Letter: Reconsidering change

To the Editor:

In the past few years, several plans have been presented for certain projects in Ridgefield, many of which have been met with vigorous opposition from the community. Recently, we had the withdrawn proposal for a rehabilitation center at Sunset Hall, the baseball field that will border Ethan Allen Highway, the proposed Ridgefield Winter Club at the former site of Peaceable Nursery, and the proposed bed-and-breakfast on Circle Drive.

I understand that we all want to be safe, and no one likes traffic. At the same time, I think it’s important to realize that our town is not a secret and that we live in a complicated community. We have people who pass through our town from other places far and near on a daily basis. Furthermore, we have, in fact, had members of our own community either charged or convicted of serious crimes. Sadly, we have also had members of our community whose lives have been destroyed by addiction, domestic violence, or worse. We do not live in a bubble, as much as we would like to wish we did.

I live in the neighborhood where the baseball field will be built and submitted an official letter in support of the project. I have lived here long enough to remember that there used to be a business at the same spot and welcome a project that will make good use of the space. I feel similarly about the proposed Ridgefield Winter Sports Club. I love any project that provides a chance for people of all ages to get together and engage in healthy activities. I believe that this has the potential to build community bonds.

I discussed these issues today with my husband. He asked me how I would feel if a home in my neighborhood became a bed-and-breakfast. My very sincere response is that I would welcome such a venture. I recently stayed in a rural bed-and-breakfast, and it was lovely. I’m not sure what sort of people we are thinking might frequent a small bed-and-breakfast, or how they might pose more of a threat than any of the many people who drive through our town on business or other endeavors. I question why those people might be more dangerous than the drug dealers who almost certainly live among us at this very moment.

I recognize that those who oppose these projects do so out of concern for their families and their neighborhoods. I understand that we want our kids to be able to play outside in the summer until the lights go down and that we want them to be safe. That having been said, we don’t need to wall ourselves off to accomplish this.

Anne McDermott

Topstone Road, Oct. 1