Have you ever noticed that off Shore Road there are only four viewpoints over the water? Two of them belong to golf courses. As Westerly has grown and will continue to grow, the open space is shrinking. While we all enjoy our great city, we are the ones who have taken away the serenity. Summer cottages became permanent residences with hedges and trees blocking the view. Let’s face it: Westerly has become a beach destination. Isn’t that the main reason we’re here somehow?

Some of the letters to the editor opposing the Winnapaug golf course development proposal are troubling. People are inherently resistant to change, but change is inevitable over time. These landowners represent less than a tenth of 1% of Westerly and have become very vocal in criticizing the planned development; instead, they should be more aware of what they will lose if this does not happen.

As has been dramatically proven in the past, golf alone cannot support our last land located within walking distance of the pond and the ocean, a most valuable property that could be developed in lots of lucrative houses, apartment buildings or commercial buildings. If the NIMBY activists’ wish comes true, their front yards could possibly face the back of mega-mansions and trees preserving their own privacy. City Council should consider that 99.9% of all residents want to preserve what they have now. Not only does Westerly need a top-notch public golf course, but also the green space it provides.

What everyone needs to understand is that once the Winnapaug Golf Course and its scenic views are gone, there will never be another chance to replicate it. Once gone, gone forever. Not too long ago, the town of Westerly was fortunate enough to own the Weekapaug Golf Course and chose not to purchase it. Now, only a privileged few can access this course. Please support the owners of Winnapaug in their efforts to make it Westerly’s only publicly accessible golf site.

Michael W. Donovan