WPCNR PLAYLAND REPORTER. By John F. Bailey. April 1, 2014:
A spokesman for Sustainable Playland, the group attempting to redesign and develop the 1928 Playland amusement park owned by the county, denied today that Sustainable Playland was withdrawing temporarily from the Playland Improvement Plan review process as a delaying tactic to avoid taking over Playland this year (2014).
Thompson said that when the Sustainable group walked out of last week’s Board of Legislators Committee meeting, they were optimistic that matters were proceeding satisfactorily..
Thomson said that the management of Sustainable Playland announced their indefinite withdrawal only when confronted by the City of Rye legal consultant, the environmental lawyer Michael Gerrard, in a letter calling for a complete environmental review of Playland, citing various cases which Gerrard interprets as giving the City of Rye full rights to approve any changes to Playland, and conducting a full environmental review.
Thompson said Sustainable decided to suspend spending further dollars on consultants and professionals in the active Playland Review (now underway under the leadership of County Legislator Peter Harckham. Thompson said that “when the county and the City of Rye decides who’s on first, and who’s in charge, and gives some clarity we will be glad to rejoin the review, otherwise there’s no point to it.”
Thompson added that County Legislator Kenneth Jenkins second lawsuit contending that the county should not have signed a management agreement with Sustainable Playland without approval of the Board of Legislators, and also includes Sustainable Playland in the suit, can also have the affect of limiting Sustainable Playland ability to raise funds.
County Executive Robert Astorino in a news release and statement said he is attempting to get the Mayor of Rye and the Chairman of the Board of Legislators, Michael Kaplowitz together to hold talks on resolving the controversy over who’s decision is it anyway (The County’s or the City of Rye) to decide on the future development of Playland.
Thompson said the City of Rye Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the original Sustainable Playland plan which included the field hourse. “From the beginning, Sustainable Playland assured the Mayor and the City of Rye whey would have a seat at the table, they could bring their planning commission in. But, we never said they would have the final decision.”