Ridgefield Winter Club withdraws special permit application

On the eve of its final public hearing in front of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Ridgefield Winter Club has withdrawn its special permit application.

The eighth and final hearing will still be held as planned at East Ridge Middle School at 7 p.m. tonight — Wednesday, Dec. 12, according to Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti.

"The applicant is still going forward with his special permit application in front of the Inland Wetlands Board," Mucchetti told The Press after 5 p.m. Wednesday, just a few hours after the applicant had submitted his letter to withdraw plans for a private skating rink on 340 Peaceable Street.

The nine-member zoning commission also acts as the Inland Wetlands Board.

"The special permit application to the commission has been withdrawn," Mucchetti said. "The wetlands application is for a plenary application in the wetlands and upland review area around the site, and that will still receive a hearing tonight."

Jeff Hansen, who founded the Peaceable Neighbors Alliance in the summer of 2017 when the developer originally proposed to build the club, heard about the withdrawal from his attorney Peter Olson.

"After 3 months of Hearings and the day before the Hearing must officially close, the applicant for the Ridgefield Winter Club has withdrawn its Special Permit Application before the Planning & Zoning Commission," Hansen wrote to The Press after 5 p.m. Wednesday. 

Olson received a copy of a letter that the club's attorney, Robert Jewell, submitted to the town planning department earlier Wednesday.

Jewell said in that withdrawal letter that the applicant plans to submit revised applications to the Planning and Zoning Commission after the Inland Wetlands Board makes its decision on the wetlands application.

"The applicant will submit its revised applications to the Planning and Zoning Commission after the Inland Wetlands Board makes its decision on the wetlands application," Jewell said.

Mucchetti said that Jewell would speak more to the applicant's future plan for the Ridgefield Hearing at the hearing Wednesday night.

"Will someone please tell Attorney Jewell and his client that the RWC might be a great concept for its members — it just doesn’t belong in a Residential zone," Hansen said. "That was the case in March 2017, is the case today and will be the case in January (or a later month) if he reapplies."