After a long interruption during the campaign and budget seasons, the Westchester Board of Legislators got back to work this week on its review of administration plans for the future of Playland Park.
But, despite a Jan. 1 deadline to approve the plan before the designated operator, Sustainable Playland, can back out of the deal, the board wasn’t much further along in deciding whether it would support the plan to have the Rye-based nonprofit take over park management from the county.
Right now, the review hinges on a parking study by Sustainable Playland, or SPI. Because the proposed field house and fields would take up part of the parking area, legislators and Sustainable’s amusement park partner, Central Amusements, are waiting to see how the smaller parking lot will affect attendance and revenue figures.
“We don’t want to pass something and then say this is not tenable in an economic or business way,” said Legislator Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining, the chairwoman of the Government Operations Committee, at a meeting Tuesday. The committee is heading the review.
The Board of Legislators must approve the plan of physical improvements to the park before Sustainable Playland can take it over. Some legislators have questioned whether the field house, the major new element of the plans for the park, would take too much parking and make the plan unworkable. Rye residents are also questioning the impact on surrounding homes.
Outgoing Legislator Bill Ryan, D-White Plains, asked whether the county would need to bring in Sustainable Playland to manage the park if legislators decided to kill the field house. The Parks Department could continue to operate the beach and pool and Central Amusements could run the amusement park, he said.
“In light of where this all seems to be going, why is SPI needed?” he said.
Officials from Central Amusements said either way, they want to be a part of the future of the park.