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Letter to the Editor: Facts About the Winter Club on Peaceable

Dear Editor,

I would like to add my voice to the brilliant rebuttal penned by Jay Jansen in response to Bud Brown’s “Private Winter Club” Development.

Mr. Brown’s callous disregard for his neighbors and the environment is astonishing. I make that statement based solely upon the facts of this project.

By the numbers, he is actually proposing to use a loophole in our zoning laws to construct the following in a quiet residential neighborhood, on land that is zoned residential:

-          A massive 12,554 square foot clubhouse, 25% larger than the new RVNA building on Governor Street

-          A full sized outdoor hockey rink with lights and spectator stands

-          A 106 space open surface parking lot, the same size as the one in front of CVS

-          A 23’ long bar

-          An 18’ x 22’ foot Golf Simulator Room

-          A 48’ long Club Viewing/Party Room

-          A 4 lane Bowling Alley

-          5 locker rooms to accommodate state wide and regional tournaments

-          Facilities to accommodate 275 families, or over 1,000 members

He is doing all this by applying for a special permit to violate the residential zoning status of this property. Such violations are sometimes allowed by Planning and Zoning Commissions by issue of a special permit. These special permits, however, are usually reserved for uses that serve the public good. As Mr. Brown points out, such uses might include a school, church, park, ball field, or public recreational facilities. This is none of those things.

This project does not serve the public good in any way. This project is in no way being undertaken for the good of the town and its citizens. This project is a for profit commercial venture that will benefit only a few wealthy investors and the families wealthy enough to afford membership. This project is a personal vanity project. These conclusions become inevitable once one sees past the sales pitch by focusing on the numbers. The numbers do not lie. Stay focused on the numbers, not the words.

There is no town water available on this land either. It is surrounded by protected wetlands and literally adjacent to the Peaceable Refuge. The water for this entire facility will come from those protected wetlands.

While no one is opposed to hockey or the idea of a winter club, even the die-hard hockey families in our neighborhood are vehemently opposed to dropping the RVNA building and the CVS parking lot next door. We simply believe that this facility should be located in an appropriately zoned commercial area, where there is the infrastructure and highway access to support it.

Imagine if you lived in a quiet residential neighborhood and this huge commercial venture was being constructed across the street from your home. That is what is happening to your neighbors on Peaceable Street.

Please go to PeaceableNeighbors.com to learn more.

Matt Grossman

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