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Info Session on Sustainable Playland Plan to Be Held Wednesday in Rye

A community forum will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 in the Rye Free Reading Room on the Sustainable Playland Inc. Improvement Plan, which is before the County Board of Legislators.

According to the library notice, the presentation will focus on the field zone, “an important component of the SPI plan to reinvigorate and restore the park.”

“Representatives of Playland Sports will be on hand to outline their concept for an exciting new year-round, state-of-the-art sports facility that will provide opportunities for a range of athletic activities for all ages,” the library notice says.

An overview of the plan can be found here.

According to an emailed notice from City of Rye Mayor Douglas French’s office, the City will “continue to represent its rights and concerns with respect to the planning process.”

“The plan seeks to balance the amusement park and seasonal uses with new amenities, venues, and programs,” French said in the notice. “Improvements can begin in 2014 with significant upgrades to the Amusement Zone, and Kiddyland specifically.”

The executive summary of the plan says that the Year One Development Program includes the re-development of the northerly portion of the existing Playland parking field into a 95,000-square-foot Field House “plus two outdoor artificial turf sports fields.”

“The overall Playland Improvement Plan, submitted previously, designates this area as the Field Zone. Year one improvements include restoration of two towers and a portion of the Colonnade in the Amusement Zone and the removal of the miniature golf attraction from the Fountain Plaza Zone. Since the restoration of existing structures would typically qualify as a Type II action and since the  area of the miniature golf attraction, which is approximately 10,000 squarefeet, would merely be converted back to a plaza state with no other changes that could be assessed, this Supporting Documentation Report focuses only on the Field Zone improvements.”

Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 06:43 AM
As of Sunday morning, SPI is NOT agreeing to do this in a location from which it can be live streamed online or live broadcast over the local gov. tv channel. They were given a choice for venue, between the Library location or the City Council chambers. They chose the LIBRARY venue, I'm sure knowing full-well that RyeTV does not have the technical ability to broadcast live from that location. Just a few feet across the grass at City Hall, the City Council Chambers were available. From that location it could have been broadcast live and streamed online while it was going on. SPI didn't want that. They way they have it set up now, if you don't attend in person, the only version of this you will see will be a taped and "EDITED" version some point later in the week. Why oh why would SPI choose that option, I wonder?
Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 06:45 AM
Seems to me you couldn't possibly ask for better free marketing than a community-wide live broadcast with a live interment web stream going at the same time. People pay tons of money for opportunities like that. If you had a fabulous product or idea that you wanted to sell and were confident that people were going to love it, why on Earth would you turn up a chance like that? No better way to get the "information" out there to the community. Of course, then the version that would later be saved for viewing at later dates wouldn't be "edited".
Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 06:53 AM
Sent to me on Dec. 6th, 2013 by the City Manager's office after I queried as to having the venue for the presentation moved a few yards to the building next door instead:
Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 06:53 AM
Hi Deirdre, The City reached out to Sustainable Playland in November and requested that they move the meeting to an alternate date since it coincided with a City Council Meeting. Council Chambers was offered as a venue in addition to the Rye Free Reading Room. SPI was accommodating in moving the meeting to December 11th but preferred to hold the meeting at the RFRR and made their own arrangements. For those who cannot attend the meeting, it will be available by Friday, December 13th on the Public Channel CV 76 or Verizon 33 and on the RTV website at www.ryetv.org. Please let me know if I can help with anything else. Thank you, Eleanor Militana City Manager's Office City of Rye
Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 06:56 AM
And why is Mayor Doug French explaining the plan in his email as if he is on the SPI Marketing team?
Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 06:57 AM
Oh, that's right, because he was in on the ground floor of developing it along with Catherine Parker and Laura Brett.
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 08, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Deirdre - in case you haven't noticed you are talking to yourself! I think this whole think is getting to you. I'll keep in touch from St Barths
tedc December 08, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Ok Smelly – so here finally is Rye’s so called “strong letter” to the county finally posted on the City of Rye web site----“Dear Honorable Jenkins and Members of the Board of Legislators: On Wednesday October 23, 2013, a number of Rye residents attended a City Council meeting to express concerns regarding the potential development of a 95,000 square foot field house, artificial turf fields and other segments identified in the Play land Improvement Plan (the "PIP"). Residents stated concerns regarding the proposed size and scale of the facility, traffic, compromised views, flood zone impacts, parking implications, adverse impact on area property values, noise and lighting impacts among other environmental concerns.---The City is aware of a proposed resolution declaring the Board of Legislators (the "BOL") as the lead agency and adopting a negative declaration under the State Environmental Review Act ("SEQRA"). Both actions are premature at this time.---The proposed resolution indicates that the BOL has reviewed the environmental assessment form ("EAF") with the supporting documentation and finds that the "Material Improvements" associated with building a 95,000 square foot field house do not result in any significant environmental impacts. Although the City has not had the opportunity yet to review the detailed plans and studies, we have conducted a preliminary review. The City believes that potential adverse impacts may exist and that a more thorough review under SEQRA is required. Furthermore, the impact analysis should be more comprehensive and address all of the potential impacts associated with the PIP in order to avoid a potential segmented environmental review.---The EAF indicates that the County is the only agency that has approval authority over the "Material Improvements" set forth in the PIP. The City does not concur with this position and believes that it is an involved agency under SEQRA. The PIP and related "Material Improvements" should be considered and reviewed in accordance with the City's Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (the "LWRP"), the City's Master Plan, and the City's Code, including but not limited to, zoning, floodplain management, stormwater management, wetlands and site plan regulations. This is not unprecedented. In the past, County projects in Rye including improvements to Edith Reed Sanctuary and the Marshlands have been subject to the City's local land use review process.---The City of Rye continues to support responsible uses of Playland and has had a cooperative involvement with Westchester County and Sustainable Playland representatives regarding potential improvement plans. The City expects to maintain a spirit of coordinated and cooperative review but needs to be provided with information so that it can assess the potential impacts of the full development of Playland on the community and abutting residential neighborhoods. It is respectfully requested that the City of Rye be provided with all plans, supporting information and environmental analysis before establishing a lead agency or making a determination of environmental significance. Sincerely, Kristen K. Wilson City of Rye Corporation Counsel.”
