the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The Zabriskie Schedler Property is a long story with many misteps , including the fact that a former councilwomen didnt knwo it was in Ridgewood . The Village Council rescinded the 2015 Aronsohn/ Sonenfeld resolution that included a 90 ft. baseball diamond and a 120 x 75 yard multi-purpose field. To be clear, a 90 ft. diamond refers to the distance between the bases, not the depth of the outfield. The 2015 plan would have led to the clear-cutting of most of the trees on the property and the athletic fields component would have taken up more than 4 acres (total size of the property is 7 acres). The Schedler property presented a few challenges, some of which were immediate and some required some planning into the future. There were numerous dead trees, hanging limbs and leaning trees that had to be removed immediately since they posed a liability. The cleanup was completed in late 2017.
In order to move forward on planning for the future use of the property, the Village Council created an ad hoc committee to propose a development plan. The ad hoc committee met regularly and also reached out to residents and sports groups for input regarding their respective needs. The ad hoc committee presented its recommendation to the Village Council in December 2017. Click herefor the presentation. The new plan is significantly scaled down compared to the 2015 plan. It strikes a balance between the needs of the neighborhood, and sports groups, while taking consideration of historical preservation and passive recreation. The new plan does not include a baseball diamond and the proposed 50 x 75 yard multipurpose field only takes up a little over ¾ of an acre. The plan includes parking, a playground, walking trails, and bathrooms with a built-in overhang that can provide shelter from lightning. The Village Council voted to adopt this new plan in 2018. Later in the year, our Engineering Department brought in free landfill from multi-family housing developments and Ridgewood Water repairs to create a berm and level out the land.
Hearings were held on the pre-approval of bidders for the historic house. The scope of the work included the replacement of the roof, as well as interior restoration of the house including replacement of doors and windows, plumbing, HVAC, and renovation of the kitchen. Preliminary work was done for the submission of the Zabriskie-Schedler House into the National and State Register of Historic Places, which will be considered by the State in March this year. The Village applied for, and received, grant funding through Bergen County Historic Preservation grants. We received 50/50 matching grants of $116,725 (Phase I), $200,000 (Phase IIa) and $75,650 (Phase IIb), for a total in grant funding of $392,375, which will be matched by the Village. The Village also applied for a Community Development Block Grant for the ADA ramp into the house from the parking lot.