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Mar 15, 2019 1:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Planning Board Pushes Off Decision On Whether Additional Environmental Study Is Needed For East Quogue Golf Course Resort

The Southampton Town Planning Board met with B. Laing Associates to discuss whether a supplemental environmental impact statement is needed for the East Quogue golf project. VALERIE GORDON
Mar 19, 2019 1:24 PM

The Southampton Town Planning Board has delayed a decision, yet again, as to whether a supplemental environmental review is needed for a proposed luxury golf course resort in East Quogue.

The delay is based on the board’s unanimous concern that a previous environmental impact statement, or EIS, which was approved by the Town Board last year as part of an earlier review, does not adequately evaluate the development’s impact when considering full-time residency—which it now may be.

Originally, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, the developers behind the project, had intended to limit the 118-unit subdivision to seasonal occupancy, as part of an application seeking special zoning, called a planned development district, or PDD, from the Town Board. The board did not approve the PDD.

Discovery Land subsequently made several alterations to the project, including the potential for year-round residency, and has sought to work within existing zoning restrictions. The applicant also has added 10 on-site affordable housing rentals and two off-site homes along Old Country Road to the proposal, as well as limiting use of the 18-hole golf course to residents only, as a recreational amenity, rather than allowing public membership.

At the Planning Board meeting on Thursday, March 14, Michael Bontje, president of B. Laing Associates, a consultant hired by the Planning Board last month, said that the previous review, under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, did, in fact, evaluate the impacts of year-round residency. The alternative review—which included 118 units and an 18-hole golf course, but no workforce housing—showed the implications of full-time use on groundwater, traffic, open space and schools.

Mr. Bontje said the question then becomes, “What’s the depth of that analysis and is that sufficient?”

At the meeting, he said that the full-time occupancy analysis—under the PDD—estimated that the neighboring school districts could potentially see an influx of approximately 130 students. However, he did not share any detailed information on the other environmental impacts of the study.

Board members Jacqui Lofaro, Robin Long and Glorian Berk were wary, however, of relying on the previous EIS, noting that the PDD project “no longer exists”—and, in fact, the zoning tool was later eliminated from the code by the Town Board.

“When we look at it, it’s not apples to apples,” Ms. Lofaro said of the earlier review. “It’s not the same animal.”

Mr. Bontje acknowledged those concerns, noting that he planned to take a deeper dive into the environmental impacts of the alternate project. But he said of the previous EIS: “You have to give it some weight. It can’t be ignored.”

The next step is to continue analyzing the study and create a list of questions to be sent to the applicant for clarification, based on that review.

Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty added that the board would convene with Mr. Bontje again on April 11 to determine whether a supplemental EIS—and an entirely new detailed environmental review—is needed for the project.

“I see nothing but benefit to having more information rather than less,” board member Philip Keith said at Thursday’s meeting.

“This is the largest, most complex project before the town, ever,” Mr. Finnerty added. “Let’s do it right.”

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Toxic groundwater coming up if this passes. Cue the Discovery Land paid mouthpiece in 3--2 1--------
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 15, 19 2:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Check out the last two paragraphs of this piece. First it was Robin Long, Jacqui Lofaro and Glorian Berk taking the common sense approach, urging that this proposal be treated with the caution that it demands. Now we see Phil Keith and Dennis Finnerty on the common sense train also.

Phil says it can’t be bad to have more info, and Dennis very rightly calls this the largest, most complex project ever proposed in Southampton Town.

Granted that Dennis’s last sentence, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 15, 19 2:50 PM
Attend a brief rally at the Board Room of Southampton Town Hall (116 Hampton Road), on March 20th at 2:00 pm, to demand that the Pine Barrens Commission review this environmentally irresponsible mega development. They have yet to review it.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Mar 15, 19 3:43 PM
The studies have proven that the groundwater in the area has been tainted by a hundred years of farming and the associated uncontrolled use of chemicals. They also show that golf course use of chemicals is easily controlled as has been proven at Sebonac, Atlantic and the Bridge, among others.

