Selectmen to vote on Handshy land sale proposal Wednesday

As far as summer controversies go, the proposed one-acre land sale on Sunset Lane — to developer Marty Handshy of Charter Group Partners — might be Ridgefield's most divisive.

The Board of Selectmen are scheduled to review the offer — two more townhouse buildings, six units total — Wednesday night in executive session.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi told The Press in July that the price offered for the one-acre site was around $780,000, but that it would subject to negotiation.

“It would be six units, at $130,000 per unit for land — that was one number tossed out, but no one has agreed to that. I’d say it’s a minimum,” Marconi said.

Charter Group’s current development is for nine townhouses — three clusters of three — on the site off Sunset Lane. One of the three, 15-unit coach home buildings is largely done, and a second is under construction. The foundation has just been laid for the third, Handshy told The Press earlier this summer.

The sale had equal supporters and detractors earlier this summer when it was announced.

"As a town resident for 39 years and a former manufacturer in the building industry, I am in full support of the Charter Group Partners request for two more buildings (six additional units) on Sunset Lane,"  said Jerry and Nancy Paolella in a letter to the editor.

"Marty Handshy, Jay Metcalfe, and Dennis Stone are a true credit to the town of Ridgefield for the much needed, well planned, and quality-constructed community on the old Schlumberger property."

An editorial on the sale drew the ire of resident Jan Rifkinson in July.

"Marconi [said] 'What [the money] represents is the potential to pay off the balance of that property,'" Rifkinson wrote. "No … That’s a red herring. Proceeds from the sale would primarily pay off the $751,000 overage, already spent. How about privatizing the golf course with an agreement that it remains a golf course? Alternatively, how about leasing it?"

Following the executive session Wednesday, the selectmen are supposed to publicly vote on the proposed sale.

The board's Wednesday night agenda also includes:

  • A police union contract vote.
  • A temporary health care structure opt-out discussion with Planning and Zoning Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti and Town Planning Director Richard Baldelli.
  • A Youth Commission interviews for Ridgefield High School student Emily Furfaro, as well as reappointments for parents Mary Furfaro, Alttara Scheer, and James Yavenditti. Shane Bowler and Isabella Scheer, current RHS students on the commission, are also expected to receive reappointment.
  • A Board of Ethics interview with Michelle Pallai.
  • A vote on vendor permit renewals for Arantes Coffee & Lunch Truck; Gigi’s Family Ice Cream; and

    Only the Hungry.

  • A vote on Yanity preschool's agreement to allow Almost Home Day Care to use and occupy the building.
  • And a request for Ridgefield marketing funds revenue account