Legoland – Not In My Backyard?
We've seen projects in our area that people complain about. So it's no surprise that some residents of Goshen, NY are protesting the building of a new Legoland Resort in their backyard. And they've got some big names in the fight.
Retired Port Authority police Officer John McLoughlin was recognized as a hero on 9/11 and was portrayed by Nicolas Cage in Oliver Stone's 2006 film about that tragic day. After he retired, he moved to the Goshen area. According to CBS New York, McLoughlin has been very outspoken about his objections.
"It’s David against Goliath here,” he said. “I feel we’re in a position – it’s either fight or flight." (CBS New York)
They are planning lawsuits to slow down the progress of the project. Merlin Entertainment plans to break ground on the Legoland Resort in March, and hopes to open in 2019. Meanwhile, they have opened a Welcome Center in the Village of Goshen to try to show the community that they plan to be a responsible neighbor. The Times Herald-Record reports that they opened the center on Saturday, December 3. Legoland's head of community and project relations, Phil Royle, had this to say:
"We're here because we want to be completely visible and transparent and we want people to have access to us," said Royle on Saturday, as he directed what Legoland called a "soft opening." (Times Herald-Record Online)
They will be holding a rally of supporters on Monday, December 12, to show that they really have addressed the concerns of the protestors. In addition, they will present another environmental review during a public hearing on December 15.
So how do you feel about the debate? It's easy for us to say it would be great to have that amusement park just a few hours away, but what if they wanted to put it in Rome or Whitesboro? Would we be screaming "Not in my backyard!"? Or would we welcome the progress?