None of this, however, will prevent the NIMBY's and BANANAS from shouting their lies to the contrary. At least it appears the Planning Board will be focusing their concerns not on such lies but on ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 15, 19 10:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
8 hours to respond? Might get your pay docked a bit for waiting so long to comment.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 16, 19 8:14 AM
All golf courses put toxic chemicals into the ground.

How bad does our water quality have to get before we decide to stop building more of them.

And, The Bridge was built over the old automobile race track, Sebonack was built over the old IBEW camp, and Atlantic was built over farmed land.

The Hills is planned over the largest remaining parcel of pine barrens forest left in the Town.

By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Mar 16, 19 12:44 PM
The Hills is planned over a tree nursery, barren land, impromptu junk collection areas, open land and a bit of wooded area; please be honest rather than resorting to the same old tactics of lies and deception.

Chemicals go into the ground and get captured in properly operated courses like the ones cited; the Hills would be no different.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 16, 19 2:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oh VOS, please. You talk about lies and deception — what about your distortion, your transparent word tricks? CleanWater writes that The Hills (now Lewis rd.) is planned over the largest tract of pine barrens left in Southampton Town. You take issue with that, naming four areas over which you say the project is planned, the implication being that none of them constitutes the pine barrens, if we are “honest” about it.

Let’s look at your four areas: “A tree ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 16, 19 10:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
Seriously, Turkey? You accuse me of distortion and word tricks even as you reveal you have no idea of what you're writing about? You conveniently leave out Cleanwater's characterization of the area as "forest," that with which I have taken issue. There certainly is forest on the total property, most of which is not slated for development as it is in the Core Preservation area. The entirety of the developer's plan is in the Compatible Growth Area, so named because development is permitted and ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 17, 19 12:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well said
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Mar 17, 19 2:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
After all of those words two things have not changed:
- Despite your semi-accurate descriptions, the land is still sensitive and should be treated as such.
- You a paid Discovery employee promoting their project here.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Mar 17, 19 8:46 AM
Actually, all land is sensitive but that does not mean we cannot use it wisely. With today's understanding of what happens beneath the ground there is no reason compatible growth should be completely banned. Processes exist to safely operate golf courses in this area which has been proven at numerous area facilities.

Honesty goes a long way, which includes recognizing that all growth is not bad growth. It also includes recognizing that the small portion of Discovery's parcel destined ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 18, 19 3:05 PM
ah, the good ole 'ALL LAND MATTERS' argument...

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Mar 19, 19 7:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
Same old VOS, same old nonsense. You're just blowing smoke and you know it. The only thing in your reply that's at all responsive to my comment, the only thing that adds anything to your previous remarks, is the distinction between the Core Preservation Area of the Pine Barrens and the Compatible Growth Area of same. Of course, the mere fact that acreage is in the Compatible Growth Area doesn't mean it's wide open for development; any project has to be "compatible," which this project is not, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 17, 19 11:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
There is a Golf Course is coming Soon
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Mar 17, 19 12:22 PM
VOS. Nonsense. The only way to “capture” the chemicals would be to put a liner under the ENTIRE 90 ACRE golf course.

Some golf courses collect an infinitesimal amount of the chemicals in test wells for monitoring how much they are polluting. IT DOESN’T PREVENT THE CHEMICALS FROM GETTING INTO THE GROUNDWATER.

According to their application approximately FIFTY FIVE MILLION (55,000,000) gallons of water will be pumped up from the ground water and sprayed over ...more
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Mar 18, 19 3:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
So here we have another self appointed "expert" who has not bothered to familiarize him/herself with the Environmental Impact Statement in question or basic scientific knowledge.

