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Oct 31, 2017 12:29 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Schneiderman: Current Southampton Town Board Will Get Final Vote On 'The Hills' In November

Oct 31, 2017 2:17 PM

A vote on an application for a luxury golf resort community in East Quogue, delayed until after next Tuesday’s election, will come before the end of the year, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said this week—which means the current Town Board members will decide its fate, regardless of the election’s outcome.

A vote had been expected before the November 7 election, but the developer failed to meet a deadline to properly notice a mandatory public hearing, delaying it. Some opponents charged that the error was a tactical move intended to push back the vote until next year—when there could be different representation on the board.

Two Town Board members, John Bouvier and Julie Lofstad, have said they are likely “no” votes on the proposed planned development district sought by Discovery Land Company, the Arizona developer behind “The Hills at Southampton.” To approve the PDD, four of the five Town Board members must support it.

Ms. Lofstad is up for reelection next week, and Discovery Land has targeted her, specifically, as the election draws near.

But this week, Mr. Schneiderman stated definitively that members of the current board—including Ms. Lofstad—will vote on the proposed PDD, and most likely before the end of November.

“We’re wrapping it up in this next month,” Mr. Schneiderman said on Monday.

The supervisor, who also is up for reelection on November 7, noted in an earlier interview that he would have preferred that the vote had been held prior to Election Day. He also has said he most likely will vote in favor of the project, citing recent studies focusing its potential environmental impact as compared to a traditional subdivision.

Discovery’s missed deadline came after Ms. Lofstad publicly announced that she would not support the findings statement for The Hills, the last hurdle that must be cleared prior to the board voting on the PDD itself. While its findings statement still will most likely be approved by a 3-2 margin, with fellow Democrat Mr. Bouvier also opposing, Discovery Land needs the support of four Town Board members—known as a supermajority—for the PDD to earn final approval.

On Monday Mr. Schneiderman, an Independence Party member who has already filed the necessary paperwork to change his political allegiance to the Democratic Party, said he intends to introduce a motion to vote on the PDD application at the board’s next meeting on Tuesday, November 14.

The final public hearing on the findings statement—the last step in the State Environmental Quality Review Act—is scheduled for the day prior, November 13, at the East Quogue Elementary School.

Both Republican Town Councilman Stan Glinka, who is up for reelection, and his running mate, Thea Dombrowski-Fry, have declined to say how they would vote on the application, though Mr. Glinka’s public comments have suggest that he is in favor of the proposal. Ms. Lofstad’s Democratic running mate on Tuesday, Tommy John Schiavoni, has said he would oppose the application if it were before him.

Discovery Land is seeking permission for a special zoning change that would allow it to build 118 luxury houses and an 18-hole golf course on roughly 170 acres off Spinney Road in East Quogue. Most of the remaining acreage, or roughly 430 acres, would be preserved as open space as part of the PDD.

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I hope we get a large voter turnout throughout SH Town. I'm sure E Quogue will be well represented. Though the HIlls is an important issue, it's not the only issue, and I really don't like the idea of Arizona based developers trying to manipulate our local election.
By Craigcat (258), Speonk on Oct 31, 17 1:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
I don't agree that Discovery is manipulating our local election - we are letting Jay do it for them. The democratic committee members (of which John Bouvier I believe is/was one as well as his wife, George Lynch etc. have made it clear that they are against the Hills. Jay is now a democrat. If he wants to run for higher office, he needs to do as he is told or no nomination for him. Jay is for Jay - not the Town of Southampton.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 31, 17 3:09 PM
I'm not sure I follow. It seems that the Republicans are either for the Hills, or not commenting. If Jay wanted to be in good standing with the Democratic Party, wouldn't it stand to reason that he would have called a vote by now, knowing that Julie and John are no votes?
Ray Overton has stated that he is for the Hills PDD. I respect that he has voiced an opinion and backed it up. Tommy JS is against, and I respect that he has made his opinion public.
So that leaves Stan and Thea DF. Stan ...more
Oct 31, 17 4:54 PM appended by Craigcat
Ooops. I missed this "the Town Board members will decide its fate, regardless of the election’s outcome." So my entire rant is pretty much useless. Carry on.
By Craigcat (258), Speonk on Oct 31, 17 4:54 PM
Don't count on a final vote on The Hills this year. If the November 7 Town election goes Discovery's way, they'll delay enough to push that vote into January, even if someone has to fake a heart attack. Whatever it takes.

Jay was wrong about a September vote on The Hills, and he could be wrong about a November vote, too. To cover all possibilities, we all have to back Councilwoman Julie Lofstad, whose courageous stand has made her the victim of vicious, lying attacks by Discovery -- real ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 17 4:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
Turkey Bridge,

Thank you for coming to your senses and agreeing with me that JaySchneiderman will do anything that DLC tells him to do to delay the vote until DLC can win.

Agreed, don't take any chances...




By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Oct 31, 17 7:51 PM
What will Julie Lofstad do - she accepted the Conservative Party endorsement - an outrage for registered Democrats!! If you believe in the Dem platform how can you vote for Julie and the Conservative Party ?
By rosesgrove (4), Southampton on Nov 1, 17 9:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
and vice versa. Party line doesn't count as much in the local elections, but all voters' starting point should be whether or not they can trust the candidates. Are they just puppets and in it for themselves? Will they say and do whatever it takes to get a party's nomination and voters' votes? I don't trust this administration and a fish stinks from the head. It could not have been more evident than last Fall when Jay let Frank Zappone run a one day extravaganza at GGP with Town funds to help ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Nov 1, 17 9:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
... I agree party line does not count as much in local elections. I vote for the smartest candidate with the strongest command of the issues facing the town.

After attending three of the recent debates Julie Lofstad and Tommy John Schiavoni score big on both those criteria. They are aware of the specifics of an issue, they answer questions posed and they put forth solutions that will benefit an overwhelming majority of the town's citizens.

Lofstad and Schiavoni are clearly the ...more
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Nov 1, 17 10:32 AM
2 members liked this comment
I disagree - Lofstad supports the Conservative Party and does not represent Democratic Party values - her acceptance of the Conservative Party endorsement is an embarrassment and outrageous!!

By rosesgrove (4), Southampton on Nov 1, 17 10:47 AM
Jay's promises are worthless,no vote in Sept.I thought we had to wait for Suffolk Cty comments.Where do we stand on that? DLC missed a deadline and they get away with it since Jay also missed a deadline of 30 days to accept the FEIS - by 2 days! Was that an accident? We expect these people to oversee the golf course and control it's pollution? Too many outs for Jay to postpone until DLC gets its votes.
You prefer a future dem like Jay to run the board, just because he is running on the ...more
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Nov 1, 17 11:06 AM
WR, Tommy John does not understand and maybe doesn't care about the issues facing Hampton Bays. Everyone should get their hands on the letter to the community from the School Superintendent after Tommy John's comments at the HBCA debate. No one in HB should vote for Tommy John.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Nov 1, 17 11:37 AM
SchoolSuperintendent wrote antiTommyJohn letter?Not his place, or you misinform us. Which is it?
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Nov 1, 17 11:47 AM
HamptonClassic, I never wrote or implied anything above about any relationship between Jay Schneiderman and Discovery Land. Look again at my post. You're reading that in, with no basis at all.

HB Proud there's no official Democratic position on The Hills. I wish there were, but there isn't. Even if there were an official position, any Democrat could still take any stand they think right. We're not some authoritarian lockstep outfit. Also, you're still flogging this Tommy-John-Schiavoni-doesn't-care-about-HB ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Nov 1, 17 2:00 PM



By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Nov 2, 17 11:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just returned home, last night, from a week long business trip and received this interesting e-mail, which I want to share with everyone.

On Thursday night, October 26, I attended the Candidates debate at Rogers Library in the Village of Southampton. It was clear, from the questions submitted by the public, that the one topic on the voter's minds, from the first debate and now the last, was "The Hills PDD."

First up were the two Candidates for Town Supervisor. Jay Schneiderman ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Nov 2, 17 1:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Newsday's interactive map indicates East Quogue residents overwhelmingly voted for council members that support the Hills. The locals have spoken.
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Nov 9, 17 10:33 AM