The Redan Reserve proposal for a destination golf resort on the property of the Yale Golf Course is off the table. The proposal, introduced to townspeople last summer by New York developer Roland Betts, would have added the Country Club of Woodbridge as a second 18-hole golf course. “The University had other priorities at this time,” wrote Bruce Alexander, vice president for New Haven and State Affairs at Yale University in an email.
The proposal, which started as a student suggestion in a class Mr. Betts was teaching at the Yale School of Management, excited many Woodbridge residents who would have liked to see the country club preserved as a golf course. But in an email to First Selectman Ellen Scalettar, which was obtained through a Freedom of Information request and widely shared by Cathy Wick on the Conserve Woodbridge email list, Betts complained about the lack of interest shown by Woodbridge officials. Maybe in an effort to exert pressure, he withdrew his proposal on September 29. Instead, “we will first renovate the Yale Golf Course, then build the hotel, then add a second course when demand warrants,” he wrote.
Scalettar maintains that the town “engaged in ongoing good faith negotiations with Roland Betts to arrive at mutually acceptable terms for a deal. At the same time, the Town was consistent in its position that no proposal would be acted upon or brought to the voters until Mr. Betts provided us with written confirmation of Yale’s commitment to the project.”
Selectman Joe Dey, at a special Board of Selectmen meeting on October 26, said, “we felt we had nothing to do until Yale comes forward.”
“Yale has made its decision and is not pursuing this project,” Scalettar wrote in an email. “Any rumors or accusations that Woodbridge caused the Redan project to fail are false.”
In the meantime, town officials have progressed with their plans to turn the property into open space, with meadows and possibly a bike path or ice skating and other recreational facilities. “We have 150 acres, there is a lot we can do with it,” Scalettar said at the meeting.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent