Land parcel on Turner Road in Ridgefield to be converted to open space

A proposed development for a 1.17-acre property at Turner Road and Barnum Place in Ridgefield has been

A proposed development for a 1.17-acre property at Turner Road and Barnum Place in Ridgefield has been “let go” after the parcel’s owner decided to donate the land towards the town’s open space.

Hearst Connecticut Media Group file photo

RIDGEFIELD — A “smart businessman” with “substantial means” has decided to “let go” of his vision for developing condominiums on a 1.17-acre property on Turner Road and Barnum Place and is instead donating the land towards the town’s open space, according to his realtor and adviser, Chip Neumann.

Neumann said his client — who declined to comment — wanted to build a cohort of about nine affordable housing condos on the parcel. The client, listed as Black Oaks, LLC, was initially given approval to do so from the town’s planning and zoning commission, but after receiving some “pushback” from Turner Hill residents, the plan was withdrawn “in the best interest of everyone,” Neumann said.

“He’s got many other ventures, much larger ventures — I just don’t think it fits with the neighborhood,” Neumann added, noting that he advised his client to “just let this one go and do something nice.”

Neumann also told his client that donating the land to the town would be “the right thing” to do.

During a special Board of Selectmen meeting on April 21, the board accepted the donation in a 5-0 vote contingent upon completing an environmental check with the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, according to First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

“We’re trying to get 30 percent of the town into open space so this has a very small impact, but a bigger impact relative to that specific area and adding to what we already have on the abutting property,” Marconi said.

Conservation Commission Chairman Jim Coyle agreed, saying, “one acre out of thousands doesn’t really make a dent” in Ridgefield’s open space goal.

“It would take another 100 acres to make a difference, but every bit counts,” he added. “(The) conservation commission is always happy to get land donated.”