Reckson LLC is working with QMC Group to build a at 1100 King Street in Rye Brook, directly across the street from Greenwich.
While the village planning board approved the project with a four to two vote on Jan. 3, moving it on to the village Board of Trustees, Mayor Joan Feinstein said there are still “many open issues,” at the board meeting on Jan. 8.
During the meeting, William S. Null of the law firm Cuddy & Feder, LLP, a representative of Reckson, gave a brief overview of several steps they have taken to address some of the planning Board’s questions and concerns expressed by Greenwich Town and Rye City officials. At the end of the presentation and public comment, the board voted to hold a public hearing on the proposal on Jan. 22. (Read letters from Rye City and Greenwich Town in the PDF attached to this article).
Reckson expects to have answers to the local officials' concerns, additional draining and other studies, computer simulations and information from meetings with Doral Greens and Bellefaire by the Jan. 22 hearing, Null said.
He emphasized that there will be a no idling rule, they expect shuttle buses not regular sized school buses to frequent the facility and there will be a 15-minute lag time between play and practices. The ice is pure water and has no additives, Null added.
When asked about Greenwich’s concerns, Null said one was if storm water run off would go into the Byram River, which will not happen, he said.
The City of Rye was concerned about the impacts the facility could have on the Blind Brook and its watershed.
“Both of our communities have struggled with the impact of flooding to homes, businesses and community facilities along Blind Brook,” Rye City Manager Scott Pickup wrote in a letter to the Board of Trustees. Pickup stated the proposal will increase the impervious area in the watershed and asked the board to consider the potential impacts the project may have on flood elevations.
Null said there would be less impervious surface with the new facility than there would have been with a previously approved 280,000 square foot office building that was never built. He said drainage systems large enough to handle the runoff from the increased impervious surfaces were already in place.
Greenwich officials wrote that “the traffic projections and relevant components that go into such an analysis based on insufficient data and research to provide a reasonable projection of the traffic impact of this proposed project.” They asked for further traffic studies that research historical data and estimate background traffic that would exist following further economic recovery. They also asked for Reckson to conduct more studies into similar ice rinks in the country, which Null said they were working on.
During the public comment session, four people spoke, including Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei, who reiterated the town’s concerns and interest in the proposal. New York State Senator George Latimer was also present, but did not speak. The president of the Darol Green Homeowner’s Association asked about chemicals used in the building cooling system and noted Reckson has been a good neighbor for many years. Bob Richardson, of the Greenwich King-Merritt Association asked the Mayor to push back the public hearing so that the public would have time to review new information from Reckson.
The Mayor said she felt it is important that all have time to review additional information, but that opening the public hearing on Jan. 22 will help bring forward any additional concerns that may need to be considered. The public hearing will remain open until all questions and concerns have been resolved, Feinstein said.
The public can speak out about the proposed four-rink ice facility at 1100 King Street at the public hearing scheduled for Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Rye Brook village hall.