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Dec 23, 2015 10:38 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Developer Submits Draft Environmental Impact Statement For 'The Hills' To Southampton Town

Dec 23, 2015 11:01 AM

The developer looking to build a luxury golf course resort in East Quogue filed its draft environmental impact statement for the project with Southampton Town on Monday afternoon.

Arizona-based Discovery Land Company is seeking permission from the Town Board, in the form of special zoning called a planned development district, or PDD, to construct 118 homes—95 single-family homes, 13 clubhouse cabins and 10 clubhouse condominiums—and an 18-hole golf course centered on 168 acres along Spinney Road in the hamlet.

Mark Hissey, the vice president of Discovery Land, said Tuesday that he was relieved to have submitted the 333-page document, which he noted is about a foot thick, before the holidays.

The Town Board now has 45 days to review the document, which is supposed to explain how the development, dubbed “The Hills at Southampton,” would impact the surrounding environment, and provide feedback to Discovery Land. Board members have hired AKRF Environmental and Planning Consultants of Bohemia to review the draft study for them.

The town’s contract with AKRF expires on December 31, but the board approved a resolution during Tuesday’s meeting to extend the contract for another year. Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, who will be vacating her post at the end of the year to begin her tenure as a Suffolk County legislator, voted against the measure, which still passed 3-1, stating that she does not think the project warrants further review.

“My concern is that it’s another attempt to make a developer’s project fit the needs of a PDD,” Ms. Fleming said.

She also said that she would prefer that Dr. Chris Gobler, an East Quogue resident and a professor at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, review the document instead. Prior to voting, outgoing Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who opted not to seek reelection this year in order to make a run for Congress next fall, said Dr. Gobler and his team would also review the report.

The town is paying AKRF $40,250 to review the draft environmental statement, according to Ms. Fleming. She did not know how much Dr. Gobler’s team would charge to examine the document.

Once their report is reviewed by town officials, Discovery Land officials will discuss its contents with the public, according to Mr. Hissey.

“All I ask is that people look at it with a really open mind and look at how thorough we tried to be,” Mr. Hissey said. “I’m sure there are a couple of things that we missed, hopefully not, but if there are things, we’ll go back and refine it a bit.”

Overall, Mr. Hissey said he is proud of the time his company invested in the document. “It’s massive,” Mr. Hissey said. “But it’s what’s required, you know?

“The one thing I would really want to stress about this is that, from a nitrogen standpoint, this is absolutely game-changing,” he continued. “It actually turned into a nitrogen-negative project as opposed to a nitrogen-neutral project.”

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MAGIC POWDER - fabulous! A "game-changer" in the fight against pollution.

This developer is going to sprinkle magic powder on the grass and "it actually becomes a nitrogen-negative project".

Talk about "going that extra yard". The story wasn't spectacular enough at promising "nitrogen-neutral" - now, with this newly discovered magic powder - golf course fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc..., become helpful to the environment.

So - we should plant turf over ...more
By FiddlerCrab (96), Westhampton Beach on Dec 25, 15 11:40 AM
Why no one has brought up that East Quogue is a breast cancer hot spot with 15-49% above expected levels. 28 cases observed (could be more) 22 more expected. Maps and info can be found on NYS DEC website and http://li-gis.cancer.gov/maps/breastcancer.html
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Dec 26, 15 1:39 PM
Do I have this right? The town board is paying AKRF 40k so they can understand a document that they required? Wouldn't it be easier to train someone already on the payroll? Think about that as we pay our property tax bills.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Dec 29, 15 8:20 AM
Perfect timing. Submit the DEIS on Dec. 23rd to start the 45 day clock during the holidays. Happy New Year to you too Discovery Land Corp!
By grey ghost (6), Southampton on Dec 30, 15 2:58 PM
Where can the general public look at this document? I want to see these side by side comparisons we keep being promised and see their research for myself.
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Jan 5, 16 10:15 AM