hamptons local events, express news group

Story - News

Oct 9, 2017 4:06 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

'The Hills' PDD Vote Could Happen Just Before Election Day--If County Panel Moves Quickly

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
Oct 10, 2017 6:20 PM

A final vote on a proposal for a luxury golf course resort community in East Quogue now appears likely to be delayed until nearly Election Day—if not after.

Approval of the findings statement, a document that marks the end of the mandated State Environmental Quality Review process, won’t happen before Thursday, October 19, at a special Town Board meeting at East Quogue Elementary School on Central Avenue in East Quogue, starting at 6 p.m.

But Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said that in order to take a final vote on whether Discovery Land Company is granted a special zoning designation, a planned development district, for the proposed development, “The Hills at Southampton,” the Town Board also must have comments from the Suffolk County Planning Commission.

The referral from the town was received by the Planning Commission on October 2, but it will not be discussed by the county panel until its meeting on the afternoon of November 1—just six days before a town election that includes the supervisor post and two Town Board seats.

Mr. Schneiderman said he was “optimistic” that a vote would happen before Election Day.

“I’d like to try to vote by November 2,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a recent interview. “But if we don’t get the comments [from the Planning Commission], we will have to wait.”

Arizona-based Discovery Land Company is asking the Town Board for a special change of zone, called a planned development district, or PDD, to build 118 units and an 18-hole golf course along Spinney Road in East Quogue.

The supervisor said in late August that he’d hoped for a vote before the end of September.

But a planned vote on the findings statement was tabled at a September 26 meeting after Town Board members John Bouvier and Julie Lofstad both said they would vote against its adoption. Although a 3-2 vote would approve the findings statement, it likely would mean the resulting PDD—which requires a supermajority of four votes—would not have enough support.

The supervisor opted not to hold a vote on the findings statement, pulling it off the table to rework it.

An updated findings statement was made available to the public on October 3—exactly one week after the meeting. The original document discussed in the meeting the week prior, however, has not been released to The Press, even though it was the subject of a Freedom of Information Law request.

Connie Conway, chief of staff to the supervisor, who released the updated findings statement, said the original would have to be issued by the town’s Planning Department. Principal Planner Janice Scherer, in turn, said the document would need to be obtained from the town clerk’s office via a FOIL request. The request was filed on October 4 and has yet to be honored.

The new findings statement was written to be “positive,” meaning that it determines that the project avoids or minimizes adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent possible.

The 12-page statement was prepared for the town by AKRF, an environmental engineering company hired by the municipality, and Martin Petrovic, a town consultant.

“Based on an independent review of the proposed project, it is concluded that with the above measures in place, the proposed project would not result in any significant adverse impacts on groundwater or surface waters,” the document reads.

In addition to reviewing the final environmental impact statement, which was already deemed complete by the town, the statement adds additional measures to limit pollution to the groundwater. Also included in the statement were a number of conditions of approval, mandates that would be incorporated into the local law approving the PDD.

One condition in the statement would give the town the right to monitor the developer’s Integrated Turf Health Management Plan, or ITHMP, which includes the use of liners under the greens on the golf course to capture polluted drainage water. In the developer’s plans, it would recycle that already polluted water to irrigate the golf course.

Under the condition, the town would limit the ITHMP to minimize the amount of fertilizer used to no more than 2.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet on the greens, and 1 pound per 1,000 square feet in the rough and in residential areas.

As per the proposed PDD law, the developer could be subject to a “substantial fine” if it does not comply with the fertilizer standards.

The findings statement also imposes a condition that puts added restrictions—on top of Department of Environmental Conservation conditions—on pesticides used at the development.

The findings statement also shows the applicant pitching 118 units—differing from the 117 units in the FEIS. Mr. Schneiderman explained that the town passed a law a couple of months ago that patches a loophole in a state law that allows a developer to lower its density in lieu of paying into an affordable housing fund.

Now that the loophole was closed, the developer would be able to build 118 units—although it also will have to pay approximately $2.6 million into a town affordable housing fund. That fund can be used for various programs, including building affordable apartments or offering benefits to first-time homebuyers.

The findings statement also addresses most of Mr. Schneiderman’s own 10 criteria for analyzing the project—which includes environmental impacts, as well as potential impacts on traffic, the East Quogue School District, and property taxes.

Mr. Schneiderman said he is in support of the new findings statement, though it was not immediately clear earlier this week where the rest of the Town Board stands on the document. Most of the members of the board were still in the process of analyzing the detailed document when reached this week.

The stance of each of the Town Board members on the document will be vital, as findings statements are generally indicators as to how the Town Board will vote on the final proposal—typically, a town official wouldn’t reject a findings statement but then vote in favor of a project, or vice versa.

