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Oct 18, 2017 11:39 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Postpones Hearing On The Hills

Oct 18, 2017 11:39 AM

The final public hearing on a proposed luxury golf course development targeting nearly 600 acres in East Quogue, originally scheduled for this week, was postponed until mid-November—after next month’s Southampton Town elections—because the applicant failed to properly notify the community about the meeting.

It was the responsibility of Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, the developers behind the The Hills at Southampton, to post signs and mail notices to neighbors at least 14 days before the hearing, originally scheduled at a special meeting set for this Thursday, October 19, at East Quogue Elementary School. But a letter sent to Town Board members on Monday from the developer’s attorneys revealed that they had failed to properly advertise the hearing on time.

That meant a delay in both the public hearing and a vote on the project’s findings statement. The result: A vote on Discovery’s proposed planned development district will not be held until after Election Day.

Due to the oversight, the Town Board lacks jurisdiction to hold the hearing, according to a letter sent to the town on Monday by Wayne Bruyn, an attorney with O’Shea, Marcincuk & Bruyn LLP in Southampton, the law firm representing Discovery Land Company.

“The applicant apologizes for any inconveniences and respectfully requests that the Town Board reschedule the public hearing on the application at a time and place convenient to the parties,” Mr. Bruyn wrote in the letter. He did not immediately return a call seeking further comment.

The special meeting was ultimately rescheduled on Monday, November 13, at 6 p.m., according to a notice sent out by the town on Tuesday afternoon. During next month’s special meeting, the Town Board is expected to hold a public hearing on the proposed PDD for The Hills and also accept a findings statement for the project, which would signal the end of the review process mandated by the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The focus of the hearing was to be the town’s now-defunct PDD law as Discovery Land Company, which filed its application prior to the Town Board’s elimination of the law, needs the approval of the zoning change to construct 118 homes and an 18-hole golf course along Spinney Road in East Quogue. Specifically, the developer needs the support of four of five Town Board members to move forward with its development.

Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad of Hampton Bays broke her silence last month on the application by announcing that she would not support the findings statement, prompting Supervisor Jay Schneiderman to table the resolution. While the findings statement most likely would have earned approval if brought for a vote last month as it requires only the support of three board members, observers immediately began speculating if the announcement by Ms. Lofstad—a Democrat who is up for reelection in November—also signals that she would vote against the PDD itself. Her ballot could very well be the swing vote on the PDD application as Town Councilman John Bouvier also announced that he would not support the findings statement.

When reached on Monday, Ms. Lofstad said she was disappointed to hear that the hearing would be postponed. She also had a message for the developers who some think are purposely delaying the vote in the hope that Ms. Lofstad does not earn reelection next month: “If this project is their deciding factor, I think they should know where I stand.”

She later added: “That was part of the reason why I said something. People deserve to know how you feel—especially when there is an election coming up.”

Mr. Schneiderman said he was disappointed the developer didn’t post notices—the town had provided the company with signs to post on the property at the end of September—as that pushed the final PDD vote until after the November 7 elections.

“They are saying it was just an error, but the effect of this error pushes the public hearing past the election,” said Mr. Schneiderman, who previously stated that he didn’t want the application to be an election issue. “Could that have been their strategy? I don’t think they would have admitted it. But you have a very skilled attorney, Wayne Bruyn—you wouldn’t expect that mistake.”

Robert DeLuca, president of Group for the East End, who echoed Mr. Schneiderman, was more direct when asked about the developer’s motivation.

“It’s pretty clear this is an intentional decision by Discovery Land Company,” Mr. DeLuca said. “This throws the town’s whole agenda off schedule.”

Mark Hissey, vice president of Discovery Land Company, could not be reached for comment.

Others who oppose the project—including Richard Amper, executive director of Long Island Pine Barrens Society—said the developer’s failure to post notice suggests that the PDD does not have enough support on the board.

“If they were going to win, you’d bet they would have showed up,” Mr. Amper said. “They can keep pushing off the inevitable for as long as they want. But the bottom line is that Discovery Land knows it lost this fight.”

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So "the developers failed to properly notify the community."
It's hard to believe that DLC couldn't accomplish this easy, required obligation. so people do you think they would really follow through protecting our environment as they claim they would do?
It's so obvious now, that Schneiderman is behind all of this, and so, voters, don't be fooled by this deliberate delay.


By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Oct 16, 17 8:05 PM
I totally agree with you HamptonClassic.

If Mr. Jay Schneiderman thinks we believe this story, I think his next job should be in Brooklyn, where they have a bridge that he can sell!

It is time for the voters to take a stand and kill this project, once and for all
Write-in FRED HAVEMEYER for Town Supervisor.

By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 16, 17 10:45 PM
HamptonClassic, SpeedRacer, where do you get this stuff? Where? Jay Schneiderman's name isn't even mentioned in this piece, nor is it mentioned in Wayne Bruyn's letter to which the piece refers. (I've read the text of the letter.) The only way you can connect Schneiderman to this sleaze delaying tactic by Discovery is with the sort of baseless. toxic speculation that you've been putting out for weeks.

