RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Residents of the Bell Fair and Doral Greens communities as well as neighbors in bordering Greenwich overwhelmingly spoke out against a controversial plan for a rink with four sheets of ice at Reckson Executive Park in Rye Brook at a public hearing Tuesday night.
Traffic and noise as well as the sheer enormity of the four-rink, 140,000-square-foot recreation center were the main issues of concern during the hearing.
“This arena is misconceived and certainly misplaced,” said Dora Greens resident Barbara Burke. “Rye Brook was established as a residential community. I don’t think an arena is very residential.”
The center would be built on the site of a 280,000-square-foot office building within a previously approved site plan for 1,052 parking spaces in the corporate park. The facility would include four rinks, locker rooms, space for a Zamboni, a heated mezzanine with bleacher seating for 1,230 and an open seating area for another 320.
Tournaments would be held eight weekends a year along with regular high school and college hockey games at the year-round rink. Another key focus would be teaching children and young adults how to skate and play hockey, said William Null, an attorney representing the applicant, Reckson LLP, which owns 1100 King St.
Mayor Joan Feinstein questioned the amount of seating and said more analysis needs to be done on the type of events held and their impact on the community. Reckson's traffic survey did not say how the roads would be affected during tournaments or other hockey games.
Rob Stryer, of Bell Fair, said he had been a fan of the project until he realized the size and scope of the arena. Residents should visit similar rinks during games to see the amount of traffic that builds during events, he said.
Traffic would cause public safety concerns for residents in the area with no nearby firehouse, said Allen Williams, a resident of bordering Greenwich. “We can’t afford even a 30-second delay, particularly when a life may be in jeopardy,” he said.
The Rye Brook Village Board will continue the public hearing Feb. 12 at Rye Brook Village Hall, 938 King St., Rye Brook.