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Letters: No Clustered Housing

To the Editor,

Here we go again.  I have written a number of times over the years on this, your selectmen keep coming back to residents for approval for developing the Country Club of Woodbridge (CCW), even though it has been turned down previously.  This proposal is based on the town’s inability to create a breakeven business plan and manage the property over the years for the golf course, clubhouse and recreational facilities such as outdoor pool and tennis courts.  Several developers have come in to town with proposals and backed away once they understood the lack of value to them.  Never did the town publish a Request for Proposal for development.

The chief argument presented is that development and creation of 120 clustered homes will yield an estimated additional $1.5M in yearly tax revenue, $12,500 assessed annually to each housing unit.  This is not worth it; it will be many years before all of these units are constructed and sold and these revenues, which also represent additional demand on public services, are realized.  As time goes on, residents will have to endure never-ending construction and, as units are constructed and sell, causing further competition with our already significantly reduced property values.  And we will open the door significantly to clustered development throughout Woodbridge, perhaps in your neighborhood.

I see this property as extremely historic and worthy of preservation due to it being formerly owned by Captain John Beecher and the original Beecher family in America, Patriot & Statesman & signer of four articles of independence, Roger Sherman (who named it Clover Hill Farm) and James Hillhouse, Revolutionary War Commander, Representative and Senator.

For residents who desire to live in these clustered homes, possibly paying more than their present home’s value, and living near the parkway noise, I say this; is it worth it to FOREVER change the zoning in this town for your very short-term interest in living at the CCW clustered development?  Please consider that your vote will make a big difference and the needs of our time including sustainability, historic properties and open space preservation, should outweigh personal interest.

I commend all who have written letters against clustered housing development, and gotten together to discuss the many negatives, they clearly exceed those expressing opinions in favor.  Let’s recreate the golf course, clubhouse and pool and do it right this time, managed by a private firm (not the town), or sell the property if necessary, with an open space development easement applied.

Richard Forselius

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