Firm proposing revamp of NY’s Playland amusement park bows out of review, cites uncertainty

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A group that has proposed revamping Playland, the county-owned, money-losing amusement park in New York’s suburbs, said Tuesday it is stepping away from the process, at least temporarily.

Sustainable Playland Inc., whose plan was selected by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in 2012, said it is suspending its participation in a county review of the project.

The group blamed unresolved issues including a demand by Rye that the city be given various rights of approval. It also cited a lawsuit filed by a member of the county Legislature claiming that Astorino did not have the right to choose Sustainable Playland without lawmakers’ approval.

In a letter to Astorino, Sustainable Playland said those issues were upsetting both the economics and the timing of its plans. It said they introduced uncertainty that made its continued participation “pointless.”

But it said it “remains committed to our vision and the goals of renewing and restoring the park.” And it expressed hope for a resolution.

In response, Astorino called on the chairman of the Legislature and the mayor of Rye to meet with him. He said Playland cannot be kept as it is because it is costing taxpayers $4 million each year.

The Sustainable Playland plan calls for removing some amusement rides and adding a small water park, a field house, ball fields and a “Great Lawn” and incorporating a children’s museum. The 86-year-old park would keep its wooden Dragon coaster, its old carousel and a boardwalk featured in the Tom Hanks movie “Big.”

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