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East Quogue Civic Association Meeting To Discuss 'The Hills' Turns To Screaming Match

From the Southampton Press 2011
According to town records, the Sebonack course is 249.7 acres, has a land value of $34 million and paid $214,725 in school taxes; National Golf Links is 251.2 acres, has a land value of $35 million and paid $221,496 in taxes; Southampton is 167.68 acres, has a land value of $11 million and a school tax bill of $69,838; and Shinnecock Hills is 282.85 acres with a land value of $39 million and pays $241,752 in school taxes.
And they say the Hills course will take up less than 100 acres and pay millions in taxes?? Sure. " Jun 15, 16 11:39 PM

Southampton Town Deems The Hills Environmental Impact Study Incomplete For The Second Time

Mr. Hissey, here is what the Pine Barrens Society really thinks of your project as posted by the Executive Director in last weeks Southampton Press.

Despite near universal opposition to the proposed “The Hills at Southampton” mega-development in the Pine Barrens of East Quogue, the worst planned development district of them all lives on.
Town Board members and the people of Southampton won’t support The Hills mega development. Under the PDD law, it could and should be killed immediately.

Richard Amper
Executive Director
Long Island Pine Barrens Society" Jun 22, 16 7:31 AM

You acknowledge that five acre zoning is protective of the water supply. You go on to say that the Hills has five acre zoning, but then you go on to say that “what is asked for in addition to the zoning is the golf course. “

Oh, is that all. 5,000,000 square feet of turf and a 150,000 sq ft clubhouse with parking for 200 cars.

Under the current five acre protective zoning there would be no more than 60,000 sq ft of turf. The Cornell Study says that in five acre zoning 80% of nitrogen comes from turf.

But your golf course would add 5,000,000 square feet of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, just like every other golf course on Long Island. Because as you know, all the golf courses use those carcinogenic chemicals. The Hills will use them also. They are listed in your DEIS. They are listed in the Town consultants reports.

The “concrete steps” to deal with current problems you refer to created by farmland runoff and septic systems will not be addressed as you state (see the DEIS and Town consultants reports) but rather exacerbated.

So yes, lets go to the record, (as I did) and see whether what you are saying is factual.

I’m happy to say that the clear majority of the residents in this Town know what you are trying to do and will not let it happen. Not to them, their children, and their grandchildren.
" Jun 25, 16 9:20 AM

Discovery Land Insists That 'The Hills' Won't Add Any Children To Local Schools


“It would be a seasonal property … it’s being sold to us as a resort property, not a year-round property,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “Sort of like a resort with a golf course. And I think if it’s approached like that, I don’t see why you would have a lengthy stay.”

Who cares? Poison the drinking water and bays because you might have a few less kids in the schools ??
80% of nitrogen from turf, 5,000,000 sq ft of turf.
Why is the supervisor running interference for this carpet bagging developer?" Jun 28, 16 10:00 PM

Toxic Algae Bloom Forces Closure Of Georgica Pond To Crabbing, Swimming

And Southampton Supervisor is pushing to let a developer plant 4million sq ft of turf in the pine barrens." Jul 1, 16 2:13 PM

Discovery Land Insists That 'The Hills' Won't Add Any Children To Local Schools

Mark Hissey, currently Exec Vice President of Discovery Land, keeps saying, "read the DEIS", "read the constants reports" because he knows you won't and it makes a great sound byte. Please read the latest version of it, and the Town consultants reports. Read about the fact that one town consultant wants them to be more specific about how bad the grass on the golf course has to be before they are allowed to use particularly poisonous carcinogens. Read how rain gardens, the main ingredient of how Discovery will keep the poisons out of the drinking water and bay need scientific testing. Read about 17,000 trailer truck trips to remove excavated material will be made in the first phase of the grading for the project. Read how the tax income they promise will take years and years to achieve, if ever. Read how the covenants they promised to keep the kids out of the school have zero validity. Then go online and find out about how they stopped Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, Discovery's first environmental consultant on a project they did in the Bahamas, from speaking out about how they wouldn't do anything they promised after the project was approved. Then google Cher and Discovery Land and find out how, after they invited her to visit the Bahamas, she left, horrified, after seeing the barren "moonscape" they had created by stripping the land bare, which is what they do when they build a golf course.
Then check to see that the last time the East Quogue school was at full capacity was in 2010. Then verify that if this is developed the school will not get the $1,200,000 they got this year in PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) money from the CPF.

