Sometime in the near future, Town of Woodbridge voters will be asked through referendum to approve a zoning change (or zoning “modification”) to allow Toll Brothers to construct a large project of cluster homes and condos on the Country Club of Woodbridge property, intersection of Ansonia Road and Johnson Road. Our residence is situated just a few hundred feet west of the west end of this proposed development, so we are, most naturally, vehemently opposed to this project. Irrespective of where their homes are located, we believe that all town residents should vote against this proposal as well.
People who live in Woodbridge moved to the town for a number of reasons, among them a top-notch school system, an abundance of open space and zoning laws that have for many years allowed only single family homes. When you think about it, it is quite special that we have maintained this situation throughout the vagaries of modern life, so that residents can still feel safe and secure anywhere in town, and can raise their families in the type of peaceful and quiet environment that seems to be disappearing from more and more places. Our First Selectman avers that the Toll Brothers/CCW project will not change any of the great things about our town, but we respectfully disagree with her position in this instance.
If approved by the BOS and town voters, this project may well result in future litigation by other developers trying for the same exceptions to our zoning laws. There are a number of large town-owned land parcels, such as the approximately 130 acre Fitzgerald property at the intersection of Center and Beecher Roads, as well as many acres of privately owned, wooded and thus far undeveloped land in our town. Any of this real property could someday be targeted by a deep-pockets development company wanting to build multiple unit housing or commercial enterprise. If we then say “no” to such proposals, the exception we made previously for Toll Brothers/CCW housing will surely be used against us, forcing us into expensive litigation regardless of whether we ultimately win or lose.
The proposed TB/CCW project would be a massive construction undertaking involving explosive blasting of ledge, as well as trucks and construction equipment coming and going on Johnson and Ansonia Roads. Blasting could possibly affect the underground aquifers that supply well water to surrounding residences, and anyone who regularly drives on Johnson Road knows it to be a narrow two-lane street where pedestrians and bicyclists have to be very careful when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions drive past them. Streets such as Johnson and Woodfield Roads are ill-equipped to handle the demands of a construction project of this magnitude.
All in all, we feel that this TB/CCW will, on balance, be a detriment to Town of Woodbridge, and the money that Toll Brothers will be paying for the property will not in any way offset the potential pitfalls.
James and Mary Wilson