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Apr 3, 2019 12:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue Committee Files Village Incorporation Petition With Town On Wednesday

Members of the East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee met with Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on Wednesday to submit a completed petition for the incorporation of East Quogue. VALERIE GORDON
Apr 4, 2019 2:48 PM

The East Quogue Village Exploratory Committee submitted a petition to Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman on Wednesday with enough signatures to move forward with incorporating the hamlet of East Quogue into a village.

Karen Kooi, the co-chairwoman of the committee, said the group had gathered more than 780 signatures from the hamlet’s residents—88 more than required by the state.

The state’s Village Incorporation Law requires that a petition include the signatures of at least 20 percent of registered voters of a proposed village—or 692 of the 3,428 East Quogue residents listed in Suffolk County Voter Registration data.

Mr. Schneiderman said he would review the petition with the town attorney’s office and, if it is complete, schedule a public hearing in the coming weeks on the incorporation bid.

Once the supervisor approves the petition, a public vote would be held by the Suffolk County Board of Elections. If approved by a majority of voters in the proposed village, which covers roughly 4.5 square miles, it would be incorporated.

Committee member Gregory Celi Jr. said that the plan was to emulate the approach of Sagaponack Village, which was incorporated in 2005. If approved, the Village of East Quogue would have an unpaid village government, including a mayor, four trustees, a village clerk and treasurer.

In a previous interview, Mr. Celi said that the main catalyst for the committee’s formation in 2017 was the town’s handling of a proposal by Arizona-based Discovery Land Company to build a 118-unit housing development and 18-hole golf course on 591 acres off Spinney Road.

As an incorporated village, land-use decisions would fall mainly to the new village government in East Quogue. The new municipality would create a handful of boards to make decisions on behalf of the residents—including a village board, planning board and zoning board of appeals, as well as a code enforcement department, Mr. Celi said.

His brother, David Celi, who serves as the committee's co-chair, added, “We’re excited to make decisions for East Quogue.”

Similar to Sagaponack Village, the plan is to continue to tap Southampton Town for other services, such as police, parks and highway departments, and reimburse the town.

In a press release, Sagaponack Village Mayor Donald Louchheim said, “In the 13 years since our incorporation, Sagaponack Village has demonstrated that a concerned community can successfully assume control over land use and quality of life issues while continuing to rely on the Town of Southampton for essential services without any negative financial impact on taxpayers.”

After considering the village’s anticipated revenue from mortgage tax, building permits and grants, Mr. Celi estimated that local taxpayers would pay roughly $200,000 per year, or 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, to support the village. A homeowner whose house was assessed at $500,000 would pay about $50 per year in taxes to the new village.

Following the meeting with Mr. Schneiderman, former Southampton Town Supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney, part of the group pushing for incorporation, said, “The excitement really is about providing the residents with an opportunity to exercise choice.”

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Just shows how sick and tired people are of the current town board and control. Only can pray some big changes come this November. John Bouvier has to be one of the worst elected town board members ever and Julie Loftsad is just a puppet and won’t even respond to people’s calls or texts. Disgusting. Drain that swamp over at town hall.
By watchoutnow968 (53), Southampton on Apr 3, 19 6:59 PM
Wish Hampton Bays would incorporate. After all, it has the largest population in the town.
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Apr 4, 19 12:31 AM
And yet when a group formed to work towards incorporation, they didn't get the support of the hamlet. Everyone wants to incorporate until they either see the reality or they are asked to help.

Good luck East Quogue.
By bb (907), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 19 7:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
That sucking sound you will soon hear will be the EQ tax dollars for police protection removed from Town coffers and sent over to underutilized Quogue Village PD to contract for police protection.

Guess who will have to make up the shortfall...
By aging hipster (200), Southampton on Apr 4, 19 6:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
... two town beaches only open to East Quogue residents, Hot Dog and Dolphin?

By William Rodney (552), southampton on Apr 4, 19 9:32 AM
Think taxes are high now? Wait till you need services. Stupid idea
By chief1 (2768), southampton on Apr 4, 19 9:22 PM
2 members liked this comment
Town retains all assets and properties within village boundaries .
By afj (23), East Quogue on Apr 5, 19 8:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
... if the town retains all assets and properties ( ie, beaches) then this deal is no good. Incorporated villages should have their own beaches opened to village residents only.
By William Rodney (552), southampton on Apr 5, 19 9:26 AM
The Villiage will need to purchase facilities if they want exclusive use of them .
By afj (23), East Quogue on Apr 5, 19 2:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
... and how much will that be? A good incorporation plan would include beach facilities for village residents.
By William Rodney (552), southampton on Apr 5, 19 2:41 PM
We , as residents and Freeholders of the Town of Southampton have the right to access any beach in the Town, that includes all Villages as the easement is not given away when a Village seperates from the Town. Sorry William Rodney
By bigfresh (4546), north sea on Apr 5, 19 4:42 PM
... the village people should negotiate with the town to take possession of beaches within the proposed boundaries to make it a win for East Quogue. You would still be able to drive your truck or walk youtr dog on the beach, in the off-season.
By William Rodney (552), southampton on Apr 6, 19 8:26 AM
This is all about allowing Discovery to operate a golf course as they wish - with EQ Village zoning approval.
By Taz (689), East Quogue on Apr 5, 19 8:56 AM
2 members liked this comment
Unpaid village government? Unpaid for how long?
This is a bad idea proposed by people who just can't take no for an answer.
By fritzdaddy (34), southampton on Apr 5, 19 11:12 AM
2 members liked this comment
I applaud EQ efforts and making it this far. The devil is in the detail, but conceptually, I understand why they are doing this. Some people may believe that this is all about the Hills, but as someone who has been active in the HB community for a number of years, it is so much more than that. It is the fact that we have an "at large" government and EQ and HB as no official advocate or representative. Look at the recent CPF spending in the Villages - Sag Harbor, Southampton, Westhampton - clearly ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (513), Hampton Bays on Apr 5, 19 1:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
EXACTLY!!
By EQmom (16), East Quogue on Apr 5, 19 5:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
You aren't aware that there was a group advocating for incorporation in HB that just recently gave up?
By bb (907), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 19 7:24 PM
It’s obvious, and I’ve said it before, that some, though probably not all, menbers of this exploratory committee are witting or unwitting pawns of Discovery Land.

Fine, that much is clear, but now let’s look at how the Press has headlined this story. Here in 27east it’s accurate if a little wordy: “East Quogue Committee Files Village Incorporation Petition With Town On Saturday.”

On Page One of the Press Western Edition of 4/4/19, however, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1957), Quiogue on Apr 5, 19 4:01 PM
you should probably remove the term 'fake news' from your vocabulary if you want people to take you seriously.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (736), southampton on Apr 5, 19 4:31 PM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend