One of the most controversial new developments on the East End may be approved next week. The project was first proposed back in 2013, but worries about environment impact, particularly on groundwater, and the need to change zoning from strictly residential to a Planned Development District have meant the project has dragged on.
Planned are 118 residential units and an 18-hole golf course along Spinney Road in East Quogue, to be called The Hills at Southampton, built by Discovery Land Company. The units would be strictly second homes, so no impact would be felt on local schools.
Proponents argue that the development will preserve 424 acres out of a total of 591 acres or almost 72% of the land, and 95% will be kept as open space. The Hills say they will donate $1 million to help local residents to upgrade their home septic systems, and will implement phytoremediation/fertigation efforts to improve local water quality. About a hundred year round jobs will be generated, and other benefits to East Quogue such as donations to the school and for a new Suffolk County Water Authority well will result.
Opponents say that Discovery are playing fast and loose with the amount of land needed for the golf course, that at 40 more acres will be needed to build the course than they say. In measuring the area of the course, they are taking the area of each golf hole by itself–the tee area, fairway area and the green–taking into account other areas such as the rough, trees, water, which should be considered part of the course. They say that the development will have a catastrophic effect on local groundwater, and will result in more traffic and less open space. They would prefer that the town buy the land and preserve it.
Proponents point out that a town buy is unlikely, and that Discovery says they will build a residential development instead of a resort one if The Hills is not approved. The as-of-right residential zoning would result in 147 homes, many with children to enter local schools, and only standard septic tanks would be used.
What do you think? Vote now.