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OUR VILLAGE, OUR FUTURE: VISIONING FOR RIDGEWOOD’S NEXT MASTER PLAN

mister-rogers-trolley

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Add your voice and vision to the future of the Village of Ridgewood at:  www.visionridgewood.org

What should the Village be like in 5, 10, or 20 years? What trends do you think might have a significant impact on the Village in the future? What is your vision for the future of the Village?

The Village recently launched Our Village, Our Future, which is a Village-wide visioning process that will form the creation of our community’s next Master Plan. Visit www.visionridgewood.org to learn more about Our Village, Our Future and start providing your insight and input through the on-line Visioning Questionnaire.

Continue reading OUR VILLAGE, OUR FUTURE: VISIONING FOR RIDGEWOOD’S NEXT MASTER PLAN

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There is a constitutional obligation for municipalities in New Jersey to foster some degree of affordable housing

CBD high density housing

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, it seems many in Ridgewood are unaware of the so called Mount Laurel doctrine, the Mount Laurel doctrine is a controversial judicial interpretation of the New Jersey State Constitution. The doctrine requires that municipalities use their zoning powers in an affirmative manner to provide a realistic opportunity for the production of housing affordable to low and moderate income households.

The doctrine takes its name from the lead case in which it was first pronounced by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1975: Southern Burlington County N.A.A.C.P. v. Mount Laurel Township (commonly called Mount Laurel I), in which the plaintiffs challenged the zoning ordinance of Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, on the grounds that it operated to exclude low and moderate income persons from obtaining housing in the municipality.

In 1985 the New Jersey Legislature responded by passing the Fair Housing Act. Accepting the premise that there was some constitutional obligation for municipalities to foster some degree of affordable housing, this legislation created an administrative agency, the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), to establish regulations whereby the obligation of each municipality in terms of the number of units and how the obligation could be satisfied.

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Valley Hospital Van Dien Campus and Affordable Housing

Bike_Valley_theridgewoodblog

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Part of that affordable housing plan involves an alternative approach to The Valley Hospital campus on Van Dien Avenue. Valley is moving its main hospital to a 372-bed facility on Route 17, expected to be completed by 2023. Its Ridgewood campus will then become a medical services hub. 

“It is our intent to maintain a vibrant campus that will include a walk-in care center and a range of outpatient services,” Megan Fraser, vice president of marketing and public relations for The Valley Hospital, said in an email.

I suspect everything that The Valley has at 1200 East Ridgewood Avenue will move to Van Dien after all is said and done.  The property at 1200 East Ridgewood would then go up for sale – High density housing with an affordable housing component is my bet for that location, just like their property on North Maple where the old Ford dealer was.

Also, I question whether the YMCA really needs to be physically located in Ridgewood any longer.  I would not be surprised if their property goes on the chopping block and gets sold to a developer who wants to build high density housing.  Properties within walking distance to the train station are, and will continue to be, in very high demand for luxury apartments, especially when Midtown Direct Service begins on the NJ Transit Bergen & Main Lines. 

I suspect that the YMCA might build a state of the art facility in the industrial section of Glen Rock – Harristown Road or maybe Fair Lawn – Pollitt Drive.

The Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club property will also be in play within the next few years.

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New Jersey Affordable Housing – Time to Make it Fair!

New Jersey is….

1st in the nation for highest property taxes
3rd most expensive state to live in
5th in the nation for highest per student school spending
5th in the nation for highest state income tax
6th most expensive state to purchase a home
#1 most densely populated state in the nation with 1,216 people per square mile


Land is at a premium and developers want to cash in and develop every last inch

FACT: Renting or owning a home should be affordable to NJ residents who qualify, but not at the expense of local ordinance that is contrary to NJ municipal land use law.
FACT: NJ’s affordable housing (AH) mandates are not working and our government is not listening to the voice of the people – who support AH but want it to be implemented fairly, honestly and sensibly.
FACT: The current pace of proposed AH development is not reasonable or sustainable and will be catastrophic to towns, schools, volunteer emergency services, infrastructure and to NJ’s natural resources, ecosystems, waterways and environment.


What We Want
1) We believe municipal AH obligations should not be determined by the courts and that there should be clear, statewide guidelines to follow.
2) “Builder’s remedy” lawsuits should be eliminated as a mechanism used to satisfy a municipality’s AH obligations.
3) We believe the laws governing AH must consider the impact on our schools, roads, traffic and congestion, emergency services and the preservation of open space and our quality of life.
4) NJ’s environment must be protected from sprawl and overdevelopment; AH should not be built on environmentally-sensitive land or land that has been remediated from contamination.
5) AH that is built should not “expire” and should count towards all future AH rounds and obligations.
6) We, the residents of NJ, seek to disband the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) who takes our hard-earned tax dollars to enrich the wallets of lawyers and developers at the expense of NJ’s future.
7) We, the people, demand a bi-partisan review of AH and legislative reform to make NJ’s affordable housing fair.


