The Scoop

Public Hearing Opposing ‘The Hills’ PDD Scheduled for Saturday

A coalition of environmental and civic groups opposed to “The Hills” mega-development project in the Southampton Pine Barrens and state-designated Special Groundwater Protection Area, will present an in-depth proposal for a Reduced Impact Alternative during a public hearing at East Quogue Elementary School on Saturday January 7, from 10 a.m.–noon.

Produced by professional planning consultants convened by local environmental organization Group for the East End, the proposed plan says it would dramatically reduce the total site development area, clearing of trees, use of fertilized turf, and limit water usage and sewage discharge. It also seeks to reduce traffic impacts and reduce the number of residences constructed compared to “The Hills” proposal.

According to former East Hampton Planning Director, Lisa Liquori, who put the proposal together, it would eliminate the golf course and dramatically limit associated fertilizer and pesticide use. It proposes “alternate and less environmentally-intense recreational use.”

The public hearing will also include presentations on water quality impacts, the trouble with Planned Development Districts, completion of The Hills review process and what the law says about the requirement for consideration of reduced impact alternatives.

In the announcement for the hearing, Pine Barrens Society Executive Director Richard Amper said, “Endless and long presentations by a well-heeled developer over the course of years prejudices the public interest in protecting the environment, economy and quality-of –life of residents and advocates. This community-created forum helps to balance what the Town Board is hearing to help them make a better decision about whether a bad project gets built or not.”

Andrea Spilka, President of the Southampton Town Civic Coalition adds, “Thousands of citizens oppose this project. We think it only fair for them to hear and see an real alternative to “The Hills” that hasn’t gotten much exposure, yet.”

Make your voice heard on either side of The Hills plan this Saturday, January 7 at Quogue Elementary School, located at 10 Edgewood Road in Quogue, from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

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