SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015, 12:31 AM
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS
Removing trees from Schedler site would be wrong
To the Editor:
A matching grant application from the Village of Ridgewood for the development of the Schedler property was sent to the Bergen County Division of Open Space on Sept. 1. Once again, two council members were not informed of it (seemingly a pattern on many issues) and no resolution had been presented for council approval prior to the submission of the application.
This became evident at the Sept. 9 council meeting.
In addition, I understood that the $100,000 that was referenced in the grant under funding sources was from the Ridgewood Baseball Association. After reviewing the application online, I see it actually comes from municipal capital funds. Other questionable statements appear in the document as well.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the 90-foot baseball diamond proposed at the Schedler property, the process has been greatly flawed. Not a single comment both written and stated in public expressing concerns about the project have been included or addressed in the municipal plans for development of said property.
Particularly troubling is the pending removal of 4 acres of trees and woods that protect the property from its dangerously close proximity to Route 17. It appears that village employees will do the work. We have a reduced staff (from a high of nine employees down to three). The village is backlogged on shade tree maintenance and/or removal where it is clearly needed for safety reasons. Many of the Schedler trees are mature healthy trees.
There is also concern that when fully vetted, the 90-foot diamond may not be viable at that location. The trees may be removed in vain.
If you take Route 17 North and turn right onto West Saddle River Road and visit the Schedler property, which is immediately on the left, you will understand how devastating the loss of those trees will be to the neighborhood and to us all. The proposed field will be open to all Bergen County teams as the property was purchased with Bergen County grants. The children playing there will be eighth grade and older.
Schedler advocates wanted a smaller field incorporated into the park development plan along with the preservation of the Zabriskie house.
The removal of the trees is bad for the neighborhood, for Ridgewood and for our environment. I am appalled that the process has been so arbitrary and selective and, in my opinion, morally wrong.