Southampton Town announced on Tuesday that it has offered to buy the 592-acre tract in East Quogue known as “The Hills.”
The property, which is owned by the Arizona-based company, Discovery Land Corporation, is being considered by the town board for a Planned Development District that would call for an 18-hole golf course and 118 luxury houses.
Those plans have come under fire from environmentalists and community members in large part because the property is in a groundwater recharge area. Earlier this year, in large part due to opposition to the project, the town board agreed to place a moratorium on other PDD projects in town.
Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s office did not say how much the town was willing to pay for the property, but noted that it was “significantly higher than the price paid by Discovery Land for the property.”
The town said the Discovery agreed to have the property appraised for possible sale to the town. The town authorized two appraisals to determine the fair market value for the land and would pay for it using money from the Community Preservation Fund.
“I cannot proceed in good conscience with the review process without making a good faith effort to preserve the property,” said Supervisor Schneiderman in a release.
If the deal is accepted, it would be the largest single land acquisition in the history of the CPF program.
“Although some members of the community are supportive of the golf course development,” Councilman John Bouvier said that he believes, “the best ‘course’ for the property is preservation.”
– Stephen J. Kotz reporting