September 5, 2018, Ridgefield, CT — The Ridgefield Winter Club (RWC) yesterday presented its plans to transform the old, deteriorating Pinchbeck Nursery into a premier winter destination for Ridgefield to the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
“We appreciate the Commission’s initial feedback and thoughtful review of our plans and are grateful for all the members of the Ridgefield community who have expressed their support,” Bud Brown, RWC Founder, said. “Because we fully embrace our commitment to be a good neighbor, the RWC will replicate the residential look and feel of our town, operate with modest hours and months of usage, and bring significant economic benefits, including additional tax revenue, to Ridgefield.”
Brown said that, as of yesterday, 180 letters from Ridgefield families who support the RWC have been submitted to the Commission.
“For decades, the Town of Ridgefield has had the flexibility it needs to manage the right level of development for our town,” Brown said, “and we look forward to the continuation of that vision. The RWC’s zoning application seeks to replace the commercial nursery’s current legal nonconforming land use with a conforming use allowed by special permit, thereby aligning with current town zoning priorities.”
In terms of the environment, the RWC also noted that new planting on the site will be accompanied by fresh landscaping -- including an apple orchard at the front – and the area closest to the Peaceable Refuge will be used sparingly. This will have a net positive impact on wildlife since animals currently cannot safely access the site given its active use by a landscaping operation. Additionally, operating on a daily basis, for just five months a year as it plans to do, it is anticipated that the peak daily water usage will be approximately 3,500 gallons. By way of comparison, the daily usage for a nursery, with just one acre of planting, is 11,000 to 22,000 gallons per day for a full 12 months per year, and in years past multiple acres have been planted on this property.
The RWC’s indoor entertainment offerings will include a golf simulation room, four bowling lanes, a tabletop game room, homework rooms, casual dining with a bar, locker rooms, along with other amenities. Outdoor activity will focus on providing skating lessons; social family skates; and intra-RWC events, including hockey, figure skating, broomball, and curling to its members.
The RWC’s ice rink and Clubhouse will operate seasonally from November through March, and the entire RWC will be closed during summer months. From April-May and September-October, the ice rink will be closed, and the Clubhouse will operate on a reduced schedule. On weekdays, from November through March, the ice rink will open for skating at 7 a.m., and hockey at 8 a.m., and all recreational activities on the ice will end by 9:45 p.m., or earlier. The ice rink will open at 8 a.m. on weekends and all recreational activities on the ice will end by 9:45 p.m., or earlier. The Clubhouse will close by 11 p.m., or earlier.