Letter: A little perspective, please
To the Editor:
Ridgefield is a beautiful, welcoming community which we all love. I’ve been saddened to see that some of the recent editorials about the application to open a two-bedroom B&B have degenerated into untruths and personal insult hurling. Can we agree that we are all good people, albeit with different perspectives, and engage in civil discourse?
Ridgefield carefully regulates B&Bs, and will require the rare few who want to run one to invest considerable time and money into home improvement. So I’m not concerned that “if our next door neighbor can open a B&B, so can yours.”
And what if more people opened B&Bs? Our friends, extended families and people from other communities interested in enjoying our beautiful town would have a place to stay for a night or two. They could take advantage of (and help support) Ridgefield’s cultural resources, eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, and generally contribute to our economic and cultural well-being.
Do I think they will be skulking around, stalking our children? No, I do not! Ask the people with houses in town — I suspect they would find these concerns unfounded. I would welcome a B&B in my neighborhood to offer an “overflow” place to stay for friends and family! When we moved to Ridgefield 26 years ago, there were more options than now … yet our town has more to offer than ever, and could benefit from the patronage of more people.
At a time when so many people are afraid of “the other,” surely we can open our hearts and welcome guests to our town without fearing that doing so will decrease our property values or threaten our way of life. B&Bs should be welcome in all neighborhoods as a much-needed hospitality option and a way to ensure the future vibrancy of Ridgefield.