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After Massive Tax Increase the Village of Ridgewood Makes A Land Grab Next to the Schedler Property

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Village Council approved a plan for a large turf field at the Schedler property and is seeking to purchase adjacent property to expand the plan. This means clear cutting 8+ acres of native, mature trees and decimating an ecosystem.

Additionally, despite last week’s approval to increase Village taxes (almost 5%), and freezing many essential Village repairs and maintenance, this project will cost taxpayers millions more to complete and maintain in perpetuity.


1.The extended plan needs to go in front of the County for funding and State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) Commissioners for approvals.

Both are charged with weighing not only the encroachment on the historic property, but also:

  • the public benefit of the project; impact studies
  • whether or not feasible and prudent alternatives exist; and
  • whether or not sufficient measures could be taken to avoid, reduce, or mitigate the encroachment.
  1. In the meantime, the Council majority hired a consultant (Resolution 23-149) to undo the historic nature so they can bypass SHPO (point #1) and proceed with a large field, no longer park. This will eliminate public processes and no professional impact studies; expert traffic, safety, health, environmental, water, noise, etc.
  1. Additionally, The Council is moving forward with purchasing the510 W Saddle River Road property (corner of Kenwood Road) to destroy more trees and put in a parking lot.

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The plan involves:

  • Clear-cutting of the Schedler trees (8 acres), eradicating the only barrier for the neighborhood to dangerous pollutants, light and noise from Route 17.
  • The Plan includes a turf field, adding harmful PFAS and other health risks, which will contaminate the well water of neighboring homes.
  • Encroachment of the Historic Zabriskie-Schedler House. A full-sized sports field with protective nets within yards of the nationally designated historic house.
  • Destroying ecosystem, including rare native species
  • Decimating wildlife habitat and foraging grounds to State threatened and endangered wildlife
  • Soil erosion
  • A fiscally and environmentally irresponsible plan.

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Wednesday, May 10

TIME: 7:30 pm


VILLAGE HALL (4th Floor)



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44 thoughts on “After Massive Tax Increase the Village of Ridgewood Makes A Land Grab Next to the Schedler Property

  1. As per Ridgewood News / Marsha Scholes this tax increase is 5.9%

  2. WOW, 5% tax increase, almost furloughing the Village employees , can’t fix roads or sidewalks, but can buy a piece of property for $500K for a parking lot??? Hopefully the Village residents will vote Pee wee and Pam out of office with the next election. They are the worst board in Village History by far and we are only 4 months in!!!

    1. 6% math wiz.

    2. Only four months in for Winograd and Weitz but two years and four months for Perron and Vagianos. They waited for two years for two more meatheads to join them so they could wreck the place.

  3. This plan and extended property grab is just plain selfish and only seeks to serve the sports community who don’t care about anything but getting their field. It also will potentially Healthbarn benefit if they get selected to do the catering as they are raking it in at Habernickel (probably some corruption going on there). From what I have heard they market themselves as not for profit, but are doing events and catering in the name of Community good will but are making a profit. If the Village wants a large turf field, they should look elsewhere, this is not the right place and we all know that the Village did not exhaust all potential places for this sort of large field.

    1. Healthbarn has classes, caters parties for kids and adults, has camps every day that schools are off and all Summer long and very very large field trips from New Jersey and NY schools. It operates 57-60 hours a week 6 days a week. It is NOT non profit and the village only gets minimal rent; I believe 3200.00 a month, nothing compared to what a resident home would bring in. Biggest give away and rip off to the town.

      1. Thank you, Roberta Sonenfeld.

        1. friends doing friends favors

  4. Is there a Save the Schedler property group I can join or support? The council’s plan to literally destroy one of Ridgewood’s last remaining natural parcels is so wrong and misguided. A grass roots effort is needed to stop it.

    1. Thank you and yes there is. It is focused on the things that this neighborhood and community has been advocating for.

  5. Whoever came up with the idea to put a sports complex on a historic property was nuts. If you have visited the area, which I have, you will understand that it makes no sense. As we all know though, this Council of 4 majority vote are obsessed.

    1. same group that put a business in a residential park at Habernickel

      1. No current council members were on the council at that time, unless you are referring to a larger “group.”

        1. Different members same agenda. Done in the wee hours of the morning with no regard to the neighborhood. Doing a favor for some reason. Still don’t know who or why.

  6. Wow. Can’t we get them out??? This is getting crazy.

  7. I told you people they have a playbook, and they’re not sharing it. It’s for only the people at the table it’s very secret.

  8. Once that property gets removed from the tax base, your taxes are gonna go up even more. We are paying for this and it has to be stopped before it spirals further out of control. I am not sure what can be done to stop this majority of 4 who will stop at nothing to implement their plan.

  9. another boondoggle by this council……the way they waste money on nonsense is utterly disappointing…….the 4 amigos need to go…… seems like those 4 all made promises to the sports group in order to get elected…… how about we just allow the private sports groups like the maroons to use field space only when it isn’t being used by the actual RW sports groups………..

  10. i wonder how many millions of tax payer dollars we will have to pay back if the historic status is removed…?????

  11. The town is broke, they are borrowing money that they don’t have. Taxpayers stuck with the bill. We are paying more more for things. We really don’t need yet so many more important projects are being put on the back burner. Services are not the same yesterday we were talking to a group That they have to use full-time employees to do part-time work. They can’t even hire part-time seasonal employees for yard waste. They have to utilize full-time employees to cover the positions with heck is going on who is in charge who is running things. Have you noticed in the past four years , the town has gone down the toilet this nourishing that’s running things ,has no idea . What a shame.

