RIDGEFIELD -- The controversial Bennett's Pond property is back in the news, with Ridgefield town officials planning to jettison the 2002 Bennett's Farm South Corporate Development Plan.

The Economic Development Commission reviewed the document at a meeting Friday and found it outdated. Its members then voted to withdraw the plan. The withdrawal proposal is now scheduled to go before the Board of Selectmen and to a town meeting this month for voters to approve. First Selectman Rudy Marconi said the move is simple housekeeping. With all the changes that have occurred since the plan was developed, and a new EDC in place, it is obsolete. But to understand what that means, residents may need a refresher course in the Bennett's Pond saga. Northern parcel In December 2001, town of Ridgefield took the 458 acres that comprise the northern parcel of the Bennett's Pond property by eminent domain from their owner, Eureka V. After a prolonged legal battle, the courts found the town had the right to take the property for an eventual cost of $12.2 million. The land was then turned over to the
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
, which gave the town $4.5 million to keep it as open space. It is now a state park. Southern parcel When the northern parcel's fate was settled, the town and Eureka V were still fighting in court over the 154 acres of the southern parcel. The town had offered Eureka $2.75 million for the property, and in 2002 tried to take it by eminent domain, with plans to build a corporate park there -- the 2002 Bennett's Farm South Corporate Development Plan. Eureka blocked the eminent domain taking in court. The town eventually lost that battle and agreed to settle with Eureka to avoid penalty payments. However, the settlement required Ridgefield
Planning and Zoning Commission
to approve Eureka's application to develop the southern parcel. From 2002 to 2007, Eureka made repeated proposals to the land-use commission to develop the 154 acres. The Planning and Zoning Commission finally gave Eureka V approval with modifications to develop the property in December 2007. But Eureka was not satisfied with the number of housing units it was allowed to build -- 306 units -- and appealed the decision. Today, that appeal and the town's attempted taking of the southern parcel are still in court. Now the town is considering scrapping the plans it made in 2002 to develop a corporate park on the southern parcel, the 2002 Bennett's Farm South Corporate Development Plan. The project was for 400,000 to 600,000 square feet of office space, projected then to provide about 3,000 jobs. Asked if the plan is being withdrawn to clear issues for litigation purposes, Marconi said, "Indirectly, it could be looked at that way, I suppose. "But the fact is that if we planned to move forward on it (the corporate park), with the substantial money that would have to be put into updating it, the money isn't available in these economic times," Marconi said. No date has been set for the town meeting.

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