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Frequently-Asked Questions

last updated October 14, 2018

1. What is Our Village, Our Future?

The Village of Ridgewood, NJ is working towards preparing its next Master Plan. One of the first steps is to engage the community to think about and share its vision for current and future generations to love and appreciate. Our Village, Our Future is the name given to this visioning process.

2. What are the goals of Our Village, Our Future?

The primary goal of Our Village, Our Future is to implement a community visioning process that reaches out to a broad range of Village residents and other stakeholders (e.g., businesses, institutions, etc.) and encourages them to think about and discuss the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the future of the Village. This community visioning process represents the one of the first steps toward creating a new Master Plan for the Village.

3. What will be the final outcome or product of Our Village, Our Future? When will the Master Plan be prepared?

The final outcome/product of this visioning process will be a Vision Plan. This document will summarize the community engagement process and synthesize the results of this process in terms of identifying and explaining the values, principles, goals, and priorities that should shape the Village’s next Master Plan. The process of creating the next Master Plan will start after the visioning process is complete.

4. What is a Master Plan and how is it relevant to my life in the Village?

A Master Plan, sometimes referred to as a Comprehensive Plan, is a guidance document that sets goals, policies, and priorities for investing in the physical, economic, environmental, and social future of a community. A master plan can address a wide range of topics and/or geographic areas of importance to residents and other stakeholders. It can provide an overall vision for a place and identify key priorities and strategies toward achieving the vision. It can provide direction in terms of investing in transportation improvements and public facilities, changing zoning regulations, protecting ecologically-sensitive areas, or becoming more environmentally sustainable. Concept plans and other visuals within a master plan can demonstrate ideas and hoped-for outcomes.

The master plan is also the basis for a municipality’s zoning regulations. In New Jersey, all municipalities are required to have a master plan and to “reexamine” it at least every 10 years. The reexamination process can represent a stepping stone for updating or creating a new master plan. However, the resulting Reexamination Report itself does not constitute the actual updated or new master plan.

5. Why does the Village need to prepare a new Master Plan? Has the Village “reexamined” its Master Plan yet?

Although there are certain parts of the Village’s Master Plan that have been updated more recently (for example, the section pertaining to housing, which was updated in 2016), the core sections of the Master Plan date back to 1983. A lot has changed since that time. The Village did “reexamine” its master plan in 2016, and the resulting Master Plan Reexamination Report can be downloaded and viewed from the Plans & Studies page.

6. Will the Our Village, Our Future process involve the whole Village, geographically speaking?

Yes, the whole Village is the subject of this visioning process. It is not limited to a specific part or aspect of the Village; we expect and welcome feedback on any part or aspect of the Village.

7. How can I stay informed about this process? How will I be able to contribute my vision for the future of Ridgewood?

First, visit This website will be the central public portal of information for this initiative. Next, make sure to sign up to receive updates when a new post is added to the page. Look for the phrase “Receive E-mail Updates” on the site and follow the instructions.

Press releases will be drafted and distributed so that local newsletters and newspapers can publish timely information for their readers during the course of the initiative. We anticipate utilizing various methods to get input from residents and other stakeholders. These might include surveys, workshops, focus groups, etc.

The Village’s website and social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) will also feature important dates and milestones in the visioning process, providing links to more details at this website.

8. What if I have questions or already have input about my vision for Ridgewood?

An online form is available on the Contact page at for residents and other interested members of the community to ask additional questions about or offer suggestions for this visioning process. If you have already been thinking about your vision for Ridgewood and would like to share it with us, visit the Your Vision page.  As the visioning process moves ahead, there will be more formal opportunities to participate in the visioning process through workshops, surveys, and other methods.

9. What if I or one of my neighbors is unable to access information or provide input through online means?

You or your neighbor can provide input in writing and mail or drop it off in a sealed envelope to Master Plan Subcommittee, Planning Board of the Village of Ridgewood, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Furthermore, any important announcements will be posted in the main lobby of Village Hall.

10. Is there anything I can do to help with this process?

Yes! We can always use help getting the word out to people in the Village. If you are or know the point-person responsible for sending e-mail communications for a church, school, civic association, or other type of community-based organization, please include a link to the Our Village, Our Future website. We may have other opportunities for volunteers, which can include high school students (with parents’ permission), to assist in promoting Our Village, Our Future. We will post these opportunities to this website when they arise.

