Letter: Winter club will benefit Ridgefield

To the Editor:

After reading the recent media postings, we are compelled to write in support of the Ridgefield Winter Club.

The proposed site currently sits vacant and is rapidly degrading into a commercial blight zone — just drive by or view on Google Maps. While many residents prefer to see single-family homes built, our local builders have determined the economics don't work. Note that the moratorium on affordable housing in Ridgefield expires in the fall of 2018, which may allow for a significantly less desirable use of the site.

Under current regulations, the RWC is permitted with a special permit, which allows P&Z to stipulate appropriate use and aesthetics. This project has been carefully designed in order to integrate into the neighborhood, provide employment, and increase tax revenue. Can the same be said for a multi-unit affordable housing development? Simply put: The RWC will beautify a property that is rapidly approaching blight and seemingly has found no other suitable buyers.

There are more than 50 schools, churches, fields, and other recreational facilities in residential neighborhoods around Ridgefield. Many of these, including Tiger Hollow and the new, lighted Little League field met resistance, but all have added to the character of our town and provided new opportunities for Ridgefield residents.

Bud and Alison Brown have donated the equivalent of a second career in time spent coaching and volunteering in Ridgefield. We know that they value the quality of life in Ridgefield as much as we do. While we and our children are active in many sports and other activities in town, none of those currently include hockey or skating. However, we are certain that the Ridgefield Winter Club will be a wonderful addition to Ridgefield, and urge you to support the project.

Ryan and Melanie Lumelleau