Peaceable Neighbors Alliance files to stop ‘private clubs’ in residential areas
Petitions and protest buttons don’t change zoning regulations.
Residents in the area of Peaceable Street and Old South Salem Road proved they know that Wednesday, June 28, when they filed an application to amend Section 3.2.C.3 of the Ridgefield Zoning Regulations to delete “private clubs” as permitted uses by special permit in residentially-zoned land.
The goal of the amendment application, which was signed by 125 neighbors who make up the newly-formed Peaceable Neighbors Alliance (PNA), is to stop plans for a private winter club on the former Peaceable Farms property located at 340 Peaceable Street.
Jeffrey Hansen, who filed the application with his wife Jennifer, told The Press that the PNA intends “to convince our town Planning and Zoning Board to support our town’s ‘Plan of Conservation and Development’ and amend regulations to preserve Ridgefield’s residential neighborhoods.
“Ridgefield’s current criteria for what can be considered a ‘private club’ under the special permit regulations is entirely undefined, increasing the risk of large commercial enterprises masquerading as ‘private clubs,’” Hansen said.
Attorney Bob Jewell, who represents applicant Bud Brown, doesn’t think the application will stick.
“I haven’t read the application, but I’d be surprised if the [zoning] commission were short sighted enough to approve such an application,” he said.
“Private clubs have been permitted in Ridgefield since the beginning of zoning," Jewell told The Press Wednesday. "And, since there are many of them in town, it seems to be an ill considered application.”
The proposed winter club, which has no formal application on file at the town's planning office, proposes to offer 275 memberships, parking for 102 cars, an outdoor ice rink, and a clubhouse with a restaurant and bar on the former Pinchbeck property (most recently known as Peaceable Farms).
To learn more about the alliance, visit peaceableneighbors.com
Editor's note: This story was completed after print time yesterday and will not appear in the paper until next Thursday, July 6. To read more about this story, pick up a copy of next Thursday’s Ridgefield Press.