21 Show Up at Sustainable Playland Hearing at Michaelian Building.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. March 19, 2014 UPDATED MARCH 21, 4:30 P.M. E.D.T.:

A capacity crowd of concerned residents turned out WEDNESDAYevening for a Public Hearing regarding the Playland Improvement Plan, which was held in the Chambers of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) here in the Michaelian Office Building.

To view a video of the Public Hearing, click this link.

The Public Hearing is part of a review being directed by Legislator Pete Harckham (D-North Salem), chair of the BOL Labor/Parks/Planning/Housing Committee (LPPH), which is focused on the proposal from Sustainable Playland, Inc. (SPI) to revitalize Playland, Westchester’s iconic 280-acre recreation area and amusement park, as outlined in their Playland Improvement Plan (PIP).

More than 21 persons spoke about the PIP, both in favor and against, and many of the speakers submitted copies of their comments to Harckham and the LPPH, which will become part of the public record.

“I’m pleased that a number of residents attended this public hearing tonight, at this early point in the Board of Legislators’ evaluation of the Playland Improvement Plan,” said Harckham. “Playland has been a big part of County life for more than eight decades, so it’s prudent to examine any proposed changes and consider what is best for all of Westchester.”

Many residents at the hearing tonight made reference to the new Field House that is proposed in the PIP.  Two weeks ago Harckham brought together the executive staff of  SPI and members of the Astorino Administration for the BOL committee review of the PIP, and SPI officially announced that the Field House planned for Playland, Westchester’s iconic 280-acre recreation area and amusement park, had been scaled back from 95,000 square feet to 82,000 square feet.

Others spoke about environmental issues related to possible changes on the Playland property, which includes a tidal marsh and Long Island Sound shoreline. Loss of parking and the size of the Field House caused dismay in some speakers, while added opportunities for year-round sport activities, like soccer and lacrosse, pleased several speakers. A number of residents at the hearing agreed that any changes at Playland should be well thought out and beneficial to taxpayers.

“As the County Legislator who has Playland in my district, I understand both sides of the issue here,” said Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye). “Whatever we decide, it will make some in my district very unhappy. I’m going to do what I believe is right for my constituents and the county residents. However, there are some lingering questions that must be answered before I can give the Playland plan my approval.”

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