Letter: Ridgefield should welcome winter club with open arms

Residents are urging support for the Ridgefield Winter Club’s mission for a premier new winter destination in Ridgefield that builds camaraderie and community. Check out this Letter to the Editor, written by a Ridgefield resident, on the many ways the RWC will be a positive addition to the community. Thank you to Jeanmarie for the support!

Remember, you can help make a difference and help bring the RWC to fruition by filling out this form to show support: https://ridgefieldwinterclub.com/get-involved/

Ridgefield should welcome winter club with open arms

By: Jeanmarie McLean     September 4, 2017

I am writing to support the approval for the Ridgefield Winter Club. After reading about its mission and the scope of its programs, I believe Ridgefield should welcome this business with open arms.

This business will enhance Ridgefield on many levels. It is a business owned by a community-minded family, it will bring needed tax revenue to the town, and it will keep a lot of money in the local economy. It is not owned by a distant conglomerate and it offers wholesome, family-oriented programs. It is not another bank or restaurant. The RWC will beautify a location that has been declining for years and it provides a use that conforms to existing zoning laws. Also, it is on the periphery of the residential area, in close proximity to Route 35, negating the need for traffic to roam the neighborhoods.

This property will not remain dormant and the alternatives are not positive. It could very likely be targeted for a large-scale, mixed-use development that stretches the parameters of the affordable housing laws to gain massive profits.

I urge the town to approve the Ridgefield Winter Club and support the Brown family. They are willing to invest in something that reflects Ridgefield values and promotes the economic development of the town within the proper venue — free enterprise that conforms to local values and interests.

Jeanmarie McLean

Ridgecrest Drive

Originally appeared in: http://www.theridgefieldpress.com/93871/letter-ridgefield-should-welcome-winter-club-with-open-arms/

Letter: Skate club presents great opportunity

Community members are urging support for the Ridgefield Winter Club to transform a deteriorating property into an exciting new asset for the community.  We thank Gregg Hutchings for his support!

Remember, we’ve made it easy to show support! To help make a difference and bring the RWC to fruition, simply fill out this form: https://ridgefieldwinterclub.com/get-involved/

Letter: Skate club presents great opportunity

By: Gregg Hutchings     July 16, 2017

To the Editor:

Our family moved to Ridgefield when I was in high school back in the 1970s because the town had an ice skating rink.

I’ve known Bud Brown for over 25 years and found him to be an honest, soft-spoken person. I think his plans to build an ice skating club on the old Pinchbeck Nursery property is a great opportunity for our community. The deteriorating property will be transformed into a beautiful facility.

Of all the potential uses for the property, I feel a skating club is an excellent choice. There are many development options that might not be as desirable.

I’d love to see a skating club replace the abandoned Pinchbeck building with its broken windows and chains across the front. I’ve been to the Greenwich and New Canaan skating clubs and a Ridgefield skating club would be a great asset to the community.

Gregg Hutchings

Originally appeared in: http://www.theridgefieldpress.com/91003/letter-skate-club-presents-great-opportunity/

Letter: Winter club will benefit Ridgefield

Read why members of the community are urging support for the Ridgefield Winter Club! Thank you to Ryan and Melanie Lumelleau for this Letter to the Editor. We appreciate your support!

Remember, we’ve made it easy to show support! To help make a difference and bring the RWC to fruition, simply fill out this form: https://ridgefieldwinterclub.com/get-involved/

Letter: Winter club will benefit Ridgefield

By: Ryan and Melanie  Lumelleau     July 15, 2013

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


Originally appeared in: http://www.theridgefieldpress.com/91002/letter-winter-club-will-benefit-ridgefield/

Why is a Winter Club needed in Ridgefield?

Read the perspective of RWC Founder, Bud Brown, who is a 15-year resident of Ridgefield. Bud is active in the community and possesses extensive professional experience in the capital markets as well as the world of skating. This premier facility will be professionally managed by Bud as a full-time General Manager.

Fellow Neighbors:

As a 15 year-plus resident of Ridgefield, my wife, three young boys and I have been fortunate to benefit from all that our wonderful town has to offer. Like you, we treasure the sense of community and comradery we feel in our schools, parks, library, and all across town.  This culture has inspired me to build the Ridgefield Winter Club to add to the amazing offerings of this town.

I – along with several other neighbors here – are excited about the opportunity to give back through the addition of a winter recreation center.

The Ridgefield Winter Club will combine a strong family-focused premier facility with an outdoor ice skating rink. It fills a void in our town for families who want the opportunity for outside winter sports, recreation, and social events.

Since the inception of zoning laws in Ridgefield, additional uses have always been allowed in residential areas. By design, this has allowed Ridgefield’s planners to enrich neighborhoods, build character, and improve our quality of life by including schools, churches, parks, ballfields, golf courses, pool clubs, and recreational facilities all within residential areas.

That’s the case here too. In fact, the site we’ve identified for the Club is currently zoned to allow just this type of facility -- and that's one of the reasons we picked it. We know how important it is to maintain Ridgefield’s neighborhoods, and this Club will actually transition the commercial business that’s on the property now (technically, a non-conforming use of the land) into a use that is in keeping with the law and the intent of the law -- and is not "spot zoning".

So working with the best architects and designers in the business, we will turn the old, abandoned Pinchbeck Nursery into an attractive facility in keeping with Ridgefield’s character that parents and children will enjoy for years to come. Our plans feature a beautifully landscaped setting with an apple orchard at the front entrance, the restoration of the historic stone barn that has been there for decades, and a range of other amenities.

At the same time, the input that my fellow Ridgefielders have is important to me -- and to this project. Your emails, letters, and comments have been very much appreciated. And we continue to incorporate that thinking into this project to ensure that concerns about traffic, parking, lights, and noise are answered.

I’m proud to help create what will be a family-focused, social, and interactive environment that will enhance the neighborhood and Ridgefield during the winter. As a local club, there is a lot we’re going to do, and some things we won’t do, including running a competitive travel hockey program or hosting other travel hockey teams and tournaments. We’re also going to limit the hours, the months, and the usage of the Club and ice rink. This is a Winter Club and will be closed during the warmer months.

The Club will also bring jobs to our neighbors and increase the taxes that this property generates by an estimated five times, especially important at a time when Hartford is cutting back on its aid to towns across the state.

The Ridgefield Winter Club will be a great asset for our town like the many pool clubs, ballfields, and other recreational facilities that we benefit from and so enjoy. It will be one more positive differentiator for Ridgefield compared to all other towns in Fairfield County.

I am excited and look forward to sharing further details over the weeks to come. As we move forward, we’ll continue this conversation as part of the regulatory process and with our community.

Thank you,

Bud Brown

Originally appeared in: http://news.hamlethub.com/ridgefield/neighbors/56537-letter-to-the-editor-ridgefield-winter-club