Ridgewood Nj, according to Mayor Ramon Hache , the Village Council tackled a broad range of issues during 2018. I will list just a few of our accomplishments and then provide an update on issues that are still pending a final resolution. During 2018, the Village Council:
Constitutional Law 101. Municipalities are certifiably insane if they imagine that it could be in any way appropriate to dance this particular two-step: 1) Evaluate in a legislative body the substance of a third-party message proposed for public display on public property; and 2) Approve such public display on municipal property because said legislative body loves that message and darn well wants to signal its approval of same. . Why did our well-paid village attorney not put the Kibosh on this? Regardless of what one thinks of the particular message that received approval and (by now) two month’s free advertisement from our elected village legislative body, how (constitutionally speaking) can that body now legitimately say “no” to a similar-situated month-long display containing, say, an opposite message, or even any other message for that matter!?! Why did the Village’s legal counsel not lay out this easily-predicted problem in stark enough terms to persuade our illusurious council members of the utter folly of their planned course of action?
Ridgewood NJ, the Village of Ridgewood debated moving move forward with the purchase of the Ridgewood Elks club , Councilwomen Bernie Walsh objected to the purchase of the Elks Club for Ridgewood Water , at $200,000 over the appraised value plus $500-700 to 1.5 million in renovations for 30 people . Walsh reiterated that the purchase was just for Ridgewood Water.
Walsh went on noting that class “A” and class “B” office space are plentiful in Bergen County and there was no need for such a major under taking . Walsh felt is was just, “not a smart idea at this time”.
Former Mayor Knudsen pushed the idea for consolidation of space as well as the Elks is last contagious piece of property near the Municipal complex creating greater efficiencies . Mayor Hach wanted confirmation on the renovation estimates because there seemed to be significant disagreement about what was or was not estimated .
The council created this problem and the time has come for the council to fix this problem. This “business” has destroyed what was once a lovely and charming neighborhood. As a reminder, the principle that government must be both “limited in power and ACCOUNTABLE to the people” lies at the core of our constitutional traditions (especially so in local government). Take action against Health Barn or we the people will take action by voting you out when your terms expire… Can you hear us know?
Mark Krulish , Staff Writer, @Mark_Krulish2:57 p.m. ET April 27, 2017
RIDGEWOOD — In an effort to add parking spaces at the train station, the council is weighing a plan to reduce the size of a grass median and create new spots for compact cars.
The design, presented by Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser to the council Wednesday, calls for narrowing the island on the western side of the train tracks by 4.5 feet to accomodate parking for compact cars on both sides of the median. The new layout would add 41 spots.
Ridgewood NJ, at the Wednesday Council meeting ,Village Engineer Christopher Rutishauser spoke at length on the addition spaces at the train station . Rutishauser suggested some compact car parking spaces to add more spaces . He also said the new plan would involve the planting of more trees at the train station then currently exist.
The Village engineer also suggested moving the Ridgewood Bus Station to the Train Station Property and claimed a net increase in parking spaces would amount to 38. (28 at Train Station and 10 more at Van Nest Square ).
The advantage would be more (10) spaces CBD parking near Van Neste Square, and buses would travel on Franklin ave instead of East Ridgewood Ave . The current bus station is in need of repair and has been a point of contention for the Ridgewood Police department.
According to New Jersey Transit over 900 people take the bus per weekday,300 on Saturday and 100 Sunday’s . There are 6 bus routs the 163,164, 175, 722 ,746, and 752 . On a typical weekday there are 301 bus movements through Van Neste. With peak movement being 7:30-8:30 am (38) and 6:00-7:00 pm (21).
Rutishauser assured the council the cost would be around $300,000 .
The council peppered the engineer with questions on traffic congestion and traffic flow at the Train station as well as Franklin Ave. They asked about the impact of new previously approved development coming to the Central Business District which will add to Franklin avenue traffic. The discussion also veered to returning the Gerber square streets back to their original two lanes .
Critics were quick to point out : It seems that Chris ” Bike Lane ” Rutishaser is at it again . He has pulled his new old plan to move the bus station to Westside by the train station. I wonder how much this will cost and what about the addition traffic in the area. This should be good. I hope the council learns from his last “traffic calming “design fiasco.”
Ridgewood NJ, The Village council has hired Brigette Bogart of Brigette Bogart Planning and Design Professionals to serve as the village’s part-time planner, replacing the departed Blais Brancheau.
Bogart will attend planning and zoning board meetings, as well as review development applications filed by third parties, among other duties. Compensation will be an amount not to exceed $60,000.
According to the firm’s website, Brigette Bogart Planning & Design Professionals LLC was established in May of 2012 as a full service planning and design firm that recognizes the need to incorporate sustainable planning and appropriate urban design concepts into the future development projects.
Bogart has a Master of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, 2000 and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture, North Carolina State University, 1997.
She has been awarded the 2008 NJPO Achievement in Planning for Borough of Park Ridge Rehabilitation Project, 2011 NJPO Achievement in Planning for the Township of Fredon Master Plan ,and the 2012 Recognized by Sustainable New Jersey as a member of a Certified Green Team.
Bogart previously worked for 12 years for the well-known Westwood-based planning firm Burgis Associates. In 2003, Bogart was named a Partner with Burgis Associates where she had been involved in all aspects of physical planning. Over a 12-year span, she has represented several municipalities in the review of subdivision and site plan development applications and the preparation of land use regulations as well as master plan elements. In 2010 She received her certification in Grant Writing.
