Rye Playland Improvement Plan Still Awaits County Approval

RYE, N.Y. – With Rye Playland set to open for the season in May, the county’s Board of Legislators has still not approved Sustainable Playland’s plan to reinvent the amusement park.

“The board does need to resolve this issue,” Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers) said in an interview with The Daily Voice this week. He said that he was engaged in talks on the issue, and is hoping to kick-start the process.

“May is coming fast, and if somebody wants to get in there, they’re going to need to do so quickly because they have a lot of planning to do before the gates open up,”

There have been some hold-ups to the approval of the Playland Improvement Plan. Former Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins filed a lawsuit last year against the county’s agreement with Sustainable Playland, arguing that it needed BOL approval. That lawsuit was dismissed in December. There have also been questions and concerns about the field house and how much parking will be available at the park. The asset management agreement that County Executive Rob Astorino signed with Sustainable Playland required the Board of Legislators to approve the company’s improvement plan by the end of 2013, otherwise Sustainable would have the option to walk away.

Kaplowitz said that he thinks the plan will be improved before the park opens this spring.

“I am hopeful that we can wrap it up, because we really have to. We have a group that can walk away at this point because it wasn’t done by January 1, and I’m hopeful that they don’t walk away.”

Central Amusements International, one of the companies that originally submitted a proposal for taking over Playland, is now working with Sustainable and will operate the amusement portion of the reinvented amusement park. At the end of last year, as the improvement plan still remained unapproved, some Westchester legislators suggested that Central Amusements step in and take over instead of Sustainable Playland. Kaplowitz said that he still favored Sustainable Playland.

“I like the fact that they’re local Westchester people, with their investment both financially and residentially in the county.”

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