But it won't work. People aren't fools. It doesn't take much reflection to figure ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 16, 17 11:53 PM
Desperate moves by desperate people. A mega developer "forgot"?Unbelievable. They are taking full advantage of sloppy Town management. DLC has had their hand held by the Town through this whole process and still they get away with murder. What happened to the requirement for Suffolk County comments? They are trying anything and everything to postpone hoping they can come up with something to prevent the impending demise of the Hills PDD. I hope Fred Havemeyer enjoys the Supervisor title, he ...more
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 17, 17 9:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
Based on these posts no one seems to trust Jay and I don't know how anyone can vote for him. Julie was against this before she was elected because her party lead by Turkey Bridge told her to be against it. These people have sold out to the highest bidder whether the developer or their party. Either way, they can't be trusted and need to go.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 17 10:42 AM
2 members liked this comment
... their last resort is to influence the upcoming election. But that wont work - because the pro-hills candidates are particularly vulnerable - actually, they have no shot at winning. At last week's debate Schneiderman and the two repubs. Glinka and the other, who's name escapes me, "took the fifth" when asked their opinion on the hills. They refused to answer when asked about the most pressing issue facing the town and the moderator let them slide. I never saw anything like it - mind-blowing, ...more
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Oct 17, 17 10:46 AM
A current board member stating his/her position BEFORE the final information is available and official vote is reckless and irresponsible as is the case of Julie and John. To have a debate consumed by one issue is also reckless and irresponsible also so kudoes to the moderator Stan Glinka and "the other candidate whose name escapes you"
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 17 11:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
Nice going you guys just shot down an opportunity to have a world-class facility helping out the areas economy, fools you are but it's very expected from xenophobic fisherman that live around here
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Oct 17, 17 11:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
what is a 'world class facility'?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 17, 17 11:56 AM
You’re wrong, HB Proud. On 9/26, Julie Lofstad and John Bouvier were addressing only the Findings Statement that was in front of them then, not the final item, which takes the form of a law allowing the project to go forward. In fact, they or any Board member could even take a position on that final item if they prefaced it with something like “Based on what I know now.” That allows for the effect of later evidence.

Neither of these approaches is “reckless” ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 17, 17 12:45 PM
Spin anyway you want....but don't take shots at me about taking shots at the democrats. Look at my posts - I supported Julie Lofstad since I thought she was going to fight for HB, but she sold her soul to you.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 17 1:19 PM
This is outrageous, simply outrageous. How anyone could think this developer is above board is beyond me. Vote for Julie and Fred Havemeyer!!!! The town dem party is out of control and we must remind them of the electorate's wants and needs. Jay is not to be trusted, has bent over backwards for DLC at every step. Enough already!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 17, 17 2:52 PM
Don't be sure that Julie won't change her mind after the election. The vote is now scheduled after the election. She turned her back on Hampton Bays, so don't be surprised if she turns her back on anti-Hills people after she is elected. She needed to stay anti-Hills to get the nomination from Turkey Bridge and use her "standing up" to get the vote of the HBCA and the EQ CAC and EQCA. "Fool me once shame on you foul me twice shame on me" or "I am forgiving enough for you to foul me once but not ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 17 3:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
So what do we do? Vote for a pro Hills candidate?????? Constructive criticism, not cynicism.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 17, 17 4:07 PM
Yeah, you are correct. There is a lot of hedging of bets on this - are the developers going to actually build as of right if they don't get "The Hills", What is Jay going to do? What is Julie actually going to do? You can't stop change - only manage it. Who do you think are the people you can trust to do that? I have made by choices not based on partisan politics or on The Hills, but based on trust.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 17 4:27 PM

Predicted this outrageous sneaky move months ago. If DLC was first time out of the gate, using a novice attorney, well maybe one could believe this scenario.
However, that's not the case in this story. DLC claims to be top-notch and professional. Their attorney, Wayne D. Bruyn, is the Southampton Village attorney who has been around long enough to know the rules.

Registered voters might have been fooled first time around regarding Schneiderman, ...more
By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 6:23 PM
Turkey Bridge, There are so many cliches that I could use to answer your post - but they have all been used to denounce you and your sleazy partner, Mr Jay Schneiderman. You talk a good game about being against "The Hills PDD", especially when you counseled everyone to be patient because Mr Jay Schneiderman was following the rules - YEAH RIGHT. Maybe I still have one cliche that has not been used to describe you ... When you are in bed with dogs, don't be surprised when you wake up with fleas."
Thankfully, ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 11:00 PM
Tommy John's wife is Town Judge Andrea. The Town Board has repeated blamed the judges for the continued illegal use of motels and overcrowded housing. The judges often run unopposed. Too much conflict of interest - perceived or real - too much power for one family.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 17 9:26 AM
"Perceived or real"? That's what you said, right, HB Proud? If it's not real -- and it's not -- then it has no place in this discussion. You are engaging in the lowest sort of innuendo to defame a man who gives more of himself to serve the public in a month than most people do in a lifetime. There is a Trumpian thoughtlessness to your comment that I find just as contemptible as I do the president's meanderings.

