This story has been updated.
HARRISON, N.Y. -- New York state environmental officials have given Harrison permission to transform wetlands along Beaver Swamp Creek into a municipal park, ball field and walking trails.
For years, the town of Harrison sought to develop "Project Home Run,'' but encountered litigation from neighbors whose yards flood during heavy storms, and from the City of Rye, which has argued that tampering with the flood plain could cause additional problems.
Rye Mayor Joseph Sack said, "We are evaluating the commissioner's decision now."
Beaver Swamp Brook runs from Westchester Country Club through Rye and Harrison to the Long Island Sound in Mamaroneck. The brook's watershed spans nearly 2,000 acres.
A Freshwater Wetland Permit was issued on June 26 by Daniel T. Whitehead, deputy regional permit administrator for the state Department of Environmental Conservation at the direction of the state DEC commissioner.
According to Harrison Supervisor Ron Belmont, the commissioner ruled on June 16 that no hearing is necessary since the proposed project was redesigned to eliminate all regulated activities in the wetland.
Belmont said the project was designed in accordance with DEC specifications and the DEC has always given their approvals, each and every step of the way.
“The town can now move forward with developing this site as a municipal park and multi-faceted recreational facility,” Belmont said in a statement on Wednesday. “I look forward to the expansion of recreational use, on this site, which will include a small field, an open grass area and walking trails.”
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