Posted on

Rift over parkland opens old wounds in Ridgewood


AUGUST 24, 2015    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2015, 8:20 AM

RIDGEWOOD — Recent discussions at Village Council meetings over what should be done with the Schedler property — 7 acres of wooded land the village purchased six years ago — have resurrected age-old allegations in town of political favoritism.

At the council’s work session Aug. 12, a handful of speakers contended that Ridgewood was a divided community where a collective “east versus west” mind-set was pervasive and that village officials had long overlooked their neighborhood on the far east side. They said decisions about the Schedler property reflected bias against residents of their neighborhood.

Generally, the railroad tracks are considered the dividing line. However, Route 17 severs a triangular tract on the east that touches both Washington Township and Ho-Ho-Kus from the larger portion of the village, which is home to the Village Hall, the central business district and all the village’s schools.

That neighborhood runs from Route 17 to just beyond Van Emburgh Avenue, and from Racetrack Road on the north down to Linwood Avenue.

Posted on

Ridgewood endorses 2012 report on Schedler property


AUGUST 13, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2015, 3:32 PM

Two resolutions related to Ridgewood’s historic Schedler property were put to a vote Wednesday night, with the governing body deciding in favor of endorsing recommendations made for the property by the village’s Open Space Committee and voting against the authorization of filing a Bergen County Historic Trust Fund matching grant for money related to the 200-year-old Zabriskie-Schedler house.

The subject of the Schedler property was revived last week as residents appealed to the council to support a grant that would be used to stabilize the house. The grant had a deadline of Sept. 3.

After a lengthy discussion and public comment, two resolutions were considered on Wednesday’s agenda. One resolution adopted the recommendations set forth in a 2012 Open Space Committee report that determined the Schedler property should be developed for recreational purposes, including a 90-foot baseball field with an overlay multi-purpose field for soccer and lacrosse.

The resolution also makes several other recommendations, including leaving the fate of the Zabriskie-Schedler house in the hands of the Village Council. It also provides guidelines for “interested citizens” to “raise and expend private funds for the purpose of stabilizing the house until a decision is made by the Village Council,” which some council members said made the second resolution to approve the grant unnecessary.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn stated his belief that the Open Space Committee report strikes “the right balance” and meets the needs of all Ridgewood residents.