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Candidate Jeff Voigt Comments on March 23 Council Meeting , ” last night – no surprises”

Jeff Voigt Ridgewood

March 24,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , Council Candidate Jeff Voigt give the Ridgewood blog his take on the March 23rd meeting .

Jeff started off , ” last night – no surprises.   Yes we need parking (I actually voted for parking on Hudson St).  However, I did not vote for the options presented by the council to the public.  My mistake was actually believing that the council majority would be reasonable in coming up with a garage that would fit on the Hudson St/S. Broad area.  As it happened, the Village residents were presented with 4 bad options and the council asked for input/feedback from the community.  This was called compromise by the council majority.  Compromise in my mind is when two parties, who are on opposite ends of the spectrum, meet somewhere in the middle.   If this has occurred, a much smaller parking deck would likely have been the result.  What occurred, however, was nothing but a multiple choice test amongst 4 bad choices.”

Jeff mentioned a new petition , “There is a petition going around (which I support) for repealing Ordinance 3521 (Ridgewood bonding the garage) – for the very reason that the garage does not fit in this space as it is currently configured.  The website has more information;   As you can tell by this website, the garage is way too big (5 levels; 4 stories; with 60+ foot high towers [note: that zoning in this area is for 45 feet]) and; does not fit with the aesthetics of the surrounding area.   The committed Village citizens leading this petition initiative include:  Jacqueline Hone (phone: 201-377-8556), Anne Loving, Gail McCarthy, Ellen McNamara (phone: 201-874-0966) and Saurabh Dani (phone: 973-903-5361).   As well please reach out to Lorraine Reynolds (phone: 201-264-8151).  Thank you to all of these people for heading this up.”

Regarding high density housing and the Ordinances 3489-3492 that were passed, Jeff said he left the meeting with the following impressions and thoughts:

“·       Affordable housing is driving the Master Plan and appears to hold precedence (from a legal standpoint) over the Village employing spot zoning to address it (note:  the NJ Supreme Court has ruled that spot zoning is illegal; Riya Finnegan LLC v Township S. Brunswick; 2008).  It also appears the current council majority is holding good land use planning (via our Master Plan) hostage to affordable housing.  While I am not against affordable housing and agree that Ridgewood should do its best to meet its obligation, we still do not know what this obligation is and; we have no plan for it.   This makes no sense to me.  As well, it would be nice to understand from some good lawyers, which of the following holds precedence if the 2 are intertwined – the use of spot zoning (to address an issue – is this legal or not) or affordable housing.

·       What would be optimal regarding Ridgewood’s affordable housing obligation is for the Village to wait and see what this obligation is from the state and then plan for it.  It is hard understanding why we are chasing an elusive target and zoning in a willy-nilly fashion (e.g.  new AH-3 zone on Rt. 17 North across from the park and ride).  This new zone, AH-3, was presented on at the 3/15/16 planning board meeting – where the Valley Hospital resolution was also presented.  Note: Since the agenda for this meeting was published on the Ridgewood website only 3 hours prior to this meeting, only about 10 people attended.  The open public meetings act requires that agendas be published 48 hours before a public meeting.  Therefore, no surprises as to why so few people attended and why so few people know about it. “

8 thoughts on “Candidate Jeff Voigt Comments on March 23 Council Meeting , ” last night – no surprises”

  1. Hadn’t been aware of the “spot zoning” issue. The foolishness of chasing our tails to try to meet (arguably illegitimate) Affordable Housing obligations before they are judicially defined or otherwise known or determined is also important to point out. Thanks Mr. Voight.

  2. It was mentioned at the council meeting (by two speakers, I think) that failure to have publicly announced the PB meeting long enough in advance (48 hours, I believe; certainly not 3) may well have made everything that happened there MOOT. This should be followed up immediately. Whether the very delayed posting was a so-called honest error is IRRELEVANT. Why are we letting them get away with this stuff???

  3. Wouldn’t building hundreds of new apartments more than nullify any gain toward the affordable housing requirements that even the consultant said we would never be able to meet because there simply is no land left?

  4. 12:13pm-
    Not if the new developments have a greater % of affordable housing than the town requires as a % overall. you are adding affordable housing faster than yo are generating any new requirement.

  5. The new apartments are planning on 5-7% affordable housing.


  7. It may be in that document, but I have never seen the builders show that high a number. Do you have a specific document where they show that intent? I asked the council at a meeting in maybe November and was told by Susan (who is on the planning board) 7%. Others have said 5…a quick review from some old documents says 10%
    5 of the 52
    The Dayton will have Ridgewood’s signature Tudor design, will reserve 10% of its units as affordable housing,

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