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Concerned Residents of Ridgewood Agree To Dismiss Lawsuit With Agreement

Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Valley Hospital And Ridgewood Planning Board Agree To Dismiss Lawsuit With Agreement

That 2010 Master Plan Amendment Will Require Revision

February 15, 2013 – Ridgewood, New Jersey. Judge Alexander H. Carver, III, of the New Jersey Superior Court accepted Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Inc. (CRR) agreement to dismiss its lawsuit against the Planning Board of the Village of Ridgewood and Valley Hospital related to the Master Plan Amendment approved by the Planning Board in June 2010.
The lawsuit was initiated in 2010 after the Planning Board approved a Master Plan amendment that would permit 1.2 million square feet of hospital buildings and a 195,000 square foot parking garage on the 15 acre site that currently houses 570,000 square feet of hospital and no above
grade parking. The Village Council unanimously rejected the supporting ordinance in November 2011, stopping forward progress on the original proposal. In court-ordered discussions between CRR, Valley and the Planning Board it became apparent that the substantive concerns voiced by the Village Council will necessitate a revision of the 2010 Master Plan Amendment that was the subject of the lawsuit.

CRR reluctantly initiated the lawsuit in 2010 as the Planning Board’s process failed to address significant issues with the hospital’s proposed expansion. The Village Council called the same expert witnesses the Planning Board had called, but reached the conclusion that the expansion the Planning Board had approved was too much for the site. The concerns raised by the Village Council, and the significant revisions to Valley’s proposal that will be required, both point to a need for the Planning Board to conduct new hearings on amending the Master Plan for the Hospital Zone.

“All parties agree that the original Master Plan Amendment that was the subject of our lawsuit is no longer valid and will need to be revised. The objective of our lawsuit was to remove the 2010 amendment from Ridgewood’s Master Plan, and with the Planning Board’s
acknowledgment that new hearings need to be conducted, there was no point in continuing the lawsuit,” said Mr. McKenna, president of the Concerned Residents of Ridgewood,” a grassroots organization in Ridgewood that has opposed the 1.2 million square foot expansion plan for Valley Hospital, known as Renewal.

“The lawsuit was costing taxpayers’ money on both sides as CRR’s donations funded our position and our taxes were funding the Village Planning Board’s defense of its actions. The marginal value of prevailing in court did not seem worth the costs since our objective has already been met. We only initiated the lawsuit when it was clear that many concerns raised by taxpayers were not addressed in the Planning Board’s process to create the original Master Plan Amendment”.

“CRR stands by its previously stated assertion that the three and one half year planning board process was lengthy without being thorough and a number of significant planning issues were not adequately addressed.”

“We understand that Valley Hospital is in the process of creating an alternative plan for this site and that they will request the Planning Board to schedule hearings to review those plans once completed. We look forward to working with Chairman Nalbantian to make those Planning Board hearings efficient and effective in understanding the impact that the new proposal will have on the surrounding community.” Mr. McKenna added.

“We are a grassroots organization, doing what we believe to be in the best interests of Ridgewood’s long-term future. We look forward to working with the Planning Board to adjust and improve any reasonable plan for the site that Valley puts forward”.

“Concerned Residents of Ridgewood as an organization, its leadership as individuals do not have an issue with Valley Hospital and we are grateful for their presence in the Village. Our issue is with the massive expansion that was previously proposed and the unintended impacts that an expansion of this size and scale could have on the residential character of the Village we love so much.” said Mr. McKenna

2 thoughts on “Concerned Residents of Ridgewood Agree To Dismiss Lawsuit With Agreement

  1. Here we go again.

  2. I’ve lived in Ridgewood since 1958, this is the most hotly contested issue I can ever remember. More so than closing the west side firehouse or doing away with back yard garbge pick-up.

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