The sometimes-controversial plan to open a Legoland in the town of Goshen has crept closer to reality with the town’s approval of critical changes to its zoning laws.
On September 14, the Town Board approved local laws that will allow “commercial entertainment” on the 500-acre-plus parcel off Route 17 in Orange County. Other approvals that evening included a developer’s agreement and sale of town-owned properties to Merlin Entertainment, the developer of Legoland.
The project bounces back to the town’s Planning Board, which has six months to grant permits for site plans, land clearing, and other processes. If those six months lapse, the newly approved local laws would expire, and the Legoland plan would dissolve.
That is the hope of Legoland’s opponents, who have protested the project from its proposal stages. They continued their opposition at the Sept. 14 meeting, which included two hours of debate both for and against the project.
The five-member Town Board’s decision was not unanimous: Councilman Kenneth Newbold was the sole “no” vote on the local laws, reportedly saying Legoland does not align with Goshen’s history of being a rural community. But other board members said they’d researched Legoland properties in Florida and California, and found them favorable to their respective communities.
Phil Royle, Legoland New York’s head of project & community relations, said, “We are thrilled to be moving forward with the next steps for the Legoland New York project. If successful, we hope that Legoland New York will become a valued and trusted neighbor to people who live and work here and who own a business here in the future. We are committed to making a long-lasting, positive difference in Goshen and surrounding communities.”