To the Editor:
Last night was the last hearing for the Ridgefield Winter Club.
Now that the roller-coaster ride of hearings is over, where did it leave us? Where we started — because over three months of hearings didn’t change the most important thing: the RWC is a square peg trying to be forced into a round hole.
It doesn’t matter if you’re from the Ridgebury area, Rainbow Lake, Branchville, Mountainside, the southwest corner by Peaceable or any other part of town — the special permit criteria for non-residential uses in residential zones is meant to protect you and your quality of life. The Ridgefield Winter Club does not meet the Special Permit Criteria for a Suitable Location as it is not “in harmony with the district in which it is located” and for Appropriate Improvements as it is not “compatible with neighboring properties and their uses”.
That specific wording is pulled from our regulations. We all know that the houses surrounding 340 Peaceable Street do not have commercial restaurants and bars and bowling alleys and large parking lots and ice rinks with 40’ light poles.
There is a place for the RWC — it’s just not in a residential zone.
Our regulations clearly indicated it in March 2017 when a pre-application meeting took place and indicated it last night as well.
It’s been an expensive journey for the residents of Ridgefield — time away from our families, unnecessary stress and over $50,000.
Let’s make sure no one has to get on this ride again.