open and honest government.

I know you are but one voice in the wilderness, however, I also believe many others on the Committee share your thoughts and concerns.

Don't redesignate ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on May 8, 15 4:30 PM
NTiger, don't be looking for others to fight your fight. Sit down and write a letter, make a phone call, write an email, whatever way you choose -- other than sniping from behind the bushes on 27east -- to communicate with the leadership.

If you believe you won't be listened to, you must know that's your doing, and it's your problem, not mine.

My responsibility is to the overall welfare of the organization, and not to lobbying for my personal opinion, and most certainly not to ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 9, 15 12:10 PM
George, I see you complaining about the votes on the Town Board in favor of developers and development. You sit on the Executive Committee of the political party that designates those persons. It is within your ability and power to alter that.

Not my problem, George. It's the problem of the people of Southampton who have to live with the decisions your candidates as elected officials make.

I need go no further than postings on 27 East to express my viewpoints.

I have ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on May 9, 15 3:58 PM
What I mean, if I wasn't clear, is that my responsibility is to look out across the whole horizon of town government, and not just at the development issue. However important control of development may be, it isn't the whole story, as you well know.

When I look at everything (or try to), I come out in a very different place from you, and the radical measures which you suggest are not warranted by what I see. We have to view these matters on balance, looking at the net effect of a host ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 9, 15 8:24 PM
WOW speaking against Queen Anna bending over backwards for every PDD that has come before Her gets red inked??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 15 12:31 PM
Hey George why is it ok for you to live on the bay, but they cant build a golf course? Im sick of you hipocrites saying good for me not for you.
As far as people from this developments sending kids to school. Total BS no one's sending their kids to that crap school in E. Quique. This subdivision would be the best thing ever for the district. Just think the board can spend like drunken sailors again.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 9, 15 11:24 PM
Because, Chief, I have an updated septic system, an untouched natural growth belt by the water, and a non-fertilization zone as directed by the Town. There's a way to do it right, and maybe The Hills developers can do it right, too, but that's for them to prove, just as I had to prove it.

I'm sure you'd agree that a golf course and 100-plus homes present a greater challenge along this line than a single two-bedroom house occupied by two people. Try to have some proportion.

On ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 10, 15 10:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
Its E. Quogue, and maybe had you gone to such a wonderful school your grammar and spelling would not be so horrible.
By Nicsrec (2), East quogue on May 13, 15 3:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Important message.

I bet the house that if the town denied the PDD, the arizona co will not close, Therefore no need to worry about the as of right potential because it has not and will not happen.
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on May 10, 15 10:39 AM
2 members liked this comment
Turkey Bridge 100 houses on 600 acres used 3 months a year away from the water is less intensive than your house. Your so called updated septic has an open bottom, and goes directly into the water. Your ideas are delusional, and trample on the constitution. People like you are elitist worried about pure nonsense.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 10, 15 1:33 PM
Chief, you're wrong about distance from the water affecting the relative burdens of 100 houses vs. 1 house, wrong about the septic system's operation, and especially wrong about the constitution. The only thing you might just possibly be right about is my elitism, because if I had to call myself elitist to distinguish my position from your willfully misguided thinking, I'd probably do it.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 10, 15 2:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
TB, exactly how is he wrong?
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on May 10, 15 9:40 PM
Exactly how is chief1 wrong?

First, dnice, be good enough to read NTiger's post below about one self-evident aspect of the septic issue. (Thank you, NTiger.)

As far as distance of a home from the water is concerned, all that affects is timing, i.e., effluent from a home will reach the water later the farther it is from the water, but the amount isn't significantly reduced by distance, and the more-distant effect certainly isn't "less intensive" than mine, whatever chief1 means ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 11, 15 9:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
George and I may disagree on some things, but no way George is an elitist nor is he anything other than a staunch defender of the Constitution of New York and the United States.

He is concerned about his community, both in his immediate neighborhood and town wide.

You can differ with his opinions, but until George adds another 599 units on his property he is no hypocrite. It is doubtful than even with the physical changes that visit gentleman as they age that George is ever going ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on May 10, 15 8:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
How dare someone make a profit in this socialist society. lol
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 12, 15 2:46 PM
profit at your expense.
he's making his moola OFF YOU .. to your detriment. at YOU and your family's expense.
now how you like it?
By david h (405), southampton on May 13, 15 10:15 AM
Chief is incapable of seeing that truth.

He's just not as smart as he thinks he is...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 14, 15 8:55 PM
"I have a responsibility also, as I put it above, to "the overall welfare of the organization." That means looking, not just beyond a single issue when making judgments, but also looking not just at a single office and not just at a single election cycle. Big picture, N. You know all of this better than most."........ Turkey Bridge

Do you think the overall welfare of the organization has been enhanced by your acquiescing to the Executive Committee's continuous support of Anna and the last ...more
By Obbservant (449), southampton on May 14, 15 6:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
You should join the Democratic Committee if you haven't done so already, Obbservant. You seem to do a lot of speaking for Committee members, and it just seems that would be more authentic if you were yourself a Committee member.

Then we'd see if your views are really shared by as many members as you suggest. My guess: No.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 16, 15 12:11 PM
... you have nailed it, Obbservant.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on May 15, 15 12:54 PM