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Oct 1, 2019 4:41 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Planning Board Extends Deadline For East Quogue Golf Course Resort Subdivision Application

Planning Board member Robin Long at an August meeting. PRESS FILE
Oct 1, 2019 4:41 PM

At its latest meeting, the Southampton Town Planning Board extended by two weeks its approval deadline for the preliminary subdivision application for Lewis Road PRD, the proposal to build a luxury golf course resort in East Quogue, because two referral agencies have yet to provide advisory comments.

The agencies, the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the Central Pine Barrens Commission, both told the town that they will submit referral comments this month — the former by October 2 and the latter by October 17.

The board’s action deadline was originally October 9, but the town asked the applicant, Discovery Land Company, if it was willing to extend it to October 24 because the Pine Barrens Commission told the town in a letter that it will need until October 17 to supply advisory comments.

The board’s next meeting after that would be October 24, giving board members one week to review the material.

This is the second extension request from the town for the action. Town Principal Planner Anthony Trezza previously asked Discovery Land to grant a one-day extension from October 9 to October 10 in order to coincide with the board’s October 10 meeting.

At the Planning Board’s latest meeting on September 26, Discovery Land’s attorney, Wayne Bruyn, told the board his clients were willing to extend the deadline. The board proceeded to make a motion accordingly.

After announcing that permission, Mr. Bruyn added, “What we don’t want to see is, we come back and then everybody says, ‘Well, we’re going to need another two weeks, another four weeks or whatever, in a never-ending process.’”

Mr. Trezza and Mr. Bruyn said at the board meeting that the Pine Barrens Commission had sufficient time to prepare comments because its members had all the necessary material since May, but internal discrepancies left commission staff unaware that they received a request from the town to do so.

When the Pine Barrens Commission last met on September 18, members and staff were surprised to learn that the town was asking them to provide advisory comments in order for the Planning Board to act on the application by the October 9 deadline.

Meeting such a deadline was not plausible, so they ultimately told the town that they will need until October 17, the day after their next commission meeting.

“It wasn’t readily apparent that detailed comments in regard to the preliminary subdivision plan had been requested. And once that became clear, the commission moved to authorize preparation of draft comments,” John Pavacic, the commission’s executive director, said.

They will primarily review whether the project conforms with the standards and guidelines set forth in the Pine Barrens Protection Act and approve the comments at the upcoming meeting, according to Mr. Pavacic.

Concerned that they may not have enough time to review the pending materials, Planning Board members asked Mr. Trezza to send over a draft of the comments immediately after he receives them.

“As soon as you can get it to us so we can read it, the better. Because it’s going to be a tough two weeks time-wise,” Board member Robin Long said to Mr. Trezza, pointing out that the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur falls within their review time.

Mr. Trezza provided board members at the meeting with a draft preliminary staff report that included referral comments from other agencies.

Discovery Land plans to build a 118-unit subdivision and 18-hole golf course on 588 acres along Lewis Road in East Quogue. The latest plan, Lewis Road PRD, limits the use of the golf course only to the residents of the subdivision and their non-paying guests, a limitation not in place under the developer’s previous proposal, known as The Hills at Southampton.

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