Please do what Mark Hissey says and look at the facts." Jul 2, 16 10:11 AM

I'm just trying to learn:

In simple language, please, what is the "unprecedented commitment to cleaning up the nitrogen problem in Shinnecock Bay" you often refer to? Is it in your recentl (rejected for the second time) DEIS? Page please. I'd like to read it.

And who in your organization is responsible for directing a Discovery Executive Vice President to call and "threaten" or "warn", or "discuss" withdrawing statements she made in an email to your current consultants Nelson Pope Voorhis. " Jul 5, 16 9:33 PM

Sorry, call was made to Discovery environmental scientist Kathleen Sealey" Jul 5, 16 9:36 PM

From your master plan:
Clubhouse floor space 155,760 Sq Ft
65,000 Sq Ft below ground parking
Does any clubhouse on Long Island have below ground parking? An acre and a half of below ground parking. Over the aquifer.
May I suggest that you have below ground parking because you are trying to jam 10 pounds of "something" into a 5 pound bag?" Jul 7, 16 8:46 AM

From your master plan:
Clubhouse floor space 155,760 Sq Ft
65,000 Sq Ft below ground parking
Does any clubhouse on Long Island have below ground parking? An acre and a half of below ground parking. Over the aquifer.
May I suggest that you have below ground parking because you are trying to jam 10 pounds of "something" into a 5 pound bag?" Jul 7, 16 8:48 AM

Alec Baldwin Will Push Pine Barrens Commission To Review 'The Hills'

This group is lobbying the PBC to choose to participate, instead of choosing not to participate. Why is asking for additional review a dis-service? Baldwin and the Pine Barrens Society and The Group For The East End are saying this is a way to "insist on proper review". My understanding is that Mr. Collins of the planning department has been touting this project as the best thing since sliced bread before the first draft of the DEIS was even submitted. He also was involved in the failed attempt to have the PBC reverse their decision to have jurisdiction as an involved agency. I suggest the more eyes looking at this project the better. For everyone." Jul 14, 16 9:39 PM

You write "The PBC is not, was not or will not be denied its review." Are you suggesting you are not aware that Discovery Land, through it's consultant NPV, made a formal statement to the PBC, in writing, in 2015 that the PBC has no jurisdiction for this application? That is what triggered the environmental groups to work to insure the PBC looks at the application. Let's replace your pejorative terms "prejudices and preconceptions" with the term opinions. I'd argue we are all entitled to our opinions. " Jul 15, 16 9:44 PM

You write "The PBC is not, was not or will not be denied its review." Are you suggesting you are not aware that Discovery Land, through it's consultant NPV, made a formal statement to the PBC, in writing, in 2015 that the PBC has no jurisdiction for this application? That is what triggered the environmental groups to work to insure the PBC looks at the application. Let's replace your pejorative terms "prejudices and preconceptions" with the term "opinions". I'd argue we are all entitled to our opinions. And if anyone has a prejudice I'd argue it's someone who calls lobbyists actions "publicity stunts". " Jul 15, 16 9:48 PM

Southampton Town Makes Offer To Purchase The Hills Property In East Quogue

Your math is incorrect.
$10,000,000, approximately 150 acres, $65,000 per acre." Jul 21, 16 9:17 AM

Alec Baldwin, Local Environmentalists Petition For Pine Barrens Commission To Review 'The Hills'

The school is getting $1,200,000 in PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) funds that will disappear if this is developed. No municipality ever raised more in taxes than it cost in services by adding development. Just look west. The promise of taxes and no kids is just another fraud.

