Hearing on Woodbridge Country Club draws 300
WOODBRIDGE >> Some 300 residents packed the Center Building auditorium to hear two proposals for a portion of the Country Club of Woodbridge property.
The plans are:
• Create a Yale University-affiliated championship golf course and a hotel on bordering New Haven property.
• Create cluster housing of 80 units for 55-and-older residents.
It is estimated the town would net $600,000 in taxes from the development per year, and only about $70,000 for the golf course, but First Selectman Ellen Scalettar noted there are talks about getting more revenue if the golf course deal goes through.
The town bought the Country Club of Woodbridge property for $7 million in 2009 after its owners went bankrupt. Since then, the town has paid a third party to run the golf course, while an outdoor pool and tennis courts are operated by the town.
The event was informational, and residents asked questions.
The town sought proposals to develop part of the property and the Board of Selectmen determined the two have potential.
At the meeting, Scalettar told residents they have expressed a variety of interests for the property, including as age-restricted housing, open space preservation and recreation.
Since the country club property has been a hot-button issue, Scalettar reminded residents that for the town to move forward with any proposal, the Board of Selectmen must vote to send a proposal to the public.
Voters would then decide, likely by referendum, whether to sell the property.
A proposal by Redan Reserve LLC includes the redesign of the golf course at the club by one of the world’s Top 3 golf course architects into a Top 100 public course, and to enter into an agreement with Yale University to improve its nearby course and to build an 80-room hotel next to the courses, on the Westville side in New Haven, said Roland Betts, who controls Redan.
Betts said the deal would involve New Haven, Yale University, which is already considering it, and receiving all the approvals needed.
“It’s a win for everybody involved,” he said.
Betts, who graduated from Yale University in 1968, is a Yale Corporation alumni fellow, an entrepreneur, and principal owner of Chelsea Piers, LP, which developed and operates the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in New York City.
Redan’s goal is to make the golf course into a championship public golf course so it will be a destination for golfers.
The Yale and Woodbridge courses are separated by the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
The hotel would stand at the current Yale course.
Redan’s plan would pay the town $3.5 million for the entire property and the pool would be closed.
Betts, who promised he has the entrepreneurial expertise to make it happen, said they’d hope to get approvals by the beginning of the year.
80 AGE-RESTRICTED UNITS
The other proposal, by Toll Brothers, calls for 80 active-adult housing units on 42 acres that it would purchase, pending approvals, for $5 million. Under the plan, the town would keep 113 acres.
A Toll Brothers representative said there is a need and desire in town for 55-and-older housing so residents can age in place. He said 45 percent of town residents are older than 50.
Toll Brothers is proposing a lifestyle community, which includes open space the town would keep, and 65 clustered one-family houses, along with 15 “carriage home” units, meaning more than one unit in a building, he said.
The carriage home units would sell for $300,000-$450,000 and the 65 one-family homes would sell for $450,000-$550,000.
The plan also calls for a community center with a pool, tennis and bocce courts, a clubhouse. The age restriction would require at least one person in the home to be 55 or older and no residents 18 or younger, he said.
The developer also is seeking to refrain taxes until the units are conveyed to their owners.