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Finally – A parking solution that makes sense

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Finally – A parking solution that makes sense
September 11,2014
Boyd A. Loving
2:18 PM

Our prayers have been answered – Hallelujah!

Village Manager Roberta Sonnenfeld announced on Wednesday, 09/10/2014 the Village’s intent to lease a portion of the former Ken Smith Motors property, on Franklin Avenue near North Broad Street, for purposes of providing parking for the employees of businesses operating in Ridgewood’s Central Business District (CBD).  It is believed that the proposed private/public partnership endeavor will free up many parking spaces on streets in the CBD for shoppers and restaurant goers.

No formal agreement had been reached as of Ms. Sonnenfeld’s announcement, but was revealed that Village parking enforcement agents will patrol the lot for violators, and that the Village will receive 10% of gross revenues.  More details are expected to be released once a formal contract is signed.  No word on the Village’s contribution, if any, to expenses such as building demolition, line striping, etc.

The announcement came with this advisory – the solution will not be long term in nature because the property owner wishes to develop it at a later date.

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Village’s plan to lease Gilsenan/Gap property falls flat

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Village’s plan to lease Gilsenan/Gap property falls flat
September 10 ,2014

Boyd A. Loving
11:17 PMRidgewood NJ, The following resolution was unanimously approved by Village Council members on 09/08:

#14-219: Reject Bids for Lot 12 – The Gap Parking Lot – Rejects the bids for this project due to the fact that revenues did not meet the Village’s financial expectations and there were too many zoning variances required for both bids that were received.

In a nutshell, there will be no building constructed on the Village owned property between Gilsenan Insurance/Realty and The Gap. Those who were interested in the lease proposed offering way too little in terms of annual rent, and wanted to build a structure(s) much larger than what the Village Council had envisioned.

Village Council members, and select Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce members, had hoped a real estate development firm would step forward and offer big bucks to construct a 2-story retail/office building on the property. The revenues would have been earmarked for the construction of a parking deck at the Hudson Street parking lot.

This is the second complete failure associated with this plan

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FISH, Coming to the Bank of America Building ?

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FISH,  Coming to the Bank of America Building ?

FISH is located in Asbury Park’s Post Building, one of the region’s most beautiful and historic structures built in 1885, FISH has quickly attracted the attention of both local and regional audiences.Seeking unmatched quality, superior service and can’t-wait-to-return dining experiences. FISH offers a creative menu featuring the freshest seafood and seasonal, sustainable and locally grown foods.

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Ridgewood developers would add parking

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Ridgewood developers would add parking

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014, 1:21 AM
BY CHRIS HARRIS
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD
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RIDGEWOOD — The village will be getting some much-needed parking along North Walnut Street under the terms outlined in a 42-page bid soliciting potential developers for the downtown’s redevelopment zone.

A new Request for Proposal and Qualifications, or RFP, has been issued by Ridgewood officials and seeks the redevelopment of 10 properties the heart of the Central Business District.

The 2.07 acres — some of it municipally owned — was designated a “redevelopment zone” by officials in 2007, which permits mostly retail and restaurant uses.

The redevelopment zone — currently the site of an ice cream shop, an 89-space parking lot, a mechanic’s shop, restaurants and retail stores — further allows for residential developments and is already being considered by at least one developer for a future assisted-living facility for seniors.

The RFP states that all proposals and plans from interested developers must be submitted by December and must include some manner of parking garage.

While an issue for decades, the village’s lack of parking has become an increasing concern for businesses and residents.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-developers-would-add-parking-1.1084530

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Special Public Meeting for Planning Board – September 16

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NOTICE – Special Public Meeting for Planning Board – September 16

PLANNING BOARD

AMENDMENT TO MEETING SCHEDULE

Special Public Meeting: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 

Change of Location

In accordance with the provisions of the “Open Public Meetings Act,” please be advised that the Planning Board has scheduled a special public meeting and work session for TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014, in the RIDGEWOOD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT CENTER, 627 E. RIDGEWOOD AVENUE, RIDGEWOOD, NJ beginning AT 7:30 p.m.

The Board may take official action during this Special Public Meeting at which time the Board will continue the public hearing concerning a proposed amendment to the Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan which would recommend changes in zone district classifications and boundaries within the Central Business District and surrounding area including AH-2, B-3-R, C-R and C Zone Districts. 

The proposed master plan amendment and related exhibits are at the office of the Secretary of the Ridgewood Planning Board on the third floor of Village Hall, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey and are available for public inspection Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The amendment and exhibits are also posted as a courtesy on the Village’s website at www.ridgewoodnj.net. 

All meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work session meetings, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings which are always open to members of the general public.

Jane Wondergem

Secretary to the Board

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Ridgewood Planning Board details process, payment for hearings

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Ridgewood Planning Board details process, payment for hearings

SEPTEMBER 8, 2014    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2014, 6:00 PM
BY LAURA HERZOG
STAFF WRITER

“Rights” related to money spent by amendment applicants on hearings before the Ridgewood Planning Board – including the payment of village professionals, as detailed in Ordinance 3066 – were among the topics discussed during a review on Tuesday of proper board behavior.

The idea that Ridgewood’s applicants are afforded additional rights – beyond those afforded to applicants in other communities, who may not foot the bill for municipal experts during the hearing process – was ultimately rejected by the board attorneys.

