Letter: Preserve our bucolic, residential neighborhood

To the Editor:

In 2002, we plunked down our life savings for a four-bedroom colonial in Westmoreland, hoping Ridgefield would be a peaceful place to raise our family.  

It has been. Until now.  

Bud Brown’s proposed outdoor ice rink on the former Peaceable Farm Nursery site threatens our right to the quiet enjoyment of our own home.  We should not have to:

  • Hear hockey games/music blaring from arena speakers at all hours.

  • Tolerate excessive traffic congestion. Or awaken to lost/inebriated out-of-towners speeding in a 25-mile-an-hour zone and abusing our circular driveway when confused by Peaceable Street’s turns.

  • Worry about a commercial venture depleting the local aquifer.  

  • Lose our view of the night sky to the glare of bright stadium lighting in an area with no street lights.

This is a residential neighborhood. The Peaceable Farms property on 5.966 acres is zoned for a single home according to current three-acre zoning. With multiple locker rooms and a commercial kitchen, the proposed clubhouse will use considerably more resources than one private home.  

A 96-space parking lot is simply inappropriate in this neighborhood setting. Would you accept your neighbor regularly parking 96 cars on their front lawn? The nursery was grandfathered as a commercial concern in a residential zone since it has existed on the property since 1903.    

This does not mean a special permit for a different commercial use should be approved. Those of us who invested in expensive homes in a charming residential neighborhood rely on an ethical Planning and Zoning Board honor that designation.  

Our shady country lane is not the place for this commercial development masquerading as a “club” to slip through a zoning loophole.

Margaret Eustace

Peaceable Street, Aug. 6