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Riverside carnival plan withdrawn following town denial

07/22/2016 9:00 AM |

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There will not be a carnival in Riverside this summer after all.

Ron Fisher, the president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, said the Southampton Town parks department denied the application for the event at Ludlam Avenue Park in Riverside.

Mr. Fisher said he has since withdrawn the application because there was not enough time to develop an adequate safety plan for pedestrians walking to the site from Ludlam Avenue, County Road 104 or Old Quogue Road.

Part of the plan was to have parking at Phillips Avenue Elementary School, he said.

Mr. Fisher said after he addressed the Town Board at its work session Thursday about other possible ways to get the permit, he decided to withdraw the application.

“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t pull it together,” he said in an interview afterward.

“The public safety issues regarding pedestrians walking to the carnival, we just can’t overcome that in such a short window,” he said.

The carnival was planned for Aug. 10.

Mr. Fisher had previously sought to locate a carnival at several other sites in the Flanders, Riverside area, all of which were rejected for one reason or another.

These included the Big Duck grounds, which doesn’t permit carnivals; the Truth Community Church property, which was too small, and the Phillips Avenue School; which doesn’t have any access sites big enough to fit the carnival rides.

Town Board members had expressed eagerness to find a way to allow the carnival somewhere.

“We don’t have a formal fairgrounds in the Flanders, Riverside community,’ Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “The Big Duck seems like a perfect spot.”

But Mary Wilson, who administers the town’s Community Preservation Fund program, said the Big Duck property was purchased with CPF funds and a carnival is not a permitted use there. The justifications for preserving the Big Duck site included wetlands protect and the fact that the site is on the National Register of Historic Places, she said.

Mr. Fisher said he plans to try again next year and didn’t put the blame on town officials.

He posted the following on Facebook:

“This is not a case of our area getting screwed, or not cared about. Every level of town government conspired to help us make this happen but it simply wasn’t meant to be. There isn’t enough time to fully vet an adequate safety plan for people walking to Ludlum Park with the increase of cars heading to the carnival. With all the location changes it just couldn’t be pulled together in time. I’m going to turn this disappointment into an even better event next year with adequate planning.”

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