With all the transparency being claimed by town officials, several things are still not clear. For one thing, how did the endorsed development of the Winnapaug Golf Club property make its way into the new town Comprehensive Plan? There are four golf courses in Westerly. However, only the financially troubled golf course, which is owned and operated by individuals having no experience in running a golf course, was singled out and endorsed for development in the Comprehensive Plan? In retrospect, is it possible that the Comprehensive Plan Committee may have had some assistance from outside interests when making its decision to incorporate the development of the golf course into the Comprehensive Plan? The inclusion of the golf course into the new Comprehensive Plan, at a critical time, is eerily reminiscent of earlier machinations surrounding the White Rock property bail out by the town.
The Winnapaug Golf Course sits on a freshwater aquifer that originates in the White Mountains. Fresh water from the aquifer can be found in the Winnapaug saltwater pond and on Block Island. Yet the Comprehensive Plan makes no reference to an environmental impact study either having been performed or that is scheduled to be performed when considering the development of this environmentally sensitive area. To prevent any possible objections being raised based on environmental issues, the new Comprehensive Plan includes a proposed program to eventually sewer the area. Thus, the expected developers of the property will initially spend tens of thousands of dollars to install engineered septic systems in anticipation of spending additional tens of thousands of dollars to connect to the sewer system, if and when the prospective sewer system is ever extended.
Is it a coincidence that the Winnapaug Golf Course was purchased and the process of developing the Comprehensive Plan both began in 2015? Also, is it a coincidence that one of the owners of the golf course are an experienced land developer? Not surprisingly, could it also be a coincidence that the same outside interests, as mentioned above, happen to be experienced land developers? What is the probability that so many coincidences show up at the same time and within the same situation?
Finally, it has been mentioned publicly that it may be only a portion of the property that is to be developed in an effort to preserve the golf course. What kind of fuzzy logic is being applied here that says that the golf course must be destroyed so that it may be preserved?