The below document represents answers, approaches and comments to questions, concerns and issues that were raised by residents and the Council regarding the leasing of Habernickel’s Gate House to Health Barn, USA. The Village Council will discuss two resolutions at the Wednesday, February 3rd meeting: one to change the use of the Gate House for recreational and educational purposes, and the second to authorize the signing of the lease between Health Barn and the Village. The vote on these resolutions will not be held until the Council session on February 10th. Any comments or questions can be directed to Roberta Sonenfeld ([email protected]) and Janet Fricke ([email protected]).
Gate House at Irene Habernickel Family Park – HealthBarn, USA
Response to Frequently Asked Questions
Traffic Safety Issues
Ridgewood Police Department completed a traffic study on Hillcrest Road in the Habernickel Park area during the fall recreational season; additional studies are planned – one for winter, another for spring recreation season. The traffic study shows that the average speed falls within a safe area and even though there were a couple high end speeds that percentage was minimal. As far as existing volume, the street has a low volume even though this area is a known “cut through” street. Traffic study was passed on to the Engineering Division for review and implementation.
The Village Engineer recommended:
Stripe 2 crosswalks- at Norman and at Hillcrest. Double yellow center line on Hillcrest Rd. (Morningside to Monroe); signage to alert motorists that they are approaching a crosswalk.
Paint white “Tic” marks on Hillcrest at private driveway openings to allow for better egress.
Amend ordinance to allow for parking on the park side (north) of Hillcrest and not the opposite (south) side. Ordinance #3517
Plans were presented and approved at the monthly Citizen’s Safety Advisory Committee Meeting held December 17th, 2015. Resolution #16-21
ii. Long Term:
Extend sidewalk in front of park to Andover Terrace;
Installation of sidewalk on south side of Hillcrest – Morningside to North Monroe.
Speed humps/ bumps are not recommended by Police or Engineering Division; the double center line is recommended for traffic calming.
Bus Drop Off (M-F 10am -3pm only) – Procedures will include drop off at entrance to Gate House. Buses may park in parking lot or return to premise for pick up. Engine idling prohibited.
Operation of Facility
When the Village purchased the Habernickel property in 2004 using Green Acres funding, a conservation easement was required to be placed on the deed. The easement states that Green Acres rules and regulations must be followed for this property. Green Acres requirements have been followed by Ridgewood, including most recently, the hearing to alert the public to the proposed change in use.
The Village Recreation Department will establish a satellite office on the second floor of the Gate House. The office will be used to provide any assistance or support necessary and will be staffed as needed.
No zoning changes were necessary for the Village to make this change in use.
The change will allow Recreational/ educational programing for the Gate House; no overnight accommodations or private counseling sessions in the Gate House are defined in the Lease.
HealthBarn will be required to follow procedures in the lease to make any improvements to the Gate House. The cost of improvements (including permits) will be covered by tenant.
Community Gardens are allowed in parks with permission from the Director of Parks & Recreation. All maintenance and related costs will be responsibility of HealthBarn. There will be no use of the Horse Barn itself.
Signage – A sign is allowed on the Gate House. Location and size is addressed in the Lease. Prior to installation, approval from Director of Building Department and a permit is required.
Security/lighting analysis will be made by Ridgewood Police for the exterior of the Gate House and will recommend appropriate action.
The hours of operation of any of the programs will be in accordance with the items listed on Schedule A – Monday through Saturday – 9:00AM to 5:30PM; Wednesday and Friday evening. 6:30PM to 9:00PM. The Tenant will be permitted to open and close the facilities a half hour before and after the operation of the programs. Any temporary adjustments to days/hours of operation must be requested five (5) business days in advance, in writing, to the Director of Parks and Recreation or the LANDLORD.
The Gate House facility provides space for additional education/recreational programs for local youth that cannot be held elsewhere in Ridgewood as facilities are being used to full capacity.
Building Code Officials and the Fire Inspector have inspected the Gate House. They will make professional recommendations when questions arise in their area of expertise.
Park areas to be used by HealthBarn – the Gate House , Teaching Community Garden, and potentially some Habernickel field areas will be used by HealthBarn as approved by the Director, Parks & Recreation.
Green Acres does not deny public access to parks that are in the Green Acres program.
Student drop off and pick up area will be at the entrance to the Gate House. If parking is needed during classes, 12 onsite spaces will be used in the parking lot. In addition 3 staff parking spaces are available in the Gate House garage/driveway.
Mini buses carrying up to 14 may drop off at the Gate House entrance; mini buses may park in the parking lot for no more than 2 hours. No engine idling is permitted for any buses. Full size buses (carrying not more than 48 passengers) are permitted only during the hours of 10:00AM to 3:00PM Monday through Friday to drop off at the Gate House entrance. Buses can park in any offsite designated parking lot and return at agreed time for pick up.
Animals are not allowed unless by special request for a program or a certified service animal.
HealthBarn is a vendor to the Village of Ridgewood and as such all programs will be regularly inspected, reviewed and monitored by the Director, Parks and Recreation.
The Tenant understands that it is expressly prohibited from operating and holding private consultation sessions at the Gate House and on Habernickel parklands. One upstairs room will serve as an office. The building shall not be used for living quarters.
The Gate House and all programs shall be open for inspection by Landlord at any time.
Health Barn’s curriculum has been reviewed by Green Acres and Ridgewood Parks and Recreation to ensure that the educational and recreational standards are of high quality for each age group. It is not a daycare or babysitting operation. This enrichment educational experience provides families with nutritional guidance to facilitate better mealtime behaviors for a healthy lifestyle.
The Tenant will have appropriate number of students attending programs for each age and program type as approved through Ridgewood Parks & Recreation Department.
HealthBarn moved due to Abma’s Farm wanting to use their space to expand their own business. Ridgewood staff visited the HealthBarn operation at Abma’s Farm.
A local real estate professional conducted an analysis of the location to determine the base bid for this lease. The lease requires an annual Tri State CPI increase.
The initial lease is for 5 years with renewal for 1 more year adhering to Green Acres rules. A capital improvement of $50,000+ entitles the tenant to a 6 year lease.
The Lease document will be available to the public when it is complete.
Required Insurance coverage is $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 is aggregate. The Village of Ridgewood is listed as additionally insured.
All employees, agents and representatives of HealthBarn must have satisfactorily passed background checks. Documentation will be kept on file.
The Gate House will provide program space as well as office space for registration, planning and operational needs. No overnight accommodations are permitted. The Gate House will be regularly monitored by the Parks and Recreation Department and will be inspected by the Ridgewood Building, Fire and Health Departments and comply with all of their requirements.
The Village is not entitled to the Tenant’s business plan.
The Lease includes legal language to protect the Village if the tenant does not follow lease requirements and termination is needed.
The tenant of the Gate House is required in the lease to submit a quarterly listing and analysis of classes and programs, including attendance, staffing, and related costs to the Director, Parks & Recreation Department for review. The tenant’s current listing of programs is part of the Lease as Schedule A and is the standard (baseline) for all HealthBarn programs. Birthday parties are an approved use by Green Acres. If the tenant wishes to make changes to programs, it must be cleared five days in advance by the Director of Parks & Recreation.