For the Southampton community to lose the service of either of these highly ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 18, 17 10:40 PM
KILL THE HILLS !!!! Vote for Julie, Tommy John and write in Havemeyer. Out with Schneiderman and Glinka!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 18, 17 10:45 AM
By widow gavits (219), sag harbor on Oct 19, 17 12:34 PM
One must be blind to not see what's going on here. Shameful!!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 18, 17 10:46 AM
HB Proud ... You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to impugn the integrity of Judge Andrea Schiavoni, one of the most hardworking and respected jurist on the East End. Candidate Tommy John Schiavoni is a smart competent person who has worked on many boards, rendering judgments on projects needing approval.

When you talk about " too much conflict of interest - perceived or real". The only person you can be talking about is Councilman Stan Glinka, a Vice President of a Bank. As been ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 18, 17 10:23 PM
I am not trying to "impugn the integrity of Judge Schiavoni. I applaud the Schiavoni's commitment to public service. he point I was making is that the Courts are not completely separate from the Town Board. There is too much conflict of interest - perceived or real.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 17 11:00 AM
There you go again with the "perceived or real" stuff. See my post above on that. There I said, among other things, that your comment is Trumpian, and here you are now with another Trumpian move; you get caught in a blatant slur and called on it, and instead of apologizing like a man, you double down like a kid in a schoolyard. You must really like the guy you elected to be president.

But let's not get distracted with DJT, as so many do, including me, I'm sorry to say. Let's note that ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 19, 17 11:53 AM
This is not personal against the Schiavoni's at all. I am merely pointing out that these two positions in Town Government are related. The Schiavoni's may be placed in a position of conflict of interest and would have to recuse themselves over conflicts of interest which may impede on the process. In my opinion, these two positions should not be held by related parties. Last time I looked, this is still a democracy and I am entitled to my opinion and vote the way I want, right? .
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 17 12:17 PM
I'm confused. Is Superintendent Schneiderman for The Hills or not? Is there any legal reason for him to not go on record as to how he will vote on this zoning variance?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Oct 19, 17 5:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
The next debate is on Monday Oct 22 in Hampton Bays. Show up and ask this question. See if he gives you a direct answer!
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 7:57 PM
There is always the chance of a law suit regardless of how the vote goes. It seems to be SOP these days. Anything and everything that is said by the Board can be used in litigation. I'd like to think that the Town Board members are smart enough to want to minimize or avoid litigation as much as possible. If you have watched other projects of this magnitude you will see that it isn't unheard of for board members to not voice their opinions prior to the process being complete.

Of course, ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 17 6:53 PM
The "as of" right development, if The Hills is not granted a zoning variance, will never be built. There is no financial method for supplying construction capital for fout hundred 5 acre homes. It simply won't be able to finance. The CPF will buy the land, just like it bought the Lobster Inn property when the adjacent strip mall development was denied.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Oct 19, 17 5:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
What facts are you basing this on?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 27, 17 7:59 PM
Southampton Town Trustees are custodians of our waters.

Trustees, current and candidates, should state their views on "The Hills PDD".

Constituents need to know before Election Day.

Perhaps on Monday, October 23, at the Debate in Hampton Bays, the Trustees will answer this important question.
By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Oct 20, 17 7:56 PM

On Monday October 23 at 6:30 PM, The Hampton Bays Civic Association will host a debate for all candidates. The debate will be held at the Community Center in the King Kullen shopping center.

Courageous Councilwoman Julie Lofstad and Candidate Tommy John Schiavoni will present their views and answer questions. I wonder if Silent Stan The Bankerman Glinka will finally state his view on The Hills PDD, or once again remain silent. And then there is his running ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 22, 17 8:33 PM
... Lostad and Schiavoni were brilliant last night. They had a great command of the issues facing Hampton Bays and the town in general. They were fervent in their resolve to not accept the hillls as even a possibility.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Oct 24, 17 11:43 AM
Brilliant? I don't think so. I would say not horrible. Tommy John is well spoken, but so is his wife, a Town Judge. Too much conflict of interest - too much power for one family. And look at the Sag Harbor School District expansion many of the taxpayers don't vote there so they get to do what they want. It doesn't matter how Julie did - her job performance speaks for itself. Ray Overton was a shining star at that debate last night.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 24, 17 11:55 AM
The Hills is one issue. I am not downplaying it as an important topic. But, what exactly has Ms. Lofstad done other than voice her opinion on this topic. Meeting after meeting she sits in total silence while discussion goes on around her. What has she done for Hampton Bays? Has she worked with code enforcement on the problem with overcrowding and horrible housing conditions? What else has she voiced an opinion on? I'm sorry, but whatever you think about the Hills, you must realize that there ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 27, 17 8:10 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 24, 17 9:38 PM