RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Plans to fast-track a proposal to build a recreation facility in Rye Brook with four ice rinks have come to a halt as the village Planning Board waits for answers from the applicant.
Reckson LLP, which owns Reckson Executive Park at 1100 King St., is hoping the facility can be open by Sept. 1 — in time for the start of next year’s hockey season.
The recreation 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.
Engineers for Reckson found there would be little visual impact from nearby Doral Greens and Belle Faire housing communities. However, this was not consistent with plans to grade the area and cut down trees and other vegetation, Village Planning Consultant Marilyn Timpone Mohamed said Thursday night at a meeting of the Rye Brook Planning Board.
Chairman Gary Zuckerman said that by the next meeting, “I would like to see a resolution of this area in the most environmentally sound way possible.”
The board agreed the location has ample parking, but the surrounding areas are still a concern without a completed traffic report. The report needs to include a study of all King Street intersections in the area during peak hours, board member Daniel Tartaglia said.
If the project is approved, QMC Group LLC of Stamford, Conn., would build and operate the facility. It would be completed in about eight months.
William Null, an attorney representing Reckson, had previously asked the Board of Trustees to fast-track the project’s approval process, citing a short timeframe. In addition to a vote by the Planning Board, the project will require a public hearing before a vote by village trustees.
Grading has already begun on the site, with the construction of stormwater ponds and the creation of slopes. Planning board member Domenic Accurso asked, “Are you creating steep slopes because you don’t want to truck soil on site?” The engineers for Reckson said yes.
Accurso was the only one who opposed moving the board’s regularly scheduled Jan. 10 meeting to Jan. 3 to accommodate the applicant. “Every application has a time element to it from a house to a commercial office building to affordable housing,” he said, adding that it was "bad precedent.”
The board would not take any shortcuts in ensuring good planning, Zuckerman said.
The application will return to the Planning Board on Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. at Rye Brook Village Hall, 938 King St., Rye Brook.
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