Wetlands board to discuss winter club application Tuesday night

After four months of public hearings, the Inland Wetlands Board will get a chance to debate and vote on Bud Brown’s plan to build a private skating club at 340 Peaceable Street.

The board will hold the first meeting of deliberations on the club Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Education conference room in the town hall annex (66 Prospect Street).

The public hearing for the proposed Ridgefield Winter Club closed on Dec. 12 in front of the Planning and Zoning Commission after applications for special permits to build and operate the club were withdrawnAt the same time, the club did not withdraw the application they submitted to the the Inland Wetlands Board, which deals with drainage and work onsite.

Under state law, the board has to decide on the wetlands application within 35 days of the hearing’s closure, which means they will have to vote by Wednesday, Jan. 16.

'Failure on our part'
Attorney Bob Jewell, who represents the club, indicated at the Dec. 12 hearing that the club plans to submit new applications for a special permit to run the club and for 40-foot light poles to illuminate the outdoor skating rink after the wetlands board rules on the wetlands side of the application.
He said the reason for withdrawing was due to the club falling short on explaining its plan to deal with noise.
“It’s not fair to the commission, or the applicant, or anyone else, to let this important application rest on failure on our part,” Jewell said.
Split boards

The wetlands board and the zoning commission are currently made up of the same nine members. 

In November, voters overwhelmingly voted to split the Inland Wetlands Board off into a separate board of seven elected officials, but that new board will not be voted in until the next election.