During the October 28, 2015 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, six options for the future of the Country Club of Woodbridge property were discussed amongst Board members of both parties. Options ranged from Toll Brothers building 170 housing units to leaving the land to return to its natural state. Absent from the discussion was any proposal to preserve the clubhouse. In fact, if Toll is ever granted a zoning change (unlikely) and allowed to build, the Town seems willing to relinquish $1 million of Toll money for them to tear down the clubhouse. A better use of far less taxpayer money would be to make the roof watertight, shut off the water supply and heat, and keep the building in mothballs until a viable, tax-paying, tenant comes along who is willing to repair and refurbish the place. The rush to demolish such a sturdy, elegant building (I took the tour) with one of the finest vistas in town is both short-sighted and premature. Demolition instead of preservation is irreversible and often proves regrettable.
Finding a suitable tenant/use for the clubhouse is critical. It was custom-built for food services and hospitality. The Director of Finance, Tony Genovese, has already made inquiries at Yale University about a possible hotel, and at University of New Haven about a cooking school. We thank him for his efforts. Perhaps one of the student non-profit consulting clubs in the Executive MBA program at the Yale School of Management would be interested to give us their opinion and recommendations for the future use of the clubhouse.
Mr. Taddei and his team are providing exceptional stewardship of the pools, tennis court, and volleybalI court as well as taking on much general maintenance around the clubhouse (WTN, October30). And Billy Casper Management seem to be successfully developing and growing the golf. Woodbridge residents are not pressing for the Board of Selectmen or the Board of Finance to make sweeping proposals about the CCW at this time, and most are willing to bear the tax burden of the property until good long-term plans are in place. Making correct decisions is much more important than making quick decisions. Let’s not sacrifice any part of the current CCW “package”, not the verdant open space nor the clubhouse building, without due diligence and an exploration of ALL the options.