tedc December 08, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Anyone who’s seen the multi-decade history of the County v City of Rye skirmishes over Playland laid bare in the Rye Chronicle should review this letter writing project as the standard Rye lawyer PR placebo that it is. The County may try making nice for a while, may agree to “listen,” but it really doesn’t have to. Because as I wrote above, the county always wins, Rye always loses. To prevent another total rout here Rye citizens better get behind Deirdre and Steve, who’ve done a solid job of spot lighting the SPI evolutionary plan weaknesses in front of the Democratic majority of the county board of legislators. The legislators have explored the total superficiality of the SPI submissions and related omissions and have found them wanting. Rye needs friends in that legislature and no one (especially Ms. Parker whose high bench mob made sure Deirdre got the Full Schubert Treatment) is more trusted by them to bring the facts than Deirdre and Steve. For those of you thinking I’m a flat-earther about improving Playland you’re misguided. A successful ride operator could make the place fantastic. And the parking lot would need to expand not contract. But old political habits and patterns die hard, and cajole then backstab, bait then switch is just pure Kevin Plunkett v Rye tradecraft. Rye, from Schubert’s Pond to Hen Island to the Rye Golf Club, is still wide open for his plunder. Note the legislature is still waiting for the independent audit of park operations? Right. Astorino needed to preserve his election talking point that the park loses $3M-$5M year in and out. Right. So where for 4 years of the Astorino Administration has been the Astorino promised independent audit? Here’s a newsflash – the park doesn’t lose money, it’s made to lose money through expense allocations. And the audit firms couldn’t help but disclose that. That reality would not support the SPI story – and without “the crisis” there would be few public asset spoils to divvy out. The Mooney/Plunkett listening tour coming to town next week should be viewed for what it is. And the great public gem that is Playland could be almost within their grasp.------ http://www.lausdeo10580.com/lausdeo10580/2013/04/rye-city-mgr-deputy-county-exec-kevin-plunkett-vetted-agency-that-stole-hundreds-of-thousands-of-dol.html
tedc December 08, 2013 at 04:13 PM
AND, SO MUCH FOR FEMA.-------Referring to Rye’s “strong letter” above - based on my weekend newspaper research at Rye Library so far, Rye has similarly asserted it’s “rights under law” to tax or force substantial operating changes at Playland under various guises and theories for several decades now. Entire Rye City election campaigns revolve around the premise of having Playland pay Rye its “fair share” for services and distractions rendered. Each approach employed initially sounds like it has real merit. Each approach then dies a quiet expensive death in some courtroom somewhere. Unless I’m mistaken, history shows us that despite much trying and legal spending, Rye has virtually no legally enforceable “rights” when it comes to Playland. Period.----But perhaps the feds can help (for once). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has maps of Playland and the parking lot that you can find on their web site. They put forth an alphabet soup of flood zone definitions and regulations governing construction requirements and prohibitions. Playland parking lot sits in a “Special Flood Hazard Area- High Risk” known as a zone AE with an elevation of 12 demarked on the FEMA map. In his election speechmaking in the video below, Mr. Jovanovich claims many things as ‘facts’ (so beware) and among them is that the Playland parking lot currently has a finished surface elevation of 7 feet (time code 2:30 – 4:30). Mr J. then goes on to claim various elevation requirements to potentially construct the equivalent of a Home Depot in such a high risk area. I’m not sure how his calculations relate to the FEMA standards but it is safe to say that the secretive SPI planners likely have aims 1) to brush off Rye zoning using the legal standing they have always used so successfully and 2) have some exemption or workaround in mind for the Femaites. UPDATE! AND HERE IT IS – RIGHT OFF THE FRONT PAGE OF RYE’S POLITICAL CLASS HYMNAL, THE RYE RECORD (curiously owned by the same Mr. J’s wife) “Under post-Sandy FEMA regulations, all residential buildings must be raised above the flood plain, but not commercial properties. “We will design the field house to be water tight,” said Norm Gill of Pinnacle Indoor Sports, an operating partner of Playland Sports.---- So after distracting Rye citizens long enough to get reelected, Mr. Astorino and his fellow privateer travelers in profit succeeded in keeping the flooding issue “solution” in a black box until it’s too late to address. And that was by both design, and historical precedence.-----Here’s Mr. J’s assertion again in case you missed it: “I don’t see how you can build a field house in a flood plain. Period.”----Jovanovich Playland Presser - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT83ObNmzso#t=427
