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RIDGEWOOD PLANNING BOARD PUBLIC MEETING JUNE 5th : Hudson Street Parking Garage, Courtesy Review, Epic Management, Block 3809, Lots 12 & 13

PLANNING BOARD PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Village Hall Court Room – 7:30 P.M.
(all timeframes and the order of agenda items below are approximate and subject to change)
1. 7:30 p.m. – Call to Order, Statement of Compliance, Flag Salute, Roll Call – In accordance with the provisions of Section 10:4-8d of the Open Public Meetings Act, the date, location, and time of the commencement of this meeting is reflected in a meeting notice, a copy of which schedule has been filed with the Village Manager and the Village Clerk, The Ridgewood News and The Record newspapers, and posted on the bulletin board in the entry lobby of the Village municipal offices at 131 North Maple Avenue, and on the Village website, all in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.Roll call: Knudsen, Voigt, Joel, Patire, Scheibner, Torielli, McWilliams, Barto, Van Goor, Wesner, Bandelt
2. 7:30 p.m. – 7:35 p.m. – Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board
3. 7:35 p.m. – 7:40 p.m. – Committee/Commission/Professional Updates for Non Agenda Topics, Correspondence Received by the Board
4. 7:40 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Chestnut Hill Development, Minor Sub-Division, 401 Mountain Avenue, Block 2706, Lot 4, Adoption of Memorializing Resolution of Approval
5. 7:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m. – Hudson Street Redevelopment Ordinance #3649
6. 7:55 p.m. – 8:05 p.m. – Blade Signs Ordinance #3647
7. 8:05 p.m. – 8:20 p.m. – Ridgewood/Dayton, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 100/152 South Broad Street, Blocks 3707/3905, Lots 5.01/1.01 – Developer’s Agreement, Carried from May 15, 2018 without prejudice to the Board
8. 8:20 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Two Forty Associates, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 150-174 Chestnut Street, Block 2005, Lot 38 – Developer’s Agreement, Carried from May 15, 2018 without prejudice to the Board
9. 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Ridgewood Water, Informal Review, 205 East Glen Avenue, Block 3107, Lot 33.01, Carr Facility, carried from May 15, 2018 without notice and without prejudice to the Board
10. 9:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Hudson Street Parking Garage, Courtesy Review, Epic Management, Block 3809, Lots 12 & 13
11. 10:30 p.m. – 10:35 p.m. – Adoption of Minutes: July 18, 2017
12. 10:35 p.m. – Executive Session (if necessary)
13. Adjournment: In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, all meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work sessions, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings, which are always open to members of the general public.
Members: Susan Knudsen, Jeff Voigt, Joel Torielli, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, Richard Joel, Debbie Patire, Frances Barto, James Van Goor, Alysson Wesner, Matthew Bandelt
Professional Staff: Christopher Martin, Esq., Board Attorney; Christopher J. Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Brigette Bogart, Village Planner; Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary

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Ridgewood Planning Board Public Meeting : Public Hearing on the Revised Amendment to the Master Plan that was put forth on April 21st

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05/05/15 7:30PM  Planning Board Public Meeting – Village Hall Court Room

Please join us on Tuesday, May 5th at Village Hall at 7:30 pm

Agenda: Public Hearing on the Revised Amendment to the Master Plan that was put forth on April 21st

We need your attendance at the next Planning Board meeting on Tuesday.  We are close to the end, but we must still attend the meetings and continue to urge our Planning Board to act cautiously when altering our Master Plan.

At the last Planning Board meeting on April 21st, the Village Planner, Blais Brancheau, presented a NEW Amendment that takes a one-size-fits-all approach to increasing density — a risky approach that we do not support.  In our opinion, Mr. Brancheau continues to plan for profit, not for the people of Ridgewood.  The revised amendment is VERY different from the amendment that was proposed in November of 2013 and in our opinion, is looking more and more like spot zoning.  (The revised amendment is attached.)

Thoughts:

Blais Brancheau, the Village planner, stated that the zones he identified as suitable for high-density housing in the first amendment were being considered because housing at these locations would be beneficial to the public at large.  Why then, in the 11th hour, did the planner eliminate several properties (West Bergen Mental Healthcare and neighboring properties) that have been in consideration for more than two years?  We never, not even once, heard any Planning Board member suggest this change.  Yet this was one of the biggest changes in the revised amendment.  We don’t get it.

In another significant change, the much larger Ken Smith property has been lumped into the same zone as the smaller Enclave (Sealfon’s) site.  This move makes a bold statement.  By combining these two sites into one zone, the Village planner has thrown all of the initial criteria he specified when identifying zones for high-density housing out the window.  These are two very unique properties and their zoning benefits should differ.  By lumping them together and labeling them as one in the same, Mr. Brancheau has basically set up every property in between these two sites to argue for the same zoning benefits.  In our opinion, this is a reckless approach.

The new Amendment allows for up to 35 units an acre, with affordable for rent units included.  While this is indeed an improvement from the 40-50 units put forth in the initial Amendment, in our opinion, this is still too big of a jump from the 12 units per acre that is permitted now and the 22 units per acre average that currently exists in our down town.  Instead of establishing a maximum density up to 35 units per acre, why not raise the minimum and allow our village to examine each new development on a case by case basis?  We recommend raising the baseline density to 24 units an acre, doubling the permitted allowance.  Our Planning Board could then work to establish criteria that would allow for density bonuses, beyond the baseline.  For example, if developers can provide for more parking, affordable housing units, open space, greater set backs, green building practices, etc…  they would be allowed a bonus of more units per acre than the baseline.   This cautious approach would be preferable to a one size fits all zoning change that could have irreversible repercussions.

Mr. Brancheau is capable of crafting this amendment differently, yet he continues to offer the same benefits across the board to all zones, regardless of the context or the surrounding location.  We don’t understand why.  From our vantage point, many Planning Board members seemed flustered by the changes to the Amendment and some even expressed question or concern.  The only Planning Board member who seemed to embrace these changes was Mayor Aronsohn.  He seems very eager to move forward and get this done.

CBR wants this process resolved as well, but we want it done RIGHT.  We don’t want the Planning Board to rush to a decision.  We just received a copy of the new Amendmenton Friday, and the Public Hearing is TUESDAY!   We live here and we care about the future of our town.  Long after politicians are out of office and eager developers have reaped their profits, we will still be left here, living with the consequences.

Please join us on TUESDAY, May 5th at Village Hall at 7:30 pm.  Let’s continue to  urge our Planning Board to get it right!

Here are two links to Letters to the Editor that provide more detail about our position:

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-letters-to-the-editor/letter-to-the-editor-ridgewood-grassroots-group-responds-to-master-plan-amendment-1.1323134

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-letters-to-the-editor/letter-to-the-editor-many-questions-still-unanswered-regarding-ridgewood-downtown-housing-1.1323121

Thank you for your continued support.

Citizensfora BetterRidgewood
citizensforabetterridgewood@aol.com