Many residents may remember Bogart as the planner who testified on behalf of Citizens for a Better Ridgewood in 2014 during public hearings on the master plan amendments that would eventually rezone several parcels of land in downtown Ridgewood. Bogart said the rezoning requests “appear to be akin to spot zoning,”
She advised the Ridgewood Planning Board to engage in a cautious process, asking it to think about a “vision” for Ridgewood’s future as it moves forward. At the time their vision seemed more like Union City than Ridgewood .
Bogart herself took a cautious tone did not voice a stance against the developments, but she noted instead that the developments, though possibly at odds with Ridgewood’s best interests, would also help Ridgewood meet some of the current objectives in its master plan, such as enhancing aesthetics of certain areas downtown.
In the end, Bogart testimony reinforced the CBR’s contention that the problem was not development but “jumping from 12 units an acre to 50 units an acre seems reckless at best.”
At that time, the proposed amendments called for a density of 50 units per acre, which members of the grassroots organization CBR as well as most of the Ridgewood community, found unacceptable. Amendments were passed over a year later by the Planning Board reducing the density to 35 units per acre.
The Village Council also added two new members to the Planning Board, Carrie Giordano was appointed as the first alternate member of the board with a term that expires on June 30, 2018. Frances Barto was named as the second alternate, given a term of a little over two years that expires on June 30, 2019.
The village also engaged the Trenton-based Clark, Caton and Hintz planning firm for an amount not to exceed $35,000 to work on issues related to affordable housing.
Reminder: RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL Meeting MARCH 1, 2017 PUBLIC WORKSHOP AGENDA – REVISED
1. 7:30 pm – Call to Order – Mayor 2. Statement of Compliance with Open Public Meeting Act Mayor: “Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by a posting on the bulletin board in Village Hall, by mail to the Ridgewood News, The Record, and by submission to all persons entitled to same as provided by law of a schedule including the date and time of this meeting.” 3. Roll Call – Village Clerk 4. Flag Salute/Moment of Silence 5. Public Comments (Not to Exceed 3 Minutes per Person – 40 Minutes in Total) 6. Motion to Suspend Work Session and Convene Special Public Meeting 7. Motion to Adjourn Special Public Meeting and Reconvene Work Session 8. Special Public Meeting – See Attached Agenda (below) 9. Presentation – Removed from Agenda 10. Discussion a.Ridgewood Water 1.Award of Contract – Water Billing and Data Collection Services – Second Year 2.Proposed Ordinance – Water Emergencies 3.Agreement to Exchange Geographical Information System Data with Bergen County a.Parking – None c. Budget 1.Budget Reserve Transfer 2.Award of Professional Services Contract – Vehicle Parts & Service 3.Award of Contract – Horticulture Supplies – Year One 4.Award of Contract – Coach Bus Transportation Services 5.Award of Contract – Graydon Pool Water’s Edge Cafe – Concession Refreshment Service 11. Discussion Cont’d d. Policy 1.Proposed Ordinance – Facility Use and Rental Fee Updates 2.Proposed Ordinance – Land Use and Redevelopment
12. Review of March 8, 2017 Regular Public Meeting Agenda
13. Manager’s Report
14. Council Reports
16. Public Comments (Not to Exceed 5 Minutes per Person)
17. Resolution to go into Closed Session
18. Closed Session
A. Legal – Valley Hospital Litigation; Settlement for Property Damage; Contract for Parking
B. Contracts/Negotiations – Bulk Water Purchase; Potential Purchase of Property
C. Personnel – Blue Collar & White Collar Negotiations; Appointments to Boards and Committees; Village Planner Consulting Services
VILLAGE COUNCIL SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING
MARCH 1, 2017 7:30 P.M.
1. Call to Order – Mayor
2. Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meeting Act
MAYOR: “Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided
by a posting on the bulletin board in Village Hall,
by mail to the Ridgewood News, The Record, and by submission to all persons entitled to same as provided by law of a schedule including the date and time of this meeting.”
3. Roll Call
17-56 Appointment of Planning Consultant – COAH Matters and Related Litigation
17-57 Appointment of Planning Consultant for Land Use Boards,Village Council, and Review of Applications
17-58 Appoint Members to Planning Board
17-59 Appoint Members to Library Board of Trustees
17-60 Appointment Members to Community Relations Advisory Board
17-61 Appoint Members to Stigma-Free Task Force
17-62 Appoint Members to Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board
At a recent council meeting I asked the council to consider asking our CFO to prepare a report on the feasibility of a property tax reduction, such as 10%, for seniors–whether all seniors or only those with income under a certain level (based on income tax returns) TBD. Other towns do this. It’s fiscally sound for all: a house sold by one or two seniors will go to a family with children, further burdening the school system. With our new all-day kindergarten, and the strong possibility of numerous new apartments looming, we will attract more people with very young children attending school from K through 12. Seniors are around during the day to keep an eye on the neighborhood when others are at work. Seniors volunteer and patronize stores, restaurants, the movie theater, and services such as hair salons on weekdays. A tax reduction each year, especially as taxes rise but a fixed income does not, might help some seniors to remain. Another point that needs to be far more widely known is that seniors with income under a specified amount are entitled to a property tax reduction through the state. The council and website should announce this and provide details, links, forms at Village Hall, etc.