Deirdre Curran December 08, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Oh boy. TedC, I'm going to need to sit down with a glass of wine to read through everything you've put up -and after the day I've had I can promise it will be a *big* glass of wine, but I'll do it! Smelly, you are 1000% correct. I was indeed blubbering this morning, I apologize. That was pre-coffee and my fingers were ahead of my thought process. And you are 1000% correct x 10 that this whole thing is getting to me. The *stupidity* of the whole thing is indeed getting to me, so no argument there. I'm not sure if you're just teasing us about St. Bart's, but after walking dogs all weekend and today/this evening in the cold icky weather, I can tell you if you really *are* going, I'd be jealous if I were the jealous type, but since I never begrudge anyone else good fortune, I sincerely hope you have a great stay there and enjoy lots of warm relaxing sunshine. Please send us pics as we watch the snow and sleet come down.
RyeDad December 09, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Deirdre, Here's what I believe would be the edited version of tedc's post: Jovanovich is a jerk off who has done more to damage Rye, our infrastructure and our employee's morale than anyone else in our history. ====================================== Hopefully in 3 weeks Jovanovich and his sister will just go away and never be heard from again. ====================================== It must be very comforting to Jovanovich knowing that the next time he has a serious medical issue the Rye cops will be the ones coming to his house ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the way at the end of Milton Road. I wonder how fast those old cop cars can go in reverse with the emergency brake on. ====================================== Maybe even one day the Rye Board of No Ethics can raise a flag in honor of Jowannasniffmypanties, their greatest contributor. The flags could be "erect"ed at half "staff" just for him.
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 09, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Alas Deirdre, I really will be hanging with Mick and Keith down in St. Barths soaking up the sun. But I wish you the best of luck at the meeting on Wed. Please be nice to Jim A.
Deirdre Curran December 09, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I am soooo jealous. I love KEEEF!!! I'm always nice to people until they give me a really really good reason not to be. ;-) Don't forget the sunblock Smelly.
tedc December 10, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Great News. County Legislators refuse to taste proffered SPI "revenue" poison peanut for 2014 budget just passed. Stayin Alive!
Deirdre Curran December 10, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Yes TedC, this was very good news today. Hoping we hear more good news by end of next week. Stay tuned. Last week there was the newspaper article (LoHud, I think) mentioning that while working on the budget the BOL was tying $2.5 million from SPI into the 2014 County Budget to go towards childcare. I pretty much went ballistic on that one, although you might have missed it (emails to Legislators) TODAY, after a long day yesterday that dragged on through last night and well into the wee hours of today and lots of hard work by the Legislators, the BOL passed the 2014 budget. In THIS press release from the BOL, there is no more mention of $2.5 million coming from SPI for child care...or any mention of SPI at all. Or PLAYLAND. (although they seem to have found money for the child care program, which is a good thing, just not from Playland's coffers). So...if the BOL has their last meeting of 2013 on Dec. 16th...gotta wonder what news of Playland may be coming out over the next week.
Deirdre Curran December 10, 2013 at 07:40 PM
http://westchesterlegislators.com/media-center/2386-westchester-legislators-include-expanded-child-care-and-safety-net-funding-in-fy-2014-budget.html
Michael Coutermarsh December 11, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I question there per car Ratio, All the parks I know figure in 4 not 5.63 gusts. The numbers provided would have attendance at 6,750 not 5,083 guests. 5,083/1199 cars as stated is 4.24 per car not 5.63 guests. What's disturbing to me is They are justifying the number by including overflow, grassed areas and employee parking as guests parking areas Not the actual parking lot. subtract out the grass, the employee parking and the entrance grassed area, and the Field houses 766 parking area is nearly 1/3rd to half the existing lot. This may sound OK off the current low attendance but doesn't account for increase once the Park is rehabbed and better advertised or any other draws like the Children's Museum.
Deirdre Curran December 12, 2013 at 12:11 AM
I CAN'T WAIT to post a link to the video of this hot mess tonight. Smelly, smelly smelly what you missed. Oy.
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 12, 2013 at 08:40 PM
I can't wait to see the link. Its beautiful down here but I'm missing the action already with SPI.
Deirdre Curran December 12, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Here you go Smelly. I especially like minutes 1:23:52 & 1:31:35. Although there are many highlights. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju6vWyx3A2I&feature=youtu.be
Deirdre Curran December 12, 2013 at 08:49 PM
The audio on this one doesn't capture the full level of hub bub and snickering that was actually going on in the audience at times when questions were being non-answered in an obtuse manner.
Deirdre Curran December 12, 2013 at 08:50 PM
"I'm not gonna let you speak!" at 1:30:25 was good too.
dita von struedel van trappyodel December 12, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Thanks Deidre. Were you nice to Jimmy A?
Deirdre Curran December 12, 2013 at 11:18 PM
It was a good crowd. Anyone could get lost in it. I focused on looking for folks I *wanted* to see. ;-)
Deirdre Curran December 13, 2013 at 08:44 AM
Check out this link (you have to copy and paste it, thanks Patch) to Patch posting detailing SPI's non-answer to a question from the audience that they had already clearly answered for the Gov. Ops Committee back in October. http://rye.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/spi-says-we-cant-answer-that-when-in-fact-they-can-and-already-have

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