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January 10, 2019 - 8:25pm

'Swing' vote: County planners recommend approval of SkyScreamer at Darien Lake

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After watching the Genesee County Planning Board quickly place its stamp of approval on a project that would result in the tallest thrill ride in New York coming to Six Flags Darien Lake, the theme park general manager couldn’t hold back his enthusiasm.

“The sheer magnitude of the ride – which will be the highest structure in the state – will make it the new signature ride and beacon of the Six Flags brand,” said Chris Thorpe, who attended the meeting tonight at Genesee County Building 2 on West Main Street Road. He was accompanied by Edward McCarthy, Darien Lake's maintenance & construction director.

County planners reviewed and saw no problem with the site plan that calls for the new Six Flags SkyScreamer to replace the Twister. The measure now goes before the Town of Darien Planning Board for final consideration.

If all goes according to plan, the new ride will be ready by opening day of the 2019 season at the park, which has changed its name to Six Flags Darien Lake in an effort to promote the well-known corporate brand, Thorpe said.

The SkyScreamer is a 242-foot tall (24 stories) swing ride that holds 32 riders, sitting two across in 16 open-air swings, and spins round and round a 98-foot circle at 35 miles per hour. At night, the ride’s dazzling, synchronized light package will be in full view.

According to documents from the Genesee County Economic Development Center, Six Flags Darien Lake is investing around $2.1 million for the new ride and has been granted a sales tax exemption of approximately $166,000.

 In other action, the planning board recommended:

-- Approval of zoning text amendments for the entire Town of Pembroke to add the definition of service organizations, allow them by special use permit in the Agricultural-Residential District and add language allowing for the revocation of a special use permit.

The changes were prompted by a request from the American Legion, which is looking to purchase a parcel of land near the new Western New York National Cemetery in Indian Falls, said County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari.

-- Approval with modifications of an area variance request by Batavia Downs Gaming to install an off-premise 25-foot pole sign to assist motorists.

The modifications call for the applicant to erect a monument-type sign, which are permitted in a Residential-1 District, and to explore a directory-style sign at the specified intersection with other Park Road businesses in order to avoid similar requests in the future.

-- Approvals of the following:

            -- A sign permit for Koolatron to add two signs at its Commerce Drive location;

            -- A special use permit for Lynn Strzelecki of Bergen to operate a hair salon by appointment only at her home;

            -- A special use permit for William and Patricia Cultrara to install a ground-mounted solar array for use at their Galloway Road, Batavia residence;

            -- A special use permit for Renee Franclemont of Allegany Road, Pembroke, to convert a portion of a commercial building into a single-family home.

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