The Inland Wetlands Board voted 4-3 to approve a new drainage system, as well as related grading and paving work in the upland review area near 340 Peaceable Street, for the Ridgefield Winter Club Tuesday, Jan. 8. The approved wetlands application does not allow developer Bud Brown to begin building his private skating club. The outdoor skating rink, clubhouse, and parking lot that Brown envisioned on roughly six acres of former nursery land on Peaceable Street will require a special permit from the Planning and Zoning Commission \u2014 made up of the same nine members as the wetlands board. Cathy Savoca, who joined the board in December, abstained from voting Tuesday night. Fellow commissioner Bob Cascella has been recused from voting on the Ridgefield Winter Club (RWC) application since its first public hearing in September. \u00a0 Brown withdrew two special permit applications to run the private club in a residential zone on Dec. 12. He also withdrew an application for 40-foot lights that would have illuminated the skating rink. The withdrawn applications came after the Planning and Zoning Commission grilled the club\u2019s acoustic expert in late November for suggesting the RWC would need to be built before noise from the club could be calculated. Attorney Bob Jewell, who has represented Brown through eight public hearings last year, was seen congratulating his client as the decision was announced Jan. 8. \u201cWe\u2019re pleased with the outcome,\u201d Jewell told The Press shortly after the wetlands board meeting, which drew around 60 residents to the Board of Education conference room in the town hall annex. Board members Joe Dowdell, Mark Zeck, and Charles Robbins voted against the RWC\u2019s wetlands application. \u201cIn my 13 years on the commission, I don\u2019t think I\u2019ve ever seen a piece of property that has ever been scrutinized like this one,\u201d said Vice Chairman Joe Fossi. Out of five environmental experts, \u201cthere was only one who found that the conduct would have an unreasonable polluting effect there,\u201d he added. Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti said she thought the revised wetlands application responded to concerns raised by the town Conservation Commission, and from peer review for the town. Intervention The decision also denied a legal intervention filed by Jennifer and Jeff Hansen, neighbors of the proposed club who live on Old South Salem Road. The Hansens\u2019 intervention alleged that the proposed club would threaten vernal pools and a habitat for wood frogs. Dr. Michael Klemens, an expert hired by the Hansens, claimed an environmental study by the club was insufficient, because the study had not been conducted in the spring when the frog populations breed. \u201cI\u2019m just disappointed in the four members of the board who didn\u2019t seem to understand our argument that the vernal pools within 750 feet of the property need to be studied in the springtime,\u201d Jeff Hansen said after the Jan. 8 meeting. Zeck, who voted against the application, said he agreed with Dr. Klemen\u2019s assessment that the study had been done at the wrong time of year. \u201cI believe that his testimony is reliable,\u201d Zeck said. Robbins, who also voted against the application, said he was \u201cyet to be convinced\u201d the project would not result in pollution. \u201cDoing nothing is a reasonable and prudent alternative,\u201d he said. Jewell has said the club plans to submit a new special permit application to build the winter club. Board member John Katz, who voted in favor of the wetlands application, seemed to allude to that possibility. \u201cThe conclusion I arrived at has nothing to do with any application that may come before us for use of the property in the future. It is a divorced situation, and I\u2019m looking at this clearly through the lens of the standards we must meet both for the intervention, and as the Inland Wetlands Board,\u201d he said.