Rye's Playland Lawsuit Dismissed by State Supreme Court

After a legal clash between the City of Rye and Westchester County, Playland is set to open in May under county operation.

The City of Rye’s court clash with Westchester County over their deal with Standard Amusements to revitalize and operate Playland Amusement Park was dismissed by the state Supreme Court Monday.

The lawsuit, filed by Rye mayor Joe Sack last August, challenged Westchester’s public-private partnership with Standard Amusements, stating the county “did not follow the law,” in declaring itself lead agency without Rye’s approval on the $60 million project to renovate Playland Park. 

State Supreme Court Justice Gretchen Walsh ruled in the county’s favor, dismissing Rye’s challenge to the county’s lead agency status under State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) mandates.

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“The legal challenge has been brought, the court has rejected it, and now it is time to refocus on the important work ahead – revitalizing the park and placing it on a firm financial foundation for the future,” Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino said in a statement.

The project included plans to spend $60 million, $30 million from Standard Amusements and $30 million from the county, to pay for new rides, renovate existing structures, and restore the shoreline with new restaurants. 

Progress was halted when Rye filed the Article 78 appeal against the county, asserting the city should have been given lead agency status on any renovations based on the location of Playland within its borders.

Related: A Playland for the Mind at Westchester Children’s Museum

“Playland Park has been in continuous operation, serving the interests of the citizens of Westchester County and other visitors since 1928 – i.e., 14 years before the City came into existence,” Judge Walsh wrote, pointing out that no state law gives Rye the authority to “permit, approve or regulate” the county’s use of Playland Park.

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Playland is set to open on May 13 for its 89th season under county operation. The court decision paves the way for Standard Amusements to take over operations for the 2018 season.



Featured Image Courtesy of June Marie/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License.

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