And, in the end, is the risk of poisoning the drinking water and the bays worth it? " Jul 21, 16 4:32 PM

Harmful Algae Blooms Found In Two More Local Ponds

Just look at the acres of lawns that now line Mill Pond. Limit the turf you stop the majority of the nitrogen, which is the cause of the algae." Jul 23, 16 3:16 PM

Perfect example! Twenty years ago the County purchased and preserved the undeveloped land around Wildwood lake and stopped a development plan from happening. " Jul 23, 16 4:58 PM

Alec Baldwin, Local Environmentalists Petition For Pine Barrens Commission To Review 'The Hills'

So then you would agree that if the Hills is preserved there is a likely benefit to the school in that we are GUARANTEED no additional students, there will be no additional cost to taxpayers for services to the development, and that PILOT funds will likely go up." Jul 24, 16 5:17 PM

Southampton Town Offer To Purchase The Hills Property In East Quogue Is Rejected

As Supervisor Schneiderman said, he can't force them to sell. But, by keeping the PDD alive, he is offering them a strong incentive, not to sell." Aug 5, 16 4:28 PM

As Supervisor Schneiderman said, he can't force them to sell. But, by keeping the PDD alive, he is offering them a strong incentive not to sell." Aug 5, 16 4:29 PM

Remsen, there is no such thing as "as of right". It is a fantasy of the developer. Read the DEIS, and the Town scoping documents. This property is zoned five acre, in the Aquifer Overlay Protection District. When you get to see what can or cannot actually be built on the property you may change your mind. What the Cornell Study has told us is that what we don't what is 5,000,000 square feet of fertilized turf adding to the toxic brown and red tides we are already experiencing. There are hundreds of unbuilt lots in East Quogue already. If they don't get the PDD why would any sane developer create more?" Aug 6, 16 3:40 PM

THE SUPERINTENDENT DECIDES

Lion, your statement that "The Hillls proposes a sophisticated best management and groundwater monitoring plan" is from the developers marketing materials and is not based in science or reality. It is intended to mislead. There are no limits and no protections.

Please read the DEIS and the consultants reports. When the 5,000,000 square feet of turf has bugs only the golf course superintendent will decide which toxic pesticides should be used, when, and how much.

When the greens and fairways are turning brown only the golf course superintendent will decide how much fertilizer to apply.

When the developer decides the golf course fairways are too narrow and they bulldoze acres of "preserved pine barrens" located between the fairways who will stop them? And what will be done about it? It will be too late.

What if the environmentalists are right and the bays, which are already experiencing toxic brown and red tides, get worse because we allowed a golf course in the Pine Barrens?

Is the risk worth it when the reward is an unrealistic and unenforceable promise of tax dollars way down the road?


" Aug 9, 16 11:40 AM

Classic double-speak. Please provide one instance, ever, where the town, after reviewing a monitored property required a reduction in application of toxic chemicals or fertilizers and enforced it. One instance, ever." Aug 10, 16 9:50 PM

Rejected $35 million. Really. Withdraw the offer, reject the PDD, and watch how the land sits empty for the next 20 years. " Aug 10, 16 9:54 PM

Your response is not responsive. You repeat that it is enforced by the town. Who in the town enforces it? How do they enforce it? Have they ever actually enforced it?
Read the protocols submitted. At best they say they will try really hard not to use more toxic pesticides than they absolutely have to. But the decision maker remains the golf course superintendent whose primary responsibility is lush green grass. " Aug 12, 16 2:39 PM

Environmental Study For The Hills In East Quogue Rejected For Third Time

Could the reporter possibly have this right:

"Discovery Land says that its as-of-right development of the land means it could construct almost 90 single-family homes—all with individual and outdated cesspools."

So Discovery, great stewards of the environment that they claim they are, is threatening that if they don't get the PDD they are going to put in outdated cesspools.

