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Ridgefield Winter Club Outlines Plans To Turn Nursery Into 'Destination'

An artist's rendering of the proposed Ridgefield Winter Club, which features an outdoor ice rink. Photo Credit: Ridgefield Winter Club
An artist's rendering of the front of the proposed Ridgefield Winter Club. Photo Credit: Ridgefield Winter Club

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — The Ridgefield Winter Club is promoting its plan to transforms the Pinchbeck Nursery into a premier, family-oriented winter recreation destination.

The plan, which has drawn fire from many neighbors, is outlined on a new website and Facebook page for the Ridgefield Winter Club. The founder is detailing the "community-wide benefits this project will bring to town."

“The Ridgefield Winter Club will fill the seasonal void that currently exists in our town,” RWC founder Bud Brown said. “We’re proud to help create a premier facility that offers a safe, interactive, social environment for children and families to connect with one another through a range of indoor and outdoor activities.”

The website provides an information about Brown's vision to transform the deteriorating Pinchbeck Nursery into a family-focused facility that will include an outdoor ice rink, as well as indoor recreational activities.

The Facebook page provides additional information about the project, answers questions about the project and outlines ways to support the plan, he said.

There are also visual and architectural renderings of the Ridgefield Winter Club on the website. The club will keep all of the light on the property; eliminate noise effects outside of the property lines; keep all parking on-property; and care for the local environment, Brown said.

Under the plan, the Ridgefield Winter Club’s ice rink and clubhouse will be open seven days a week from November through March.

In April and May and September and October, the ice rink will be closed and the Clubhouse will operate on a reduced three- to four-day a week schedule.

The entire club will be closed June, July, and August.

On weekdays from November through March, the ice rink will open for skating at 7 a.m., and hockey at 8 a.m., and all recreational activities on the ice will end by 9:45 p.m., or earlier.

The ice rink will open at 8 a.m. on weekends and all recreational activities on the ice will end by 9:45 p.m., or earlier. The Clubhouse will close by 11 p.m., or earlier.

The club's indoor entertainment offerings will include a golf simulation room, four lanes of bowling, a tabletop game room, homework rooms, casual dining with a small bar, locker rooms, along with other amenities.

Outdoor activity will focus on providing skating lessons, social family skates, and ice events, including hockey, figure skating, broomball, and curling, to its members.

“The current legal nonconforming use of the site is for a commercial retail nursery in a residential area,” Brown said. “Transforming this old, deteriorating nursery into an attractive, freshly landscaped facility will replace the existing nonconforming land use with a conforming use allowed by special permit, thereby aligning with current town zoning priorities."

He said the club would bring economic benefits to Ridgefield, by creating jobs and generating tax revenue five times the amount currently paid by the site.

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