Six Flags New England coaster building construction shut down by zoning board

Posted Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:07 AM | Contributed by Jason Hammond

Building Inspector Dominic Urbinati issued a stop work order today on Six Flags New England's $7 million "Dark Knight" indoor roller coaster project. Without the proper construction documents, Urbinati said there was no way he can ensure the project meets state building codes, including safety requirements for fire-suppression systems and easily accessible exits. "The bottom line is they don't have a building permit," Zoning Board of Appeals member Gary E. Suffriti said.

Read more from The Republican.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:41 AM
Ouch. On one hand it's odd that the park didn't follow protocol, but you can't blame the building inspector being concerned about it being a fire hazard either, esp after the nightclub blaze in Rhode Island not so long ago.

Is the Dark Knight coaster and building the same basic ride and building that is going in to the other parks? If so, then that may bode well for SFNE to be able to say, we're putting this ride in other parks that have followed their local/state protocol.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 11:40 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar I believe the rides are the same. But approved in one state does not mean the same in another state. There are national codes, but each state can have their own as well. And the state codes can be more stringent. For that matter, some local jurisdictions can ordinances in place that you would need to adhere to as well.*** This post was edited by Jason Hammond 2/21/2008 11:42:18 AM ***
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 11:46 AM
Well they can always move the ride to another park if they can't get the building permits.

The darn ride only cost $7 million? They could've afforded one more unit but no...SFI just wants to be as stingy as possible with the cap ex budget.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 12:34 PM
Someone from the city has some explaining to do. The Zoning Board held up the permit process from November until February BECAUSE of the whole fire exit thing, and they gave their approval on the 11th because they said Six Flags satisfied state fire codes. Heck, Six Flags said then they were starting construction and it took this guy over a week to figure out the building was going up?
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:21 PM
Jeff's avatar Zoning variances aren't the same as building permits. You don't build without a permit. Which part of that is a mystery?
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 1:29 PM
I get the feeling some construction forman will be fired over this.

Chuck

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 2:23 PM
"Building permit! Shoot, I KNEW I forgot to do something this morning. Yep, there it is on my list: pick up dry cleaning, get building permit, deposit check at the bank..."
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 3:50 PM
No kickback, no build ride. Kapeesh?
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:18 PM
Joker strikes back!
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:27 PM
I love the part about hundreds of people will be on the ride (unless I'm reading that wrong and he means in the building at the same time). There's no tricky math involved. 8 x 4=max capacity of 32 if all cars have four passengers a piece.

I do agree that memories of Rhode Island's "The Station" mishap where 100 people died at a Great White concert might be weighing on the minds of some of the people involved. We just passed the five-year anniversary a few days ago (wow, how time flies).

Anyway, BFSFA, the actual cost of the rides is being listed as 7.5 million dollars on RCDB. I thought I'd raise your blood pressure a little bit more. Come on, they're not going to move the ride at this late date. I'm sure all the paperwork will get worked out in time.

I don't know if you remember The Wildcat at Adventure Park USA near Frederick, MD, but that situation eventually got worked out without them tearing the structure down.

And I'm not sure where this part about Six Flags being stingy comes from. If they were really being stingy, they would have just erected a model sans theming aka Hersheypark and spent maybe $2-4 million dollars and that would've been that.

Come on guy, back off and go to KD when they open and ride Dominator. It's what you've always wanted, but somehow it's just not good enough.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 4:57 PM
Geez... The length some local juristictions will go through to prevent something from being built. I've heard of Prince George's County loosing applications for building permits. I wonder if that has ever happened at SFA?
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:40 PM
I am not sure that we should be blaming them for shutting down the construction. If theres no permits you can't build simple. It is bizarre that they don't have the building permits yet, perhaps they couldn't get those until the got the variance approval? I don't see why a park would start building without the permits even to try and make deadlines its something you just don't do in business.

The story reminds me of V2 at SFDK.....

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:41 PM
matt.'s avatar Yes, it is obvious that this is some sort of conspiracy to keep the ride from being built. Clearly nothing to do with law...or protocol. Or public safety. Or anything like that.

Maybe Batwing SFA paid the inspector off in hopes that the ride would get sent to Maryland.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:12 PM
Don't think for a minute the construction manager did this without the Park President's sign off , he would have NO reason to stick his neck out that far . Also since the President of this park is Shapiro's brother-in-law , don't think Shapiro wasn't oblivious either . These guys ordered these rides late and have been trying to compress the construction schedule with zero regard for the building permit process .
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:12 PM
They never build anything at SFA.. oh wait water rides.. They just pay-off Aquaman
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:21 PM
Building looked like it had been up for a couple of months? Either Dominic doesn't get out of his office much, or like Ensign Smith alluded, he didn't get his last payment. Agawam is not exactly a huge metropolis, you would have thought he, or anyone in the dept. would have noticed this, especially considering that it's facing the street.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:35 PM
^If memory serves me correctly (2004), I don't remember anything that spectacular being located across from the front entrance of the park.
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Friday, February 22, 2008 7:24 AM
Isn't this the same park that got the mayor to pass a law protecting six flags high parking cost.That mayor got booted for it.So would it be safe to assume the new mayor has a anti six flags bias ? I know that the park puts a lot of money in the local government's pocket.My point is most of the locals that voted for him have an anti park bias .

This might cause this ride not to be built.
Six Flags might say "Sorry folks we want to build an eight million dollar ride but the local government won't let us".
I am not saying they planned this but with the cost cutting
going on they could shelve this for a year.

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Friday, February 22, 2008 8:55 AM
matt.'s avatar Even if there was some sort of anti-SF sentiment in the mayor's office, a structure of this size would not have slipped by without a permit either way. Anti-SF attitudes could in theory lead to problems for the park regarding public policy or maybe even enforcement in some areas but not in regard to building codes.
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