And who is going to let them do that?" Aug 25, 16 10:09 AM

All I'll say about Amper is please don't confuse the message with the messenger. And as to the school, there are about 100 empty lots that have been sitting unbuilt in East Quogue for over a decade. If this PDD doesn't get approved no one is going to add to the glut. And if you want to build a golf course do it like it was done at Sebonack and the Bridge, over already cleared and developed land, don't take down 200 acres of forest to do it." Aug 25, 16 11:18 AM

I just watched a News 12 story in which the chairman of the SCWA said we're going to have a severe water problem in less than 10 years due to overuse. A golf course in the northeast uses as much water as 200 average Suffolk County homes. How can the Town consider a change of zone that will create another golf course?? " Aug 30, 16 5:44 PM

Southampton Town Purchases Development Rights Of East Quogue Farm

Ok. They preserved a farm. That's good. Good for maintaining the character of the community. Terrific. Water quality, maybe not so good, but on balance, great. Family gets to keep the property. Nice.
But to preserve almost 600 acres of virtually pristine pine forest, critically important to the water supply, they offer less per acre, and keep a PDD application going, despite a PDD moratorium, and the supervisor publically stating the PDD law is deeply flawed. What is going on in Town Hall? Who is really running the show?" Sep 21, 16 5:44 PM

Hills Opponents Offer Alternative Plan For East Quogue Property

Mark Hissey said;“It’s like trying to force us to open a steak restaurant when we’re good at making Italian food.”

Yes Mark, it is as if you bought a book store, zoned for a book store, and you want to open an Italian Restaurant and the environmentalists have pointed out that a steak restaurant would be much better for the community.

So maybe you change to a steak restaurant or start learning how to sell books, " Dec 9, 16 6:41 AM

Dr. Gobler Says Luxury Golf Course Resort Would Leave Larger Nitrogen Footprint Than Subdivision

I note this is your first post here, welcome.

The citizens in East Quogue, the Town of Southampton, and the region are overwhelmingly against this mega development in the Pine Barrens.
The dozen or so proponents of it are either currently doing business with the developer or hope to. Understandably, construction companies, real estate brokers, restauranteurs, etc. I'm betting you fit in one of those categories. Dr. Gobler was brought on board by then Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst because of the respect he has earned in the entire community. He has said nothing for over two years. Finally, he tells us that this development won't work, a golf course resort isn't the best option. Assemblyman Thiele says "I don't think there is any merit to it". Ms. Fleming says " I think its a bad deal for the Town and its not well - suited for our community". And you want the Press to express both sides of "this will poison our groundwater, our bays, and destroy our resort economy" for some short term benefit to whatever your business interests are? " Jan 11, 17 6:51 PM

Dr. Gobler said the experiment proposed by Discovery, fertigation, has never been done in the United States. He said, based on recent information, is, not may be, three fold less effective than what is predicted by the developer. If you weren't at the East Quogue Citizen's meeting take a look at the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQVpXzvZ7R8. Or take a look at the January 10th video when it comes on line.


There are thousands of pieces of correspondence in Southampton Town Hall against the project. Speakers at public hearings have been consistently three to one against. With many of the speakers "for" acknowledging they are from out of the area. Letters to the editor have been three to one against.

I am not aware of a single elected official publicly suggesting the project is beneficial on any level.

If that is not overwhelming I stand corrected. " Jan 11, 17 10:29 PM

This reminds me of your first DEIS and the scientists you used as references who, when asked, simply crushed Discovery's environmental practices as virtually non-existant.

So I did a rudimentary google search on fertigation as you suggested:

"Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system."

It is NOT taking water out of the ground and then by respraying into the ground removing th nitrogen and/or other toxins that may be in it.

And Dr. Gobler knows that." Jan 13, 17 11:03 AM

This reminds me of your first DEIS and the scientists you used as references who, when asked, simply crushed Discovery's environmental practices as virtually non-existant.

So I did a rudimentary google search on fertigation as you suggested:

"Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, soil amendments, and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system."

It is NOT taking water out of the ground and then by respraying into the ground removing th nitrogen and/or other toxins that may be in it.

And Dr. Gobler knows that." Jan 13, 17 11:12 AM


The GCSAA reference above doesn’t say a golf course and 118 homes averages 150 to 200 acres, it says a golf course averages 150 to 200 acres. So the fragments of space between the fairways, that others would call roughs, you are now calling “Out of play areas” even though your DEIS claims them as natural, un-fragmented, and preserved.

