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AAA estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will be traveling this holiday season


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, a reminder from the Hackensack Police Department : 
AAA estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will be traveling this holiday season. If you’re one of those people who will be hitting the road, we encourage you to take a few minutes to review these safety tips:
1. Make sure your home is secure. If you have an alarm system, check the batteries, and don’t forget to enable the alarm before you leave. Consider having a friend or neighbor check in on your home while you’re away.
2. If you’re planning to travel by car, get your car inspected and/or serviced before your trip. Prepare an emergency kit which should include jumper cables, flares or a reflective triangle, an ice scraper, a blanket, a cell phone charger, and a map. Plan your drive ahead of time and know alternative routes.
3. If you’ll be traveling by plane, review TSA’s travel tips: Share your itinerary with friends and family, and don’t forget to pack a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, and a USB power bank.
4. If you’ll be traveling with a pet, be sure to add a few items to your emergency kit such as water and pet food. You may also want to consider including a toy or blanket to help alleviate stress.
If you have additional tips you’d like to share with your neighbors, please respond in the comments. Safe travels!

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Reader says , “The restoration of a house (maybe not even historical) which is a piece of junk is not merely a joke, it’s a crying shame”

Schedler Property in Ridgewood

The restoration of a house (maybe not even historical) which is a piece of junk is not merely a joke, it’s a crying shame. Have the voters in Ridgewood been offered any place to express their desire not to have this forced down their throat? It could even have been on yesterdays ballot but that might have revealed that barely anyone in Ridgewood wants this. Where is the proposed funding grant? Still lost in someone’s mind? What are we going to use it for? It’s not in “a desirable location” according to realtors about the surrounding development. West Saddle River Road is such a narrow street that it cannot be striped into 2 halves. Cars ARE going to park on the street. That will immobilize all traffic going there. How did this get authorized without the village having a say in the useless expenditure of even more money and lack of thoughtful preparation?

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Reader says Overall the council has been a disappointment ,carrying more water for the developers

parking garage cbd

Overall the council has been a disappointment ,carrying more water for the developers
and businesses with own agendas that are being served with a first priority at our public taxpayers expense . Seems when something routine gets completed its like a miracle has shown itself from the heavens .We expected better VC.Time to strap in for a real mess over next 2 to 3 years as they tear the roads and streets apart to raise their supporters bar –
on over development of Rental housing developments and raised parking structure projects .Just wait until you see the traffic and the impact to the town we know so well.

This did not have to happen..It was forced down Taxpayers throats .

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Ridgewood’s Coming Battle With Forced Over-development

CBD high density housing

April 7,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood

Ridgewood NJ, Fair share housing is driving all the high density housing in Bergen County and the rest of the state ,destroying neighborhoods and communities in their wake. . Anyone who is saying I am progressive and I want to run for higher level office in NJ, and at the same time saying “I will oppose” high density development, is not being honest with voters. This and the “rainbow flag” is the only progressive cause where they can show their voting record in Ridgewood to gain a ticket for higher office in NJ. This is exactly with Harwin’s mentor Paul Aronsohn  did in 2008 and what a mess that made.

Fair Share Housing using the “Mount laurel Doctrine”  clams to be helping working families but instead seems to be the DEVEOPERS BEST FRIEND. Forced over development creates more demand for police, fire, schools, roads ,sewers ,electric and water. , Often over whelming the infrastructure of the target town.

The back ground ,the New Jersey Supreme Court, in Mount Laurel I (1975) and Mount Laurel II (1983), declared that municipal land use regulations that prevent affordable housing opportunities for the poor are unconstitutional and ordered all New Jersey municipalities to plan, zone for, and take affirmative actions to provide realistic opportunities for their “fair share” of the region’s need for affordable housing for low and moderate-income people. Peter J. O’Connor, founder and Executive Director of Fair Share Housing Center, was one of three attorneys who brought the original Mount Laurel litigation.

The Mount Laurel Doctrine, which prohibits economic discrimination against the poor by the state and municipalities in the exercise of their land use powers, was the first case of its type in the nation and is widely regarded as one of the most significant civil rights cases in the United States since Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The Mount Laurel Doctrine today is a cornerstone of land use courses in all of our nation’s law schools.

In 1985, the New Jersey Legislature, in direct response to the Mount Laurel decisions, enacted the Fair Housing Act, which created the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) to assess the statewide need for affordable housing, allocate that need on a municipal fair share basis, and review and approve municipal housing plans aimed at implementing the local fair share obligation.

 The pressure will be on the Village of Ridgewood because Ridgewood is embarking on the development of a new Village Master Plan to replace the current, outdated document which is about 35 years old. A Master Plan encompasses all zoning laws and regulations that shaped the Village into the community it is today. From downtown development to the allowable property setbacks in everyone’s neighborhoods, the document is critical in maintaining the character of the Village. Our goal is to allow for smart development that doesn’t overwhelm streets and neighborhoods while supporting a vibrant and healthy Central Business District.

A new Village Master Plan document will guide Ridgewood’s development 40 plus years into the future making it critically important for trusted, experienced Council members to be active participants. Council members with a proven track record of protecting resident property values, Ridgewood neighborhoods, and the character of the Village we call home. Mayor Knudsen is the most experienced Council member in the area of Municipal Land Use making her participation important to the future of the Village. Experienced Council members with a comprehensive understanding of Municipal Land Use patterns, development and zoning, will serve the community best as we begin the exciting Master Plan process.

Imagine the Ridgewood Water issues and traffic issues in the Village as well as a major expansion of an already enormous Ridgewood Schools Budget of $110,000,000 ! Therefore it bears repeating that this election is key!
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Sealfon’s Project ;”minimal impact on downtown traffic” ?


file photo

September 21,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at this point you can only laugh . Once again another ” independent traffic consultant” told the planning board on Tuesday night that a two-building mixed-use redevelopment project in the old Sealfon’s space would have minimal impact on downtown traffic , this time wait for it , “due to a massive reduction in the properties’ existing commercial space”. Where do they find these people? The “retail” is a teller less bank and  one retail store ?

The planning board showed great restraint not busting into laughter.  By the way where is the water going to come from?

The Enclave as it is called would encompass several properties, including that of the Hallmark Floor Company and Sealfon’s  on Maple Avenue, and would contain 39 luxury-rate apartments on four floors above one story of underground parking lot that will serve the building’s commercial units with 84 spaces. A second story of parking at street level would be reserved for tenants of The Enclave but would only contain 47 spaces 10 spaces short of what zoning codes require.

The Enclave would be the  fourth “Aronsohn” or  “3 amigo”  inspired project that followed a master plan amendment to rezone downtown Ridgewood for multifamily high density housing.

As a kicker 257 Ridgewood Avenue LLC would even be willing to add a $50,000 contribution to a fair share trust fund, which would partially fund a replacement traffic light for Maple and Franklin avenues. The would mean Village tax payers would be stuck with anywhere from $200-400,000 of the cost . Maybe the previous council majority should be asked to fund the upgrades or the developer should share ownership with the Ridgewood taxpayer ?




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Housing isn’t affordable because residents pay property taxes that are often as much as their mortgage payments

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi

July 8,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Below is a link to an Op Ed piece Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi wrote in today’s Bergen Record regarding affordable housing.

” Housing isn’t affordable because residents pay property taxes that are often as much as their mortgage payments. Onerous court mandates on towns only drive property taxes higher, creating a never-ending cycle of un-affordability.”

“…we must define reasonable need. The costs associated with mandated affordable housing, like $15.25 billion more to fund education, aren’t taken into consideration by the court. The COAH should take into account current population size; infrastructure, water and sewer capacities; school class sizes and school services; and the impact of municipal services such as volunteer and staffed ambulatory services, fire departments, police departments, public transportation and traffic.

We must fix this issue before it is too late. Please join me in saving our beloved state while we still can.”…/how-we-fix-affordab…/455023001/

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From Tax Codes to Traffic, a Megamall’s Risks


Model of proposed East Rutherford, New Jersey mall, the American Dream
(Ilya Marritz / WNYC)

Jun 5, 2017 · by Ilya Marritz

The company behind American Dream, Triple Five of Canada, is detailing its vision for a mall-entertainment destination in the Meadowlands in New Jersey — and the hazards that could derail the project.

Since the concept of a shopping destination on state-owned marshland was first green-lit in 2003, the mall has encountered many problems. Two earlier developers gave up on the project, formerly known as “Xanadu.”

Now, Triple Five is looking to raise $2.8 billion to finance the final phases of construction. More than half of the funding will be arranged privately through  J.P. Morgan Chase. The remaining $1.1 billion is expected to  come from the sale of tax-free, unrated, government bonds.

For that bond sale, two preliminary offering memoranda are now in circulation: one is for an $800 million bond package backed by payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT); the other is for a $300 million bond package backed by sales tax receipts generated after American Dream opens. The bonds are being sold by the Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin, which is serving as a middleman between the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and investors.

The documents — over 1,800 pages of them — disclose a wide array of risks that potential investors will have to consider.

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10 MORE Commandments for driving in New Jersey (as chosen by you!)

Vehicle slides off the roadway into Goffle Brook Pond in Hawthorne

file photo by Boyd Loving

By Double Down May 12, 2017 12:28 PM

Only in New Jersey. You would think listing the 10 Commandments for the rules of the road here in the Garden State would be enough, right?  Yeah, not so much.

There’s so much craziness on NJ’s roads that we came up with a second  list of 10 Commandments for all the people who wrote in and commented on Facebook, Twitter or on our website with some fantastic suggestions. From the left lane laggers to the drivers who think their turn signals were optional equipment on their car, we have heard your cries for sanity on the roads and we are posting them for all to read and (hopefully) adhere to.

Read More: 10 MORE Commandments for driving in New Jersey (as chosen by you!) |

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Reader says I don’t like paying so much for so little

CBD high density housing

I agree about what one gets for one’s taxes now versus then. Mortgage and taxes were never low but they did not take giant bites out of one’s life and the schools were terrific. They actually stink now. I don’t like paying so much for so little. I believe we have not begun to see what will happen to our property taxes when the apartments are built. During construction the CBD will be unbearable, so there go the businesses and restaurants (and garage). The water dept. has already found that the pipe system can’t handle it and plans to bill residents for the pleasure of expanding it for hundreds of residents who should not be moving here because there isn’t room. All the water to be used by all those buildings and renters and lawns is going to take another bite out of our limited water supply. Will we be allowed ONE day a week to water? And will everybody water throughout all the limited hours permitted? Will water start costing more and more? On a personal note, the prospect of losing all the plantings that I could finally afford to have done and make it look nice is unbearable. If I liked cacti I would live in the Southwest.

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Reader says Ridgewood is better served by having the bus and train stations physically separated

Ridgewood -bus-station-theridgewoodblog

A centralized “transit hub” might work for Hoboken, but Ridgewood is better served by having the bus and train stations physically separated because it helps distribute the traffic better.