11. What is the timeline for completing this process?

We anticipate that the visioning process will take approximately seven months to complete.

12. Who is leading this initiative?

This initiative is being guided by the Master Plan Subcommittee of the Planning Board, with support from the Village Council. Through a request for proposals and interview process, the Master Plan Subcommittee and the Planning Board recommended the firm NV5, Inc., based in Parsippany, NJ, to lead this process and develop the resulting vision plan. The Village Council subsequently approved the recommendation. NV5’s Community Planning & Urban Design group has experience throughout the Northeast and in New Jersey with projects like Our Village, Our Future.

Composition of the Master Plan Subcommittee:

  • Richard Joel, Planning Board Chair
  • Joel Torielli, Planning Board Vice Chair
  • Susan Knudsen, Deputy Mayor
  • Melanie McWilliams

NV5, Inc.:

  • Neil Desai, AICP PP, Project Manager
  • Annette Schultz, AICP PP
  • Rachana Sheth
  • Chris Lucas, AICP LEED ND


  1. Our next village manager will be voted in from the outside.When it’s time we will be hiring from the outside.

  2. All great questions befor high density housing

  3. I comend susan for all the work but didnt the horse already leave the barn ?

  4. Master of disaster, is coming to the village.

  5. Yes when it’s time to hire a new manager, let’s find one from the outside with much-needed civil service experience . That’s a must. They should show A certificate from the nj state Civil service of New Jersey the show that they’re certified.

  6. The last change to the mater plan really F-ed us over.
    Can’t wait for the new changes.

  7. Actions speak louder than words.

  8. You’re absolutely right when it’s time for a new manager let’s hire one from the outside so there are no political influence. Because in the past, we’ve had management bullshit the upper manager on what’s really going on. To benefit themselves, look who got the great pay raisers . Write. So much ass kissing was going on it was amazing. We need a new manager when it’s time that knows civil service to the Law. There are no problems with civil service in the police department or the fire department they follow guidelines. We would love to have someone may be from one of those departments to run in the future. We the taxpayers find that may be a wonderful benefit. Then just maybe some of this bullshit will stop. You notice no one screws with the police or fire Union’s. Why because they’re powerful. And they will always be powerful. And to quote this has nothing to do with the manager that’s in the house right now. We are talking about the future. That’s all
    Thank you
    Yours truly
    The new Eye-in the sky.

  9. Did the Village council not just approve another few hundred multi-family units at the last Council meeting? Why waste time on a farce if the decision has alredy been made to turn things over to the developers.

    Very disappointing.

  10. Screw that ..we need to undo that decision ..

  11. I feel as if Ridgewood had a past but no future.

  12. Well at least we’re getting free firewood.

  13. James, No? what was the recent vote all about? References downtown and the valley site and the number of affordable units.

  14. affordable housing is forced by NJ courts if you don’t like stop voting for Democrats

  15. The firewood is our butts on
    Vc bbq grills..well done please …

  16. James, re housing:
    Ok, cant disagree with the recommendation on who to vote for. But why does Ridgewood seem to be taking it on the chin? Why aren’t we fighting? Why isn’t our council actively supporting those representatives trying to undo this housing madness? Why does our legal representation seem so weak? Why did the council fold like a cheap suit when Village residents sued to stop the development and why did the council side with the developers over the residents? Why doesn’t the Village come up with some other proposal rather than agreeing to do a percentage of the squalid housing now being constructed?
    So, it seems to me that the Council just agreed to plant hundreds if not thousands of new units throughout the Village.

  17. Free firewood by cuckoo bird. I went down there today I guy in charge is a real cuckoo bird. Holy moly. What is he on. I think he’s breathing way too much wood dust. Going cuckoo cuckoo. All I can say is wow Ridgewood . My tax dollars are really working hard for me.

  18. Master plan, how about coming up with a new master plan in doing the leaves the right way. Because this is the worst way season we have seen in 25 years. It’s so on organized, and scheduling the dates timing is all off. Who is responsible for coming up with these dates. They should be terminated immediately your jackass. I’m a resident close to 45 years in the village. This service went to hell. What happened to all the workers. I see a very small crew working what the hell is going on. I pay my taxes for services I’m Shirley not getting them.
    Mr. and Mrs. taxpayer

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