Rye Brook village officials are accommodating a developer’s request to expedite the approval process for a new 140,000 square-foot ice rink facility, but the planning board still needs more information in order to move the application forward.
The planning board asked the developer for more information on traffic studies and steep slopes before it would make a recommendation to the Village Board of Truestees at its Dec. 13 meeting.
The new 140,000 square-foot ice facility would include four ice rinks, locker rooms, bleacher and heated mezzanine seating for more than 1,000 people and open seating for 320, and 244 of parking spaces. It is located to the east of SUNY Purchase College near two residential developments at 1100 King Street in Rye Brook.
Developer Reckson Operating Partnership, the current owner of the office park currently located at that address, hopes to have the facility built by Sept. 1, 2013, in time for next year’s hockey season.
Reckson has already submitted a traffic study that its engineers said concluded the ice rink would have little impact on the current traffic in that area.
“It is a 58 car difference,” said Mike Galante, a Reckson consultant.
But the planning board requested additional information on traffic during peak hours at more nearby King Street intersections.
The board also questioned the developers plan to develop steep slopes in order to avoid trucking materials off the site.
Board member Domenic Accurso pointedly asked the project’s engineers “are you creating steep slopes because you don’t want to truck dirt off site?”
After some hemming and hawing, the engineer said “yes.”
Board Chair Gary Zuckerman told the developer he wanted to see a resolution to this issue in the most environmentally sound way possible by the next meeting.
The Planning Board voted to move its Jan. 10 meeting to Jan. 3 in order to accommodate Reckson and in hopes they would have enough information from the developer in order to provide a recommendation to the Village board by their next meeting on Jan. 8. Accurso voted against this decision.
While officials in Rye Brook help Reckson move forward, officials in the City of Rye have expressed concern over the ice rink plans, calling it a “threat.” They are worried about the potential impact a new ice rink might have on the county-run Playland ice casino, located in the City of Rye. The Ice Casino was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
On Wednesday, Dec. 19, the city council is expected to adopt a resolution stating its support of the agreement between Sustainable Playland Inc., the non-profit organization chosen by County Executive Rob Astorino to manage Playland, and the County. Under the agreement, SPI will manage the ice rink as well as several fields and other changes to Playland. Read more on that here.
Do you think the Rye area could use a new ice rink? Tell us in the comments.