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WPCNR PLAYLAND-GO-ROUND. By John F. Bailey May 22, 2015::

The resumption of the Parks Labor and Housing Committee hearing Wednesday on the County Executive designated developer of  Playland Standard Amusements contract was highlighted by by Councilpersons from the City of Rye raising the issue of the city’s desire to assess property taxes on any new revenue-producing restaurants and attractions brought in by the Standard group as part of their plan to make Playland more profitable.


The two councilpersons in addition said they were concerned about changes in the footprint of the Playland Park and wanted to review any changes on under their Land and Water Statute enacted in 1982. They also wondered how disputes or unmitigatable concerns would be decided and what sort of binding mechanism could be established. Peter Harcham, Chairman of the Committee did not explore the issue, and the issue of how disagreements with the City of Rye would be ultimately addressed was left for a later date.

Councilwoman Brent of the City of Rye said her city was concerned with expansion of the Playland footprint outside of the park, traffic growth, and raised the issue of assessing any new restaurants and attractions producing revenue outside the park that Standard Amusements is planning on bringing in.

Nick Singer said the county has the right to walk away from the agreement if any property taxes are placed on the Amusements enhancements. He said this was “a problematic issue for us,” and that Standard would not accept this and perhaps walk away from the deal.

County Legislator Katherine Parker, who represents Rye among other cities said that Rye might receive a Pilot In Lieu of Taxes from Standard to compensate Rye for increased expenses in dealing with the park expansion.

Peter Harckham sought to diffuse this first unpleasant moment in the hearings by chuckling “As Warren Zevon sang, ‘send lawyers, guns and money.’

Harckham who has said June 10 is the date when the committee will be deciding to approve the contract, will not be around for that decision. He is taking a new job with the Governor Cuomo administration effective June 3, which the Governor announced next week.

Michael Kaplowitz, Chair of the Board of Legislators sitting in on the meeting, praised the City of Rye for bringing their concerns, but he, too did not explore how an impasse between Rye and the county might be resolved bindingly.

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