Once again, three local golf courses are among many worldwide that monitor golf courses to assure that harmful levels of chemicals are not allowed to escape to the aquifer below. These courses have been in operation for years and have had no reported problems with any unsafe levels of any possible pollutants. ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 19, 19 2:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
If you want people to believe you you should tell us who you are - hiding behind your alias 'vos' makes it really hard to take you seriously.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Mar 19, 19 7:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well VOS , you are making up for lost time and even managed to threaten the Town with legal action , TWICE. Your employers might even chuck you a few more $$$ for that! Bully.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 19, 19 7:50 PM
VOS, you keep hanging yourself with your own arguments. On this seasonal use issue, your contention that these houses will be “largely” for seasonal use may be right for the beginning, but the common progression out here has been for people to start with seasonal use, then to go to longer and longer “seasons” as time passes, and finally to become permanent residents. It’s reasonable to predict that not all, but many, of the Lewis Road owners will follow the same pattern. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 19, 19 9:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you Turkey Bridge, well said.
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Mar 19, 19 3:25 PM
Once again, with a certain amount of aggravation and exasperation just so the casual reader understands fully, I do not now nor have I ever had any employment, advisory, consultancy or any kind of business relationship with Discovery or any of its possible related entities, contractors or any such firm doing business with them. Further, I do not believe I have ever had any communication, electronic, written, oral or in person with anyone at Discovery or so affiliated about any subject whatsoever.

Anyone ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 19, 19 4:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
You Sir, are the LIAR. No one who doesn't have some sort of financial relationship with Discovery would spout such obviously false information and threaten the Town with legal action. I call BRAVO SIERRA on you.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 19, 19 7:56 PM
You, are an individual who apparently has a problem with reading comprehension. If anything I have written here was not supported by the facts you would have demonstrated that rather than making such an unfounded childish claim - that is what is "obvious." Feel free to attempt to support any statement you have made but do it with facts. You might begin by familiarizing yourself with the previous Environmental Impact Study for the earlier PDD and the Comprehensive Plan for Southampton Town.

Your ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 20, 19 3:51 AM
if Discovery felt it necessary to spend years and $$$ to shoehorn their ill conceived development through; even they must have thought the zoning meant no golf. Give them 5 acre Residential, and let them build as many houses on 5 acre lots as the want. As of right!!! that's what they bought. They are not our friends, how are the law suits coming? If some Board person want to play with the zoning definitions do that the proper way, not because someone says it does't specificallly say GOLF COURSES. ...more
By jeffaada (6), East Quogue on Mar 19, 19 7:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
I would love to know who the NIMBY is .. The development company from the west coast who won't build in their own locale or the locale here that says don't come here to build when you have plenty of land in Arizona
By dave h (193), calverton on Mar 20, 19 12:41 PM
That’s a pretty comprehensive and precise set of denials that VOS offers here. I’ll overlook the repeated intemperate accusations of telling “LIES,” but I can’t help noticing that there are a couple of possible Discovery connections he didn’t bother to deny.

One is the anticipation of an improvement in his own business if the golf resort is built. The other is familial/emotional: a relative or other object of his affection, either being involved with ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 20, 19 10:20 PM
Well, finally, Mr. Turkey, you have me backed into a corner and I find I must lay my cards on the table even though, in the past, you have been documented as having said you took me at my word that I had no interest, financial or otherwise, immediate or indirect in any project Discovery may have here or elsewhere. Of course that did not stop you from making unfounded accusation after unfounded accusation that I do. C'est la vie! Saying one thing and then doing something entirely different is ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Mar 21, 19 3:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Mar 21, 19 7:31 AM
You forget two things, VOS. First, if the golf resort does happen, that demographic, the kind of people buying in, are not going to be shopping in East Quogue, with few exceptions. Whatever expectations you or others have along those lines are mostly false.

Second, whatever benefit would or would not accrue to East Quogue from this project, it’s not just about East Quogue. Once, at a hearing some time ago, Ron Campsey stated that non-EQ people should stay out of this discussion. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 21, 19 10:26 AM