" Jan 13, 17 11:17 AM

People paid to speak.
Mr. Hissey, can we agree that you are a paid employee of Discovery Land? As is Mr. Bruyn (attorney) and Mr. Voorhis (consultant), and Mr. Grosser (Consultant) and Ms. Insalaco (public relations). Will you acknowledge there are other paid employees of Discovery who have spoken and NOT identified themselves as employees of Discovery? Can we also agree that at least 5 real estate brokers are included in your calculations including Mr. Oxman who has done transactions with Discovery?

And in this post you call Bob DeLuca, President of the Group for the East End, an out-of-towner, when in your first DEIS you claimed to be a member of his Board? And Richard Amper who's association seeks to protect the pine barrens that are critical to our aquifer. I am not aware that any of the speakers against have anything personal to gain except clean air, clean water, and a commitment to the way of life critical to the east end economy." Jan 25, 17 1:01 PM

Mr. Hissey
Your reference to Audubon International is just perfect!! Audubon International was founded in 1987 and is a organization funded by golf course owners promoting golf courses by trying to fool people into believing they are the Audubon Society founded in 1905. They have nothing to do with the Audubon Society. Another fraud.

And as to your people speaking at public hearings and your outrage at being accused of having people paid to be at the meetings:

Mr. Hissey, can we agree that you are a paid employee of Discovery Land? As is Mr. Bruyn (attorney) and Mr. Voorhis (consultant), and Mr. Grosser (Consultant) and Ms. Insalaco (public relations). Will you acknowledge there are other paid employees of Discovery who have spoken and NOT identified themselves as employees of Discovery? Can we also agree that at least 5 real estate brokers are included in your calculations including Mr. Oxman who has done transactions with Discovery?

And in this post you call Bob DeLuca, President of the Group for the East End, an out-of-towner, when in your first DEIS you claimed to be a member of his Board? And Richard Amper who's association seeks to protect the pine barrens that are critical to our aquifer. I am not aware that any of the speakers against have anything personal to gain except clean air, clean water, and a commitment to the way of life critical to the east end economy." Jan 25, 17 9:31 PM

McAllister Offers Opinion On Hills Proposal, Says PDD Plan Would Have Less Impact On Environment


The former bay keeper is not a scientist. He says "It has been used before.It's not new science". It (using contaminated groundwater to irrigate a golf course to reduce nitrogen) has NOT been used before. What is proposed IS NOT SCIENCE. It is an experiment. An interesting experiment, but an experiment none the less. In the Pine Barrens over the aquifer is not a place to try an experiment.
" Feb 18, 17 11:11 AM

Lion, as it appears you understand the issue I can only conclude you are trying to mislead your readers. The process proposed here does not use effluent (wastewater) it proposes using groundwater. And phytoremediation is used to clean toxic waste sites, not the toxins added to the turf of a golf course.
And if you don't plant the turf in the first place you don't have to worry about cleaning it up." Feb 18, 17 4:24 PM

Southampton Press 27East January9, 2017 Headline

Dr. Gobler Says Luxury Golf Course Resort Would Leave Larger Nitrogen Footprint Than Subdivision

“So you may hear that this project will remove more nitrogen—but data show that is not the case,”

Dr. Gobler also said at Town Board Special Meeting:
If I use the best available science, and I go through all the numbers, and they use egregious amounts of lawns to be fertilized. The numbers that I got shown, that even if you have full-time occupancy and 120 homes with big lawns, it's still not as much nitrogen as The Hills has proposed.

