Woodbridge refocuses on options for country club
WOODBRIDGE >> The future of the town-owned Country Club of Woodbridge property came into clearer focus after the Board of Selectmen voted to eliminate a controversial housing proposal by Toll Brothers, according to a town press release.
It also opted to not renew a lease for the golf course, which expires Dec. 31, the release said.
The board unanimously decided to look further into two other options: a proposal by Redan Reserve for a world-class golf course or converting the property to open space.
Redan Reserve representatives have proposed buying the entire property for $3.5 million and turning it into a “Top 100” golf course, in conjunction with a renovation of the adjacent Yale Golf Course.
The Redan plan includes building a hotel on the Yale Golf Course and would be contingent upon approvals from both Yale and New Haven.
The board has also asked for a more detailed analysis of the costs of converting the property to open space and future maintenance needs, the release said.
The Toll Brothers proposal for active adult housing on the property has been in the mix for a while and was a political hot button during the last election. It appears to be unpopular with many residents concerned it would detract from the character of the town.
Selectmen were concerned with the approvals the company would have needed, including from the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, the release says. Toll Brothers said all along it would not go forward without approval from at least a majority on the Board of Selectmen.
“Given the concerns of board members it was clear we weren’t going to meet that threshold,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar.
In addition to eliminating the Toll Brothers proposal, the selectmen unanimously rejected a bid by Billy Casper Golf, which has run the course for several years.
They turned down Billy Casper Golf, in part, because the company proposed a one-year contract that would require the town to take on the risk of the operation.
“This arrangement proved disastrous for the town in years past,” Scalettar said in a press release. One of her first moves as first selectman was to shift the risk from the town to Billy Casper.
At a recent public informational meeting attended by some 300 residents, there was interest in the Redan Reserve proposal, but the more financially lucrative Toll Brothers’ proposal was not popular.
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 Billy Casper Golf to run the golf course, while the popular outdoor pool and tennis courts are operated by the town.
Other information on the proposals can be found at woodbridgect.org/CCWFuture.