Woodbridge country club proposals will get closer scrutiny
Following a fiery Dec. 17 informational session regarding two proposals for age-restricted housing on the controversial Country Club of Woodbridge property, the Board of Selectmen has decided to do a “constructability review” on each plan and bring that back to the public.
First Selectwoman Beth Heller said in an email the review will be, “an overview from an engineering perspective to identify any issues that may come up regarding the land in question for each of the proposals,”
Heller said the review is expected to take several weeks and once completed, another special Board of Selectmen will be scheduled to review the findings. No date has been set, but she said it will likely be done at the end of January.
More than 200 residents packed the Center building gym Dec. 17 to express strong opinions both for and against two proposals to build upscale, age-restricted cluster housing on the CCW property owned by the town.
Heller told residents at the outset of the meeting the current cost to carry the property is a half-million dollars.
The town purchased the 150-acre property, golf course, pool and clubhouse for $7 million in 2009 to keep it from being developed after the owners went bankrupt.
Since then, a golf course has failed financially and the pool, kept open with summer membership, has been closed. The country club building is beyond repair and the question of what to do with the property has become a political hot button.
Many vocal residents want it to remain as open space and still others want to see it developed to generate income.
Nothing can be done, however, without the approval of residents through a town referendum. Selectmen are trying to decide which housing plan to send to referendum.
The two proposals are as follows:
Insite Development Group, of which resident Brian St. Pierre is the head, said they would purchase about 60 acres of the CCW property and build 120 single-family homes that will sell in the high $400,000 range. Some 90-plus acres would become a park for Woodbridge residents.
The other proposal, by Robert Sachs, developer of Fieldstone Village in Orange, calls for the project to be on 54 acres, about 125 detached unit condominiums, and beginning in the mid-$400,000 price range.
Both would have a clubhouse and other amenities.
Many are concerned that once clustered housing is allowed, it will set a precedent and other such projects will be approved in town, compromising the flavor of the community.
St. Pierre assured residents there are all kinds of ways around that through how the regulation is written — for instance, the regulation can only allow such housing where there is 100 acres abutting, or where sewers exist, he said.