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Village of Ridgewood Council Reaffirms its Agreement to 4 comprehensive, independent impact studies on the high density housing

Village Council
file photo by Boyd Loving
December 10,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Last night was a huge success for residents in that village , the Village council committed to doing the four studies on the high density issue. Without the pressure from residents, this would not have happened. The meeting went late and there were no big outbursts or excitement.

Village council agreed to 4 comprehensive, independent impact studies regarding the high density housing .The 4 comprehensive independent impact studies are financial, school, traffic, infrastructure.

Mayor Aronsohn made it clear from the git-go that all four studies would happen.  Deputy Mayor Pucciarelli switched sides like a Gemini – while he was completely opposed to the four studies in September 30, now he is in full support.  This is all good, and will delay the high density housing for awhile longer.  The hearings on the housing ordinances are continued until February 10.  In spite of Aronsohn’s early declaration that the four studies would happen, public comments went on for about 2.5 hours, with 20 people speaking against the housing and often tying it in with not wanting the garage.  Seven others had spoken against the housing in the first 1/2 hour comments session.

Also the Village Council Public Meeting was the introduction of the Bond Ordinance supports the largest garage as depicted in the images and  as decided on by council majority (3-2). The garage details include parking for  405 cars (net gain of 305) totaling  136,550 square feet, height of  49’2” to the parapet and  the tower height at 68’4”. The garage requires the elimination of all on-street parking along Hudson Street, elimination of some on- street parking along South Broad Street and the rerouting of Hudson and Passaic Street traffic.

The introduction of the bond for the garage was 5-0 in favor.  This, mind you, is just the introduction. There is a pretty good indication that Susan and Mike will vote it down then, forcing Atilla the Aronsohn to head straight to the county to float the bond.  We shall see.

The public hearing and vote on the Bond Ordinance is scheduled to occur in January 2016.  In the meantime,  Council Woman Knudsen is seeking public input regarding the proposed Hudson Street garage as shown in the simulations sknudsen@ridgewoodnj.net .

At the bitter end, From 12:02 until almost 1AM, the Schedler people spoke, 9 of them.  They asked for studies to be done around Schedler as they are being done in the CBD.  They want traffic studies, air quality, noise, etc.  one guy had an audio tape that he played of the deafening noise there from 17.  A cardiologist explained the serious health risks to children who exercise in polluted air.  There was a funny exchange where Gwenn attempted to undermine the doctor’s assertions of respiratory risks when running around in bad air, and she even suggested that maybe no one should even live over there.

Other Highlights for Last night:

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION
3515 – Bond Ordinance – Construction of Hudson Street Parking Deck ($12,300,000) – Appropriates this money for the construction of the Hudson Street parking deck

ORDINANCES – PUBLIC HEARING
3509 – Amend Various Salary Ordinances
3512 – Amend Valet Parking Ordinance
3513 – Non-Union Salary Ordinance
3514 – Management Salary Ordinance

ORDINANCES – CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING
3489 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish AH-2 Zone District
3490 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish B-3-R Zone District
3491 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish C-R Zone
3492 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish C Zone District
3493 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Amend Various Sections – Multiple Zone Districts and General Affordable Housing Regulation

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Ridgewood Mayor Tries to Walk back his Commitment to 4 comprehensive, independent impact studies regarding the high density housing

Village Council
file photo by Boyd Loving
December 7,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Mayor Aronsohn moves to recommend that we push back our consideration of the 5 housing amendments until February .

It is well documented that the Village council agreed to 4 comprehensive, independent impact studies regarding the high density housing .The hundreds of residents were present on September 30th and the thousands watching at home remember very clearly the council voting in favor of doing 4 comprehensive independent impact studies (financial, school, traffic, infrastructure). While Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli voted against the new impact studies ,Gwenn Hauck, Susan Knudsen ,Michael Sedon and the Mayor Paul Aronsohn all agreed to do the 4 comprehensive studies.

Other issues based on the September 30th meeting is the residents understanding that these 4 comprehensive studies:
1) will not be based on any previously done studies.
2) will include the 4 multifamily developments, the Hudson street Garage and the North Walnut Street redevelopment zone.
3) will be handled  by a single independent firm outside of the village’s jurisdiction.

The Mayor has since been walking back the vote and currently seems to feel he voted for 1 impact study with the possibility of the others or to study the idea of studies.Residents have become alarmed as to whether the Mayor and the Village council are committed to doing what he voted for on September 30th.