The November 7 election involves the seats currently occupied by Mr. Schneiderman, Ms. Lofstad and Town Board member Stan Glinka.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

A vote before election day is paramount to Jay's political career in Southampton Town, stall and you're out.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 9, 17 5:33 PM
Slick Schneiderman Strikes Again. Cutting through all the BS, Slick Schneiderman will do whatever it takes to please his masters - Hissey and DLC, and postpone the PDD vote until after the November elections. It is time to vote out Slick Schneiderman and write in a new Supervisor who will work for the people of Southampton Town and not for himself.
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 9, 17 5:38 PM
I disagree with your reasoning but I agree that Teflon Schneiderman needs to go.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 17 6:31 PM
Photo Op Jay expends more energy getting in front of a camera than he does trying to run the Tpwn.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 10, 17 12:22 AM
It was great to see Ms. Lofstad and Mr. Bouvier stand up for what is right for the community!

You will all have to excuse Mr. Schneiderman. It's very hard for him to stand up with his pockets so heavily lined by these developers!

JAY: Do you think that your constituents don't see the blatant corruption?

I can't wait until the indictment gets unsealed!
By DisgustedHamptons (58), Hampton Bays on Oct 10, 17 1:57 AM
Stop the fear mongering already we need this project to bring quality home owners into the area and expand the tax base. Our businesses are starving with igh rents and not enough custoner base. It will rise property values town wide and if monitored a high end resort golf corrse such as this would be a beautiful safe addition to the area.
By They call me (2826), southampton on Oct 10, 17 1:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Here's an idea: how about completing the Southampton Pines development? There are many vacant lots in there. Those will bring in the "quality home owners" that you are looking for as opposed to the rest of us who are not quality home owners I assume.
By zappy (65), east quogue on Oct 10, 17 1:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
chill out there zappy, I was just saying most people don't want anymore section 8 housing like the fast one Suffolk tried to pull on us last year with the scary motel nightmare on Tiana. People were scared to leave the homes after dark for a year! Between that and the Dinner / Latino rave club . It almost did the town in for good. Yes I think a resort golf community would be an awesome change around here for the better.
Oct 10, 17 10:20 PM appended by They call me
Think about what your protesting here people this is a one time oppertunity to put a little more Hamptons in Hampton Bays and East Quogue!
By They call me (2826), southampton on Oct 10, 17 10:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Are the properties owned by the same people?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 11, 17 7:59 AM
Who is on the county planning commission and why are they dragging their feet??????
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 10, 17 1:48 PM
They are the county...that's what they do - drag their feet.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 11, 17 2:41 PM
I wish we had the choice of Fred Havermeyer for Supervisor. He wouldn't campaign against PDDs and the Hills two years ago and then support it now.
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Oct 12, 17 11:14 AM
When did Jay discover the PDD vote had to wait for Suffolk County?He scheduled 10/19 for votes on both the Findings Statement and the PDD at the 9/26 board mtg. Either he doesn't know what he's doing, or worse, he does and there's skullduggery going on to push approval for the Hills. Why did the County get the report from the town at the late date of 10/2? And we are expected to trust the board to oversee restrictions and code enforcement on the PDD if approved?
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 12, 17 11:38 AM
CleanWaters & Taz ... It is not too late to stop Slick Schneiderman. There is still time to consider FRED HAVEMEYER, a Democrat and TRUE Environmentalist, as a write in candidate for Southampton Town Supervisor. It is time to consider FRED HAVEMEYER ... YES WE CAN! and YES WE MUST!
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 12, 17 1:44 PM
3 members liked this comment
Write in Fred Havemeyer! I will and many of my friends will!!!! We can stop the Hills if Jay doesn't.
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Oct 13, 17 10:52 AM
Life is not lived within a single election cycle. Those of us who oppose The Hills will be deeply disappointed if a final vote on the project doesn’t happen before this November’s election, but what’s important is how that final vote goes, regardless of when it takes place. Whether the vote happens before or after this election, or before or after January 1 when the new Board takes office, we will note who votes how, and we’ll reward our friends and punish our enemies accordingly. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 13, 17 3:36 PM
The as of right development is not economically feasible, they are not going to sell 5 acre lots in the hills north of Quogue for large $$ without a golf course, scuttle the Hills project and the over development will not happen.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 13, 17 5:13 PM
Turkey Bridge ... Betrayal by a close friend or political ally is a difficult situation to overcome. But, DENIAL, as they say, is not a river in Egypt. Mr. Jay Schneiderman stabbed you and all Democrats in the back, just as Brutus did to Julius Caesar.
For you the choice on Election Day is between Mr. Overton and Mr. Schneidrman. Or as Mr. Scaramucci would put it, a front stabber and a back stabber. I and many Democrats, Republicans and Independents feel now is the time for action. A write-in ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 13, 17 10:22 PM
how is it that the county planning commission findings didn't matter when they were supposed to vote on the project the last time a few weeks ago?? this just came up???
By jeffscan (19), sh on Oct 14, 17 9:39 AM
People who KNOW,, say NO to Jay Schneiderman !

A Write-in candidate, FRED HAVEMEYER, a DEMOCRAT, and a TRUE ENVIRONMENTALIST, and of course, to quote TURKEY BRIDGE," a top-notch guy", is the only way to vote.
TURKEY BRIDGE claims "he doesn't have a chance of winning." Well, TB, that's your opinion, not a fact. Everyone is aware that you backed Brad Bender, ATH, and now Schneiderman. How did those choices work out for the Town?
Protect our environment before it is forever gone, ...more
By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Oct 14, 17 12:00 PM