We are calling for reasonable ways to address the current problems to enact clear legislative guidelines that will: 1) ensure that AH benefits those in need; 2) implement a regional or statewide approach; 3) expand the ways in which municipalities can address their fair share of affordable housing—FAIRLY!

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Reader says , “As long as their leaves are swept, recycling is picked up on time and streets are clean of snow they are just fine”

I think it is past the point of no return. From Aronsohn to Knudsen to Realtor in Chief we have been taken for a ride. Deservedly so as this town is full of snobs who don’t really care about town management. As long as their leaves are swept, recycling is picked up on time and streets are clean of snow they are just fine (actually management of these issues sucks big time). As more of these types move into Ridgewood the situation will only get worse. We all came together against Valley but nobody gives a peep about the incredible and permanent impact all this housing will bring. In hindsight I wish Valley stayed. I would rather have doctor’s offices all around the village than ugly buildings and crowded streets and schools. Too late now. Unless we all rise and contest this travesty with housing at a time when people in droves are laving NJ we are finished. We are about to become a city. By the time we will all look to sell and leave we won’t even get our money’s worth. Developers are trying to maximize and occupy every inch they can get because they face no resistance by our chosen officials. Looking at the development site on Broad St they are digging foundations just about 5-10 feet from the train tracks. RW is their playground now but we are too stupid to realize.

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OUR VILLAGE, OUR FUTURE: VISIONING FOR RIDGEWOOD’S NEXT MASTER PLAN Frequently-Asked Questions

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Frequently-Asked Questions

last updated October 14, 2018

1. What is Our Village, Our Future?

The Village of Ridgewood, NJ is working towards preparing its next Master Plan. One of the first steps is to engage the community to think about and share its vision for current and future generations to love and appreciate. Our Village, Our Future is the name given to this visioning process.

2. What are the goals of Our Village, Our Future?

The primary goal of Our Village, Our Future is to implement a community visioning process that reaches out to a broad range of Village residents and other stakeholders (e.g., businesses, institutions, etc.) and encourages them to think about and discuss the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the future of the Village. This community visioning process represents the one of the first steps toward creating a new Master Plan for the Village.

3. What will be the final outcome or product of Our Village, Our Future? When will the Master Plan be prepared?

The final outcome/product of this visioning process will be a Vision Plan. This document will summarize the community engagement process and synthesize the results of this process in terms of identifying and explaining the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the Village’s next Master Plan. The process of creating the next Master Plan will start after the visioning process is complete.

4. What is a Master Plan and how is it relevant to my life in the Village?

A Master Plan, sometimes referred to as a Comprehensive Plan, is a guidance document that sets goals, policies, and priorities for investing in the physical, economic, environmental, and social future of a community. A master plan can address a wide range of topics and/or geographic areas of importance to residents and other stakeholders. It can provide an overall vision for a place and identify key priorities and strategies toward achieving the vision. It can provide direction in terms of investing in transportation improvements and public facilities, changing zoning regulations, protecting ecologically-sensitive areas, or becoming more environmentally sustainable. Concept plans and other visuals within a master plan can demonstrate ideas and hoped-for outcomes.

The master plan is also the basis for a municipality’s zoning regulations. In New Jersey, all municipalities are required to have a master plan and to “reexamine” it at least every 10 years. The reexamination process can represent a stepping stone for updating or creating a new master plan. However, the resulting Reexamination Report itself does not constitute the actual updated or new master plan.

5. Why does the Village need to prepare a new Master Plan? Has the Village “reexamined” its Master Plan yet?

Although there are certain parts of the Village’s Master Plan that have been updated more recently (for example, the section pertaining to housing, which was updated in 2016), the core sections of the Master Plan date back to 1983. A lot has changed since that time. The Village did “reexamine” its master plan in 2016, and the resulting Master Plan Reexamination Report can be downloaded and viewed from the Plans & Studies page.

6. Will the Our Village, Our Future process involve the whole Village, geographically speaking?

Yes, the whole Village is the subject of this visioning process. It is not limited to a specific part or aspect of the Village; we expect and welcome feedback on any part or aspect of the Village.

7. How can I stay informed about this process? How will I be able to contribute my vision for the future of Ridgewood?

First, visit www.visionridgewood.org. This website will be the central public portal of information for this initiative. Next, make sure to sign up to receive updates when a new post is added to the page. Look for the phrase “Receive E-mail Updates” on the site and follow the instructions.

Press releases will be drafted and distributed so that local newsletters and newspapers can publish timely information for their readers during the course of the initiative. We anticipate utilizing various methods to get input from residents and other stakeholders. These might include surveys, workshops, focus groups, etc.