You can see Dr. Goblers remarks and a lot more at: www.stopthehills.com
" Feb 19, 17 3:25 PM

Dr. Gobler also said at a Special Town Board Meeting Jnuary 10, 2017

That process has brought together, I would say, some of the top minds or the top minds on the east coast of the US, individuals from the US EPA, the US Geological Survey, New York State DEC, Suffolk County, Cornell University, and I am grateful to be a part of that group as well.
We've come to what I call a scientific consensus. This isn't just a general opinion, but all these people have gotten together, two dozen people in a room, and were deciding what controls the delivery of land to sea. It's not me and my computer dreaming it up, it's everyone coming to agreement on lots of individual points, and it's all data based and it's all brand new.
We just finished the science consensus at the end of December, and so that new information can now be brought to bear as we consider how this project will affect our coastal estuaries in our coastal community here.
I had the chance to look at the DEIS and I found that I guess as a summary, what I can say is using that scientific consensus what we now know about nitrogen loading as currently proposed this project will deliver more nitrogen to our costal waters than it does presently and also more than it would compared to an as of right development.


" Feb 19, 17 3:29 PM

Lion,
You refer to the Riverhead waste treatment plant and use it to justify fertigation. Wastewater from a sewage plant is a known quantity. And it is consistent. You declare that groundwater is "likely generated by fertilizer and wastewater". So you want the community to risk its drinking water and the health of the bays on your suppositions. And you challenge those who quote respected scientists to post the data while you rely on a computer model dreamed up by the applicant.
Remarkable." Feb 19, 17 5:00 PM

But its never been done taking it out of groundwater. As Dr. Gobler said interesting experiment, but only as an experiment.

Are we going to be the guinea pigs?" Feb 19, 17 5:24 PM

A. Martin Petrovic, one of the scientists Lion suggests we pay attention to said in his review of the DEIS
Issue: As a guiding principal, The Hills should consider not using pesticides that have been classified now or in the future as possible, probable or likely carcinogenic to humans to protect works, golfers, residents, visitors to The Hills and the general public. The list of current pesticides includes: bifenthrin, carbaryl, tridiamefon, propaconazole, iprodione, prodiamine, chlorothalonil and etridiazole. That being said, if there are situations where no other control methods are available or have not work, there should be a consideration given to allow for their use under emergency set of the conditions.

So the golf course superintendent can, if the fairways REALLY look bad, make a decision to poison us." Feb 19, 17 5:39 PM

That is why we shouldn't be adding to the carcinogens being tossed into the air, into our drinking water, and to our bays. I just quoted the scientist you listed as respected. Because its being done you are suggesting its OK to do more? So that a handful of wealthy clients of the developer will have a second, third, or fourth golf club to play at.
" Feb 20, 17 11:57 AM

Southampton Town Supervisor Will Seek More Environmental Concessions For 'The Hills'

VOS,
That is not accurate. Your statement "Tests have shown that will result in a net decrease of those pollutants in the area", is not true. No tests have been done, just a spreadsheet model created by the developer. The supervisor is quoted in this article as acknowledging his problem with the developers theory. It would be, at best, an experiment. Certainly we can't afford to experiment on this scale. And the usage of fertilizer and pesticides is a direct function of how many sq ft of turf are planted. No subdivision would even come close. " Mar 29, 17 6:43 PM

You are agreeing with me. "Computer modeling has identified the flow of underground water...". Not a tested process with historical results, an experiment.

The developer says his spreadsheet says this might work. Maybe, and only if the input numbers are right. There are those who say the input numbers are incorrect. Cutting down a pine barrens forest and hoping for the best doesn't sound like a reasonable risk/reward." Mar 30, 17 4:06 PM

Locals Hike Through 'The Hills' Property Sunday

So there is no conflict that a WHB Village Board member is a paid consultant for this developer.

And a teacher in our school is telling kids that "contaminated" water from the golf course would be recycled. How did it get contaminated? A teacher is telling kids that taking down trees to build a golf course is a good thing?

This is terrifying. This is the fall of Rome. " Mar 30, 17 9:07 PM

Southampton Town Trustees Request A Role In Review Of East Quogue Golf Resort Plan

You need not have a highly evolved olfactory system to smell what you smell. This move is so transparent you would think the players trying to perpetrate this would be embarrassed. But nothing embarrasses them. $$$$$$$$$" Apr 5, 17 8:37 PM

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