GOSHEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Legoland is one step closer to coming to Orange County.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, it’s been a rocky road to the big announcement, and not everyone in Goshen is happy about it.
The $500-million amusement park and hotel are scheduled to be built on 500 acres right off Route 17 near exit 125.
Along with Lego characters and structures, the announcement came with local officials and families excited about the park.
“We’re ecstatic to have Legoland to come here to Goshen, it’s going to help our community, it’s going to bring funds into our community, it’s going to bring jobs, it’s one of the greatest things that could happen here,” Frank Zellner said.
It’s been a long process. Back in 2015, Legoland was looking to build in Haverstraw and then Suffern, but things fell through so now it’s Goshen.
The town and village have a population of about 14,000 people and some residents are not looking forward to Legoland.
“Goshen has a lot of history here, and feeling like this sort of plastic theme park may not be the best fit in general,” Linda Zema-Cagnetto said.
“I think it’s good for the tax base, to stimulate finances, but I’m very concerned about traffic on 17 and the interior roads,” Debra Daleo said.
There’s even a local opposition group that started a petition against Legoland coming to Goshen, but after more than a year of public meetings, zoning changes, and land upgrades, Legoland has been granted a conditional approval of its site plan by the Town of Goshen planning board allowing it to move forward with building.
The head of Merlin Entertainment which owns Legoland said the company continues to address public concerns.
“We’ve also tried to reach out and talk to the people who have concerns to try and alleviate those concerns,” CEO Nick Varney said, “I’ve made quite a lot of amendments to the plan in order to accommodate some of those such as traffic and other things.”
Varney said Legoland anticipates generating $283-million in taxes for Orange County over 30 years, more than 1,000 jobs at the park and 800 for construction.
They expect to break ground in the next few months.