We have a rare chance to do two great things for Woodbridge. We can help overburdened taxpayers by returning the Country Club of Woodbridge clubhouse to the tax rolls and, at the same time, preserve and protect a magnificent New England landscape of 147 acres. How? With town residents deciding in a referendum the following question:
“Shall the town of Woodbridge pass an ordinance that requires the sale of the former CCW clubhouse and surrounding five acres of developed land for re-use as a restaurant and banquet facility, and create a park of the remaining 147 acres, to be protected in perpetuity as town-owned open space? Yes or no.”
Our bet is the answer will be an overwhelming “yes”. It’s a win for taxpayers and a win for those who want that scenic tract protected.
Unlike previous development proposals, the clubhouse re-use as a banquet and meeting facility shouldn’t be controversial and requires no zone change; it was the building‘s use for sixty years.
A conservation easement on the balance of the property will permanently protect it from development. Current and future generations will enjoy it for hiking, biking, dog walking, bird watching, sunset and star gazing, meditation, nature studies, sledding, skating, skiing, fishing, picnicking, and agriculture (a mix of favored uses from a range of people).
Is there a greater thing that we can leave for posterity than our town‘s version of a national park?
As decreed by our town charter (“Not less than 150 members of the Town Meeting may, at any time, petition over their personal signatures for the enactment of any proposed lawful ordinance … by filing such petition, including the complete text of such ordinance, with the Town Clerk.” That petition will be circulated soon, and as per our charter, the “Board of Selectmen shall call for a referendum … If a majority of the persons voting at such referendum shall vote ‘yes‘ then such ordinance shall take effect.”
We have a pathway to taxpayer relief and protecting the land. A petition will circulate soon to start the process.
Paul DeCoster, William Silberberg, James Urbano, Susan Israel, Chris Dickerson, Donald Menzies, James Hubbard