RYE, N.Y. – While several Rye City Council members applauded the $34 million Playland Park renovations planned by Sustainable Playland, others echoed residents’ concerns about how the future project might affect the area. ? Construction is expected to begin as soon as contracts are signed in the next three months. All the City Council members commended the company for its plan, though some with reservations.? Council member Catherine Parker asked Sustainable Playland President Dhruv Narain if he planned to conduct a traffic analysis. “When I have heard people sort of, I would say, reserve a little enthusiasm, it’s really in the traffic impact this could bring,”? Parker said. Under the plan, main fixtures of the historic amusement park would remain, including the Dragon Coaster, boardwalk and Kiddyland. New elements include an Aqua Zone mini water park and beach attractions; outdoor ball fields and an outdoor field house; renovations to the indoor ice rink and a new outdoor ice rink for the winter; new restaurants; enhanced access to the Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary; an indoor multiuse facility for rental; and a Great Lawn, with views of the Long Island Sound. Parker also said residents have told her they were concerned about stadium lighting on the new fields as well as the location of the new field house, which would abut residential properties. “[Traffic and the field house] may present some changes to that area, which is normally quiet nine months out of the year,” said Parker. Council member Joseph Sack agreed that it was not just the view being affected, but also the structures’ proximity to the neighborhood. Said Narain, “We have spoken to the neighbors and we are going to be extremely cautious and careful about how quality of life is affected by this, whether it’s lighting or situating.” He said the field house would be placed directly behind the maintenance house, so it would not have any additional impact on anyone’s view. In terms of traffic, Narain said a professional firm would be hired to conduct a study.? “Right now you get tons of traffic three months of the year and basically nothing happens the rest of the year,” said Narain, adding he believed “traffic will be more distributed all throughout the year.” Several economic benefits will impact the city as a result of the project, including an increase in visitors to restaurants and shops in Rye as well as employment opportunities. During an announcement of the project earlier this month at Playland, Narain said thousands of jobs would be created for year-round operations at the new park; Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino added, “Hundreds of jobs will be created from the construction of the $34 million of capital improvements as well.”
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