Westchester County Association Reacts To Playland Setbacks

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Marissa Brett recently voiced her and the Westchester County Association's displeasure at the news of setbacks in redeveloping Rye Playland.
Marissa Brett recently voiced her and the Westchester County Association's displeasure at the news of setbacks in redeveloping Rye Playland. Photo Credit: Contributed

This story has been updated.

RYE, N.Y. -- Westchester County Association President Marissa Brett recently released a statement regarding the setbacks surrounding the redevelopment of Rye Playland

Below is Brett's complete statement on behalf of the WCA:

“We are deeply disappointed that after three years of discussions and planning, Westchester County and Sustainable Playland Inc. have abandoned their agreement to redevelop Rye Playland. While no one party is to be blamed for letting the process flounder, certainly the process is at fault.

“Whether one agrees or not with Sustainable Playland’s proposed plans, it is apparent that the group invested considerable thought, time, effort and money to rescue and resuscitate a money-losing county venture. Unfortunately, they had to work with multiple government entities, some with conflicting visions for the property, in developing their plans. In the end, Sustainable Playland ran out of patience and money for this project.

“Our concern is that this decision may jeopardize future projects between the private sector and the county. We have supported the use of public-private partnerships to improve our county’s infrastructure and to monetize government assets. We need to encourage, and not discourage, more projects between the public and private sectors, such as North 60 at Grasslands in Valhalla, where Fareri Associates has a plan to develop 60 acres of county property for use by biotech companies, a key growth area for Westchester.

“Westchester needs a clear road map for developers to follow so there is less risk that important projects lose momentum and die. The Westchester County Association is committed to working with business and government to streamline the process, and we already are meeting with municipal leaders and sharing ideas. It is essential to upgrade our approach to development, and prevent others from spending millions of dollars that lead to nowhere.”

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Comments (5)

Tom Murphy's comments are right on. Astorino should not be handing a public park to private developers. One cannot help but think SPI is positioning themselves to be "in the right place at the right time". With an exclusive field house proposed for the middle of the Playland parking lot and a group such as SPI that has no experience handling an amusement park running the show; one cannot help question whether SPI really wants Playland to successful. If Playland failed, SPI would be in line to reap the benefits of the waterfront land and most likely the development of expensive condos. Is it possible that SPI is really hoping for Playland's demise? Public parks are for everyone not just for the rich to develop to deepen their collective pockets.

The problem with Ms. Brett's phony indignation is that there was never any planning actually done. There were no answers to any substantive questions from SPI. This is the lamentation of an organization that is closely intertwined with the developers who are behind SPI, The 1% didn't get there way, for now Playland will remain an oasis for working families. But we must remain vigilant or SPI will resurrect another plan du jour.

Yes Tom, and make no mistake, this group that wanted to take over this public park is a bunch of deep pocketed DEVELOPERS. And they want that billions-dollar waterfront property. Cloaking their "development" plans in some altruistic sounding non-profit umbrella that would serve as the shell company for all those private for profit development ideas they had to "better" the park. Shame shame shame.

SPI didn't have the parking, or the money, or the requite industry skills - but "the process is at fault." She really shouldn't be issuing fiction like this as a new President.

The problem with "the process", Ted, is that SPI was allowed to breeze through it for so long without ever having to answer any hard questions or face anyone in the public that didn't agree with them. They just kept getting pushed ahead by CE Astorino while Thompson & Bender kept churning out slick PR/Marketing pablum and pretending that if they simply said it, it must be so. Once the public started questioning things and the BOL and City of Rye demanded that some actual review process was followed, SPI totally imploded. They never expected to have to stand up to any scrutiny. Big mistake. And we are well aware they are not out of the picture. So neither are we.