  12. It is hard to believe we are wasting so much time and money fighting about this garbage piece of land on Rt17.

    1. It’s not garbage to the people who own valuable homes over there. It shouldn’t even be an argument. It will greatly harm their neighborhood, adding particulate pollution as well as noise pollution from the highway, in addition to a literally life-threatening traffic plan. That natural area is the only buffer the neighborhood has from the gritty reality that is route 17.
      Arguing your case for a project, be it good or bad, is to be expected in a municipality. However, changing out the more recently compromised deal, and putting in something that poses the grave risks that this does is just a slap in the face to that neighborhood. This will happen to them and they will still be subject to the same 5.9% tax increase. There has to be a better way.

      1. I happen to know Queens Ct. intimately. I think it would be much better to have a sound barrier wall built just like the one that starts about a half mile up Rt17 just past Hollywood Ave. That kind of barrier would do a lot more to protect from noise and pollution and it would definitely do more for property values that the crappy Schedler shack and crappy piece of land that does nothing.

  13. When they close the streets on Saturday who is going to fund the parking meters that go unused?

  14. They need to stop this madness and go through with the AdHoc Committee plan

  15. So I was trying to post an evenhanded history (in my recollection) of the property.

    The post was literally deleted as I was typing it

    So much for open discussion

    1. Posted where?

  16. Evan Weitz campaigned on going down the budget line by line (something no one was stopping him from doing before he was elected to the council–the proposed budget is published every year). I guess he meant that he would then add to each line, not subtract from it.

  17. So many people want to get out of this town. Yes, it will look all flashy with its designer garbage cans outside of the stores and restaurants, but life here is not the same when you weigh the pros and cons and these days, there are a lot more cons. If you look behind the curtain, you will see the Council’s poor decisions that will eventually bankrupt the Village, then we are doomed to be a place that many will want to exist and fast. When the majority VC choose a sports field over essential services and good decision making like hiring more Police or putting sidewalks in where safety is a huge consideration and concern they should not be pulling out all of the stops to move forward with a ballfield.

  18. Again, and again, they keep on saying we have no money we can’t hire we have a hiring freeze, we have an overtime freeze, we have a spending freeze, but yet we are paying full-time employees rate to do a seasonal job, how do they justify that financially? It just doesn’t make sense

    1. I can’t wait to see an accounting for how much the “pedestrian mall” is costing us. Supposedly, the Village will be reimbursed by the restaurants for the expense, but employees aren’t billing hours to an account so how does that work?

  19. All I can say is I’m voting for Trump, oh yes.

  20. Again and again, and again, why are we having problems with hiring employees for yard waste. Again, why are we utilizing full-time employees on yard waste. As a taxpayer that’s a seasonal position. We are paying full-time employees to be on your waist. Are we going to put the full-time parks department employees as lifeguards at the pool, maybe I guess if they are short, remember last year. We could always use a few fire department employees are they trained scuba diving. Just saying.

  21. Watched in amazement last night’s VC. A few points:
    – Boyd was amazing at thrashing Vag. THANK YOU.
    – Mr. Goodman was also great at explaining in children terms what it means to cut all those trees. But I found it very sad that he, as a 23 yr resident of RW only heard about this topic a few days ago. How many other smart residents are this much disengaged from town politics??!!
    – As I was listening to all the speakers, I kept wondering how many of them voted for Weitz and Winograd!!! I bet most of them did and here is where we are.
    – Lastly, greek mythology is filled with sneaky, hypocritical and backstabbing characters. You just have to look at his plastic face to know that he embodies the worst of those characters.

    1. they all voted for them because the mindless voters vote democrat all the time and then complain about the results

  22. Weitz is a total fraud

  23. i believe the correct term is ridgewood voters are mindless gonads

  24. The westside residents and dandies’ could care less about the eastside “Oh” neighborhood. Try to plop that facility on the corner of West Glen and Monroe, then you will hear some real noise.

    1. Don’t make it an easy side west side thing. We are all in this together. The poor residents that live by Habernickel were slammmed with Healthbarn taking over a peaceful park and neighborhood. Busses, parties 57-60 hours a week of a fully operating privately owned business. West got there’s and are concerned for the east side. Anyone can become victims of the council and there decisions

      1. I’ve been at Habernickel dozens of times and have never observed this. Perhaps this is a wee bit of an exaggeration? Not that I think Healthbarn should be there but you lose credibility when you lie.

    2. Did the east side gold come out and help the Habernickel residents when they had a meeting and were blind sided by the past council. Some did. But do the east side even know what goes on there

  25. In the end, the Townhall on everything from 17 , to West Rd. right to racetrack Road you could see the writings on the wall. It’s going to take a good thing 15 years but that’s what’s going to happen.

  26. I used to like Heather, but she is just a useless puppet.

  27. The fact that the Village Council doesn’t actually know the difference between public comments and a public hearing is astonishing. Not even the newbies who were just elected, but the others, except Lorraine, of course. That coupled with the fact that 2 residents had to school them on proper protocol and Matt Rogers (another puppet) hops in at the end to put his less than 2 cents in is just crazy. I hope Bergen County watches the video to see what really happened and then doesn’t approve the grant application as it is a complete farce. Evan Weitz once again forgot to do his homework and is increasingly arrogant in his ignorance, didn’t know what the grant application even stated. How’s that for preparedness! Good thing he donated his salary as a VC, he doesn’t deserve a dime!

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