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The Hills developer files new application for East Quogue project

The Southampton Town Planning Board will hold a Feb. 22 hearing on the current plan, which has opponents worried about the environmental impact.

The developers behind a proposed East Quogue luxury golf community have filed another plan with Southampton Town, one they said doesn’t need town board approval but which still concerns some residents.

Arizona-based Discovery Land Co. filed a pre-application with the Southampton Town Planning Board two weeks after the board voted in December against a zoning change that would have allowed it to build a golf course on the property.

The current application does not contain the public benefits pledged for The Hills, such as keeping the housing units seasonal and making payments to the East Quogue School District.

Company officials said they can build an 18-hole golf course on the property as a “residential recreational accessory” for the residents of the units, and that no zoning change is required.

Like the previous plan, the pre-application calls for 118 residential units, the private golf course and other amenities. It also includes a second plan calling for 137 units, though Discovery officials said they would prefer to build the 118-unit plan, according to the pre-application.

The 137-unit plan calls for a putting green, tennis courts, a pool and other amenities, but not a full-size golf course.

Southampton Town Planning Board chairman Dennis Finnerty agreed that the current plan did not require a zoning change and said the town attorney is researching whether a golf course could be considered a residential recreational accessory.

He said public opinion will not influence whether or not the project moves forward.

“We’re trained not to let our biases impact our decision making,” Finnerty said Friday.

Opponents have said they fear a golf course, which would be located in the Pine Barrens, an environmentally sensitive area, could harm their drinking water.

“We’re very leery of it. We consider it a bully attack,” said East Quogue Civic Association president Al Algieri, an outspoken critic of the plan.

Representatives from Discovery did not respond to a request for comment.

The Southampton Town Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the pre-application at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at Town Hall.

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