Letter: Uneasy about plans for Ridgefield Winter Club

To the Editor:

I am deeply concerned with the Winter Club plans; both as a neighbor and as someone who cares deeply about Ridgefield’s natural resources. I have reviewed the site plans for the project and also toured the property at a Planning and Zoning site-walk last week. This project directly impacts a wetland that is next to the property. The current plan disturbs the upland review area. The Winter Club plan to re-grade and excavate a portion of the property, and to redirect some water flow, will cut off some of the water supply to the wetland. In some cases like this, wetlands simply dry up, thus killing all plant and animal life in and around it. I do not know the percentage of water that will be directed away from this wetland, but the current plan certainly indicate a change in water flow and redirection. Some water flow will be directed downhill and towards the wetland and pond across the street. This property has been a nursery for decades. Might there be contaminated soil and pesticides released once ground is broken? Will these poisons enter the water supply? As of the site-walk last week, no soil from the property had even been tested for contaminants. Lewisboro, N.Y., should be equally as concerned; the water from this area flows directly into their watershed.

With the recent Board of Selectmen vote (which overruled the Charter Revision Committee’s recommendation to allow the residents of Ridgefield the opportunity to vote to split the Inland Wetlands Board from Planning and Zoning), I have deep reservations with Planning and Zoning’s ability or expertise to pay special attention to the impact on the environment, wetlands and water that this specific project will have. It seems that our current Planning and Zoning Board is much more “developer friendly” than “environmentally friendly,” and with very little land left to be developed in Ridgefield — I am extremely uneasy.

Susan Batten

Old South Salem Road, Aug. 5