Parking key element in Playland approvals


Solving the puzzle of parking at the new Playland — after it’s taken over by Sustainable Playland and a new field house is built in part of the current parking lot — will be key to gaining approvals and running a successful park.playlandicecasino

That point was emphasized Tuesday in a meeting of the parks committee of the Westchester Board of Legislators, which is in the middle of an intensive review of the plans by Sustainable Playland to remake the park as more of a yearround attraction.

Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, the chairman of the board, warned Sustainable Playland officials that they needed to come up with a parking plan that guarantees patrons will be able to get into the park or risk losing the support of the majority of the board.

“You’re not going to get nine votes,” he said. “I’m not sure you’re getting many more than X votes if you don’t put in a parking plan either on site or go to off site and get shuttle buses. Whatever it takes.”

Kaplowitz’s comments followed some back and forth over Sustainable’s attendance goals after its president, Kim Morque, said they don’t want more than the 700,000 to 800,000 visitors called for in their plans.

“Rye has concerns about parking, quite frankly, and traffic,” Morque said. “The million or million and a half visitors would be a terrible impact on Rye.”

That comment concerned Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, D-Hastings-on-Hudson, who said later that it appeared Sustainable’s business model was intentionally limiting the success of the amusement park.

“How do you bring in someone who says they want the business you want them to take over to succeed but only succeed so much,” she said. “It’s very troubling.”

Shimsky asked Sustainable to run the numbers on the parking for a million visitors a year.

Because the field house is being built in the parking lot, Sustainable’s plans will result in a net loss of 517 parking spaces from the 3,200 currently on site in all the different lots, including those only used on the busiest days.

Fourth of July, the park’s busiest day, brought in more than 18,000 people in 2010. With the reduction in parking the capacity will be closer to 14,500.

With a 25 percent increase in attendance, Fourth of July will still be the only day when the parking lots reach capacity, Sustainable’s consultants said. With a 50 percent increase, capacity will be reached four days a year and with 75 percent it would be five days a year. Sustainable plans to provide offsite parking with shuttles and maybe valet parking on site to handle the cars.

Overall, Sustainable’s goal is to increase attendance while spreading it out across the year to minimize peak days.

The parking study is available at

Click here for the latest on the Playland review, namely the dispute between Rye and the county over who has authority to approve Sustainable’s plans.


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  1. Added to financial mismanagement resulting in a lower credit rating for Westchester from Moody’s is the proposal to give an unknown contractor with no experience a 10 yr? Contract to run unprofitable Playland and have Westchester taxpayers continue to subsidize the only amusement park left in the U.S. still owned by a municipality. This dilemma shows that the contractor doesn’t know what he is doing and the situation could create a real traffic mess for Rye resident taxpayers. This agreement to have a hand picked contractor with no experience to run Playland creates a high potential for corruption, kickbacks and campaign donations from vendors to elected officials. Let’s not forget that many of the patrons are not residents and that thousands of free tickets are distributed to political clubhouse cronies every spring which contributes to the losses every year.

  2. Tell the Westchester County Board of Legislators you DON’T want to see Playland destroyed for a for-profit, pay to play, field house only a few can afford/schedule to use. That’s just not fair.

    Rye Playland cannot thrive without parking and people who enjoy the amusements have just as much right to a county park. County Parks aren’t for private development of BIG BOX indoor buildings ~ especially on our fragile shoreline.

    Whether your interest is environmental, or you’re offended by the social injustice of this plan, or both, please let Lohud know what you think about these greedy developers( and YES, they are all developers, or expensive PR men for developers, not humble “volunteers” )

    Building FOR PROFIT big ugly buildings in public parkland is wrong. It goes against 200 years of New York Public Trust Doctrine. Just because you can afford to hire pricey lawyers to dig for loopholes which defeat the spirit and intent of our laws on park land, doesn’t mean you should.

    It’s unethical, immoral and NOT FAIR. Westchester residents already attending Playland need summer recreation — and a swimming pool — more than we NEED NEED NEED even more.

    Let’s thank God we have so much already and do the right thing. Pushing aside poor people so we have “more places to play” is obscene. Let’s be better than that, Westchester.

    Sustainable Playland has only given the Journal News the point of view of the developers who seek to build a for profit expensive indoor field house in the middle of Playland Amusement Park’s parking lot.

    Here is information from the people who don’t want a public park handed over to private developers, and there are many more of us. It’s important that Westchester knows this. Most people in Rye don’t want to annex a public park for another pricey playground for our kids.

    There is now an online petition to protest the proposed 82,000 sq. foot indoor sports facility Sustainable Playland wants to build in the Playland parking lot.

    You can view/sign it here:

    For more information you can visit this site:

    In addition you can join the Save Rye Playland group on facebook.

  3. Talk about Half Baked: Sustainable Playland Inc (what a bogus name BTW) does not even have the right temperature on the oven control
    They have NO qualifications to run and amusement park and a County facility with NO experience, no documentation credentials, and no right to take over a County facility owned by ALL County taxpayers.