But one key point was revealed: Ridgewood has the right to foot the bill for a master plan amendment application hearing, with or without Ordinance 3066 on the books, and thereby bring only its own experts in for a hearing, rather than also including an applicants’ experts.

During the discussion, Planning Board Attorney Gail Price also presented a legal overview regarding Open Public Meetings Act requirements and board obligations related to the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL).

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-planning-board-details-process-payment-for-hearings-1.1083491#sthash.uZY7zkt6.dpuf

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The streets of Ridgewood are in full bloom

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The streets of Ridgewood are in full bloom

SEPTEMBER 5, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2014, 12:31 AM
BY BETTY WIEST
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All I can say is, “Wow!” Surely by now you have seen the amazing amount of bountiful blooms in Ridgewood’s Central Business District (CBD). The planters are overflowing with color; the reds, the yellows, the pinks, the greens. They are plentiful and they are beautiful. The CBD has never looked so amazing! The numerous gigantic planters, overflowing with colorful cannas and countless other plants, are striking indeed.

Project Pride, The Women Gardeners of Ridgewood, The Ridgewood Conservancy for Public Lands, Ridgewood’s Department of Parks, seven local landscape contractors and many individual businesses contributed to make our streets and vest pocket areas in Ridgewood really come alive. We should all extend a hearty “Thank you!” to all who contributed to make our village gorgeous!

It is all a matter of presence and we want our residents, visitors and those who work in the village to be proud of our appearance. This is a “feel good” story. How can you not smile at all the beautiful planters as you walk around the streets in Ridgewood this summer, not to mention many of the tree wells, the planters provided by local businesses and the tremendous efforts by volunteer groups.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/recreation/the-streets-of-ridgewood-are-in-full-bloom-1.1081499#sthash.u9YqJZr3.dpuf

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Ridgewood soliciting ideas for redevelopment area

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Ridgewood soliciting ideas for redevelopment area

SEPTEMBER 4, 2014    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2014, 3:38 PM
BY BY JODI WEINBERGER
STAFF WRITER

The future of North Walnut Street is in the hands of a developer, but don’t count on getting any clues from a fortune teller about what’s to be built.

“Carnival enterprises, such as palmistry, phrenology, astrology and the like” are just some of the businesses banned from the Central Business District, according to the Request for Proposals and Qualifications (RFP) for the redevelopment of the North Walnut Street area published last month.

Drive-through windows, car sales lots and auto repair shops are also on the “prohibited” list in the 42-page document that will guide the look and substance of the 2.07 acres to be redeveloped.

On Oct. 8, the village will hold a meeting where RFP responders can ask questions or make comments about the document. Plans must be submitted by Dec. 1. By Feb. 4, concepts will be presented to the Village Council, which will choose one, if any, of the firms in March.

The rest of the timeline, like acquiring vacant property and beginning construction, is “to be determined.”

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-soliciting-ideas-for-redevelopment-area-1.1081324#sthash.4v7nIX36.dpuf

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Village to conduct physical review of all sidewalk cafe layouts

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Photo credit: Boyd A. Loving

Village to conduct physical review of all sidewalk cafe layouts
September 4,2014
Boyd A. Loving
12:49 PM

Ridgewood Nj, Are many sidewalks in the Central Business District (CBD) impassable to those with disabilities, particularly those confined to wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility scooters, because of sidewalk cafes, or is the problem limited to one or two locations?

During Wednesday evening’s Village Council Work Session, Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld promised that Village officials would soon conduct a walking tour of the CBD to assess the situation, and then recommend/suggest changes if and where they are appropriate.

This taxpayer wonders why no immediate action, in the form of summonses or written warnings, is being taken if a complaint has been filed about a specific location, and non-compliance with the sidewalk cafe ordinance has been verified?

All photos accompanying this post were taken on 9/4/2014, the day following Ms. Sonenfeld’s announcement.

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Photo credit: Boyd A. Loving

Microsoft Store

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The Name-Dropper: Van Neste Square

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The Name-Dropper: Van Neste Square

SEPTEMBER 4, 2014    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2014, 1:21 AM
BY JEFFREY PAGE
SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
THE RECORD

Who was Lee of Fort Lee, Votee of Votee Park and Merritt of Camp Merritt? The Name-Dropper gives you the lowdown on some of the people whose names you see on public statues, memorial plaques, park signs, highways and even some local streets around North Jersey. Have suggestions? Email them to features@northjersey. com and put Name-Dropper in the subject field.

In the legendary first intercollegiate football game, when Rutgers beat Princeton, 6-4, John Alfred Van Neste of the Rutgers team may have kicked the ball, may have helped score a point, may have blocked a Princeton player.

Then again, maybe not.

Accounts of that game played in New Brunswick in 1869 report the score, but provide little about how individual players performed.

It seems easy, 145 years later, to assume Van Neste got a chance to play since the rules of that time dictated large lineups, 25 players per side.

But in one respect, how Van Neste played doesn’t matter since it was not his exploits on the gridiron that caused the Village of Ridgewood to name a sweet little downtown park in his memory. Rather it was for the remembrance of Van Neste as an adored minister in mid-19th to early-20th-century Ridgewood. He was the Reformed Church pastor who helped people of other denominations establish and build their own places of worship, and in the meantime allowed them to use his church.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/ridgewood-park-ministers-to-all-as-did-its-namesake-1.1081013#sthash.y4WRDtCp.dpuf