The Village’s website and social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) will also feature important dates and milestones in the visioning process, providing links to more details at this website.

8. What if I have questions or already have input about my vision for Ridgewood?

An online form is available on the Contact page at www.visionridgewood.org for residents and other interested members of the community to ask additional questions about or offer suggestions for this visioning process. If you have already been thinking about your vision for Ridgewood and would like to share it with us, visit the Your Vision page.  As the visioning process moves ahead, there will be more formal opportunities to participate in the visioning process through workshops, surveys, and other methods.

9. What if I or one of my neighbors is unable to access information or provide input through online means?

You or your neighbor can provide input in writing and mail or drop it off in a sealed envelope to Master Plan Subcommittee, Planning Board of the Village of Ridgewood, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Furthermore, any important announcements will be posted in the main lobby of Village Hall.

10. Is there anything I can do to help with this process?

Yes! We can always use help getting the word out to people in the Village. If you are or know the point-person responsible for sending e-mail communications for a church, school, civic association, or other type of community-based organization, please include a link to the Our Village, Our Future website. We may have other opportunities for volunteers, which can include high school students (with parents’ permission), to assist in promoting Our Village, Our Future. We will post these opportunities to this website when they arise.

11. What is the timeline for completing this process?

We anticipate that the visioning process will take approximately seven months to complete.

12. Who is leading this initiative?

This initiative is being guided by the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Planning Board, with support from the Village Council. Through a request for proposals and interview process, the Master Plan Subcommittee and the Planning Board recommended the firm NV5, Inc., based in Parsippany, NJ, to lead this process and develop the resulting vision plan. The Village Council subsequently approved the recommendation. NV5’s Community Planning & Urban Design group has experience throughout the Northeast and in New Jersey with projects like Our Village, Our Future.

Composition of the Master Plan Subcommittee:

  • Richard Joel, Planning Board Chair
  • Joel Torielli, Planning Board Vice Chair
  • Susan Knudsen, Deputy Mayor
  • Melanie McWilliams

NV5, Inc.:

  • Neil Desai, AICP PP, Project Manager
  • Annette Schultz, AICP PP
  • Rachana Sheth
  • Chris Lucas, AICP LEED ND
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Reader says , “I wish we could go back to just voting for the right people and not for the people who Aronsohn and company are against”

Ridgewood 3 amigos

file photo by Boyd Loving

The three amigos (Aronsohn, Hauck, and Pucciarelli) with their side-kick Sonenfeld turned this town into a partisan town. It is sickening. They formed a cabal, and reportedly two of them were even cabaling under the covers. They have continued this dark side versus light side politics, just as if there are two parties in town. I am a registered and dedicated Democrat, but I despise those four democrats and what they did here. The high density housing in particular, they screwed us big time. Get ready to start building more schools everyone. And the parking garage. And the four of them continue their partisan nonsense, politicking as a group for “their candidates” (who, thankfully, do not win). They are the ones who would put themselves at the top of the VIP list, and I guess you could say they ARE indeed very important because of all the damage they have caused and continue to cause. I wish we could go back to just voting for the right people and not for the people who Aronsohn and company are against.

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Reader says , “Rome is Burning “

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Rome is Burning and we are writing story books about a leantoo shed close to not having any heat nor light , a filthy facility that the NJ Transit should rebuild in brick and
offer some protection from the elements ; that can be cleaned ,then locked at night like a real town.We need to check the water in this town..it’s getting a bit to wobbly intellect
wise. They keep shifting the happy together talk to avoid dealing with the real issues that are hard to address manage and take intelligent approach to.Happy Holidays Ridgewood a town worth fighting for …2019 needs a more realistic plan on cost containment and cancelation of massive Hudson st garage plans in order to cut our longer term losses .

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New Jersey high-rises aren’t as fire safe as you think

Ridgewood_Firefighters_Quickly_Snuff_Out_theridgewood blog

file photo by Boyd Loving

by New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB)

Ridgewood NJ, Fatal fires in high-rise buildings continue to demonstrate the dangers associated with failing to install fire sprinkler systems. These buildings present unique challenges to fire departments and pose a serious danger to their occupants if fire sprinkler systems are not in place.

Continue reading New Jersey high-rises aren’t as fire safe as you think

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Reader calls the Hudson Garage , “The biggest Scam is the massive non conforming concrete Hudson street parking structure”

parking garage cbd

The biggest Scam is the massive non conforming concrete Hudson street parking structure planned right across the street from that historic church ; who did little to stop this assault of that neighborhood.Reap what yee shall sow from these out of town developers ..they will be the first ones getting out of
ridgewood with the loot ,leaving taxpayers with the massive liability for Schools , Services and more town employees with pensions ! to service more apartments and children with multi family
developments.Just wait..