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May 10, 2017 10:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Discovery Land Hopes To File Final Environmental Impact Statement By Memorial Day

May 10, 2017 10:06 AM

Discovery Land Company, the developer looking to build a luxury golf course complex on nearly 600 acres in East Quogue, is expected to file an initial final environmental impact statement, or FEIS, by the end of the month, according to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Representatives of the Arizona-based company are still reviewing hundreds of comments, most of which are focused on the potential environmental impact of their project, called “The Hills at Southampton,” based on the company’s draft environmental impact statement, or DEIS. The written comment period on the draft document closed on April 1. That will lead to a final version of the document.

“We’re hoping to get something in by Memorial Day,” said Mark Hissey, vice president of Discovery Land, on Tuesday, though he later added that his firm still needs documentation from the town before it can submit the FEIS.

If the final version of the environmental review is received by the end of the month, Mr. Schneiderman said he expects the Town Board to spend at least a month reviewing it, adding that members most likely will make additional suggestions for modifications before, most likely, kicking it back to Discovery Land officials once again.

The town kicked back the draft version of the document, which aims to construct 118 homes and an 18-hole golf course off Spinney Road, three times.

If the FEIS is deemed complete by the Town Board, another round of public hearings—similar to the four held between November and February on the draft document, which attracted hundreds of people each—would be scheduled, possibly by late summer, according to town officials.

After reviewing comments from the public, a process that is also expected to take several months, Town Board members could be in a position to make a ruling on the application by the fall at the earliest, according to Mr. Schneiderman.

Discovery Land’s application requires the board to approve a planned development district, or special zoning that would require the support of four of the five Town Board members, also known as a super-majority. Ideally, the supervisor added, a decision on the application would be made before the November election so the issue does not become a part of the campaign. In addition to Mr. Schneiderman, both Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad and Town Councilman Stan Glinka are up for reelection.

If the PDD is ultimately approved, the town’s Planning Board and Building Department would also have to sign off on the plans, and the developer would be required to secure additional approvals from the Pine Barrens Commission and the Suffolk County Planning Commission, according to Mr. Schneiderman.

If the PDD is rejected, Discovery Land could still pursue developing the property as of right: The existing zoning on the site requires 5-acre residential lots and does not permit a golf course. The exact number of single-family houses that could be constructed has been the subject of vigorous debate, with the figure varying from 50 to 118 units.

“It’s unlikely, even if everything went smoothly, that any construction would happen until the summer of 2019,” Mr. Schneiderman said of the application. “But right now the ball is sort of in the applicant’s hands to get us [an FEIS].”

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Unbelievable. Is the request from the town for a FEIS a given????? REJECT THE PDD NOW AND END THIS FIASCO. Do we need an election in November for a new town board whose election campaigns will surely be funded by DLC????? Does the one with the gold always win?
By Taz (725), East Quogue on May 10, 17 10:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
If this thing is held over until after the election -- as I hope it won't be -- it will surely become a campaign issue, as Jay Schneiderman says. Hey, it will be THE campaign issue, overshadowing everything else and skewing the whole election.

If that happens, candidates won't be able to say they can't take a stand yet because the public hearings aren't done, or because the written comments are still coming. Even though that's technically correct, the voters won't stand for it. There's ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on May 10, 17 1:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
This was in the Southampton Press 3 YEARS AGO. It could have been written today.

Date: Jul 3, 2014; Section: Letters to the Editor; Page: A12

A Threat To Prior Environmental Victories
The Hills at Southampton’s proposed change of zone, from 5-acre residential to a Mixed-Use Planned Development District (MUPDD), in East Quogue, on the largest remaining Pine Barrens tract—436 acres—should be vigorously opposed by the Southampton ...more
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on May 13, 17 6:26 PM
Dr. Christopher Gobler says the Hills is the worst option. AND SO DO:

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming
Former Southampton Town Clerk Marietta Seaman
Former Southampton Town Trustee Fred Havemeyer
League of Women Voters of the Hamptons
Hampton Bays Civic Association
East Quogue Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)
East Quogue Civic Association
Southampton Town Civic Coalition
Clean (Citizens for Clean ...more
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on May 13, 17 7:30 PM