March 3,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Village council has hired Brigette Bogart of Brigette Bogart Planning and Design Professionals to serve as the village’s part-time planner, replacing the departed Blais Brancheau.

Bogart will attend planning and zoning board meetings, as well as review development applications filed by third parties, among other duties. Compensation will be an amount not to exceed $60,000.

According to the firm’s website, Brigette Bogart Planning & Design Professionals LLC was established in May of 2012 as a full service planning and design firm that recognizes the need to incorporate sustainable planning and appropriate urban design concepts into the future development projects.

Bogart has a Master of City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania, 2000 and a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture, North Carolina State University, 1997.

She has been awarded the 2008 NJPO Achievement in Planning for Borough of Park Ridge Rehabilitation Project,
2011 NJPO Achievement in Planning for the Township of Fredon Master Plan ,and the 2012 Recognized by Sustainable New Jersey as a member of a Certified Green Team.

Bogart previously worked for 12 years for the well-known Westwood-based planning firm Burgis Associates. In 2003, Bogart was named a Partner with Burgis Associates where she had been involved in all aspects of physical planning. Over a 12-year span, she has represented several municipalities in the review of subdivision and site plan development applications and the preparation of land use regulations as well as master plan elements. In 2010 She received her certification in Grant Writing.

Many residents may remember Bogart as the planner who testified on behalf of Citizens for a Better Ridgewood in 2014 during public hearings on the master plan amendments that would eventually rezone several parcels of land in downtown Ridgewood. Bogart said the rezoning requests “appear to be akin to spot zoning,”

She advised the Ridgewood Planning Board to engage in a cautious process, asking it to think about a “vision” for Ridgewood’s future as it moves forward. At the time their vision seemed more like Union City than Ridgewood .

Bogart herself took a cautious tone did not voice a stance against the developments, but she noted instead that the developments, though possibly at odds with Ridgewood’s best interests, would also help Ridgewood meet some of the current objectives in its master plan, such as enhancing aesthetics of certain areas downtown.

In the end, Bogart testimony reinforced the CBR’s contention that the problem was not development but “jumping from 12 units an acre to 50 units an acre seems reckless at best.”

At that time, the proposed amendments called for a density of 50 units per acre, which members of the grassroots organization CBR as well as most of the Ridgewood community, found unacceptable. Amendments were passed over a year later by the Planning Board reducing the density to  35 units per acre.

The Village Council also added two new members to the Planning Board, Carrie Giordano was appointed as the first alternate member of the board with a term that expires on June 30, 2018. Frances Barto was named as the second alternate, given a term of a little over two years that expires on June 30, 2019.

The village also engaged the Trenton-based Clark, Caton and Hintz planning firm for an amount not to exceed $35,000 to work on issues related to affordable housing.