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Concerned Residents of Ridgewood Endorses Mayor Susan Knudsen and Retired fire Chief Jim Van Goor

Vote Ridgewood NJ
To the members of CRR and friends:
Two seats on the Village Council will be filled in the general election on Tuesday, November 8.
We endorse the reelection of Susan Knudsen for a third 4-year term and retired fire chief Jim Van Goor for his first such term.

Continue reading Concerned Residents of Ridgewood Endorses Mayor Susan Knudsen and Retired fire Chief Jim Van Goor

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the staff of the Ridgewood

Ridgewood NJ, a post making its way around Facebook lays out the primary issue of reckless and irresponsible overdevelopment in Ridgewood “and concludes ,“Only Melanie Hooban has a clear and honest track record”. Aside from Ridgewood Citizens for Reasonable Development and Concerned Residents of Ridgewood the group Friends of Schedler has also endorsed  Melanie Hooban.

“On November 2nd (and earlier by mail-in-voting), Ridgewood Residents are being asked to choose a new Village Council member. As most residents are aware, two citizens groups have long defended the Village from oversized development. Where RCRD was founded to support rational changes to our CBD, CRR members prevented Valley Hospital from overwhelming a vital Ridgewood residential district.


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URGENT ELECTION ALERT Big money and outside interests seek overdevelopment from within

election signs

May 5,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, This message is being distributed by Ridgewood Citizens for Reasonable Development, Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Friends of Schedler, and The Preserve Graydon Coalition.
Information obtained today has led four major grassroots groups to create a joint statement for our constituencies.

“Alexandra Harwin’s campaign for Village Council was revealed today to have paid substantial sums to a public relations and marketing firm that prepares communities for large-scale real estate development.
The public relations company describes itself as “assessing the political landscape for real estate development” ( One project shown on company founder Matthew Krayton’s LinkedIn page is the downtown redevelopment initiative of the City of Hackensack. Unlike Hackensack, we do not want–we cannot absorb–more large-scale high-density development downtown.
Such firms do not come cheap. How much did it cost?

Public filings required of all candidates ( show that as of April 27–11 days before the election–the Harwin campaign had received nearly $25,000 in donations, surely unprecedented in Ridgewood, and had paid nearly $10,000 to the above-mentioned firm for direct-mail and Facebook advertising. All but three of the largest donations came from out of state. Again, this is new. Are we comfortable having outsiders influence our election?

In contrast, through April 27, Susan Knudsen’s campaign received $6,695 and Michael Sedon’s $5,500, all from local residents.

Repeated libelous accusations–once again, never before seen in Ridgewood–are typical, bullying, developers’ tactics. Very little is said in the campaign literature, and for good reason, about the challengers’ attributes. Pounding the incumbents with fictional insults does not accurately represent our Village. We must resist being dragged along through the mud.

Those of us who have seen the hate-mailers may not soon forget them, and not in a good way. Those who have not seen them are lucky. Notably, the images and nasty messages do not appear on the candidates’ websites.
Despite weeks of character assassination from the opposition, our incumbents have remained civil, in the long tradition of this Village.

The Village Council for the next four years will play a significant role in overseeing our first Master Plan rewrite in 35 years. The Master Plan becomes the guidebook and blueprint for decades to come. We must protect our Master Plan from meddling by outside interests, including developer-friendly groups that are right now seeking overlay zones to allow multifamily development in single-family neighborhoods.We know that Susan Knudsen and Mike Sedon will protect us.

For the future of our Village, please share this message via email, social media, on the phone, and in person. PLEASE VOTE on Tuesday, May 8. Polls are open from 6am to 8pm.
If you have any questions, please email us at “

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Concerned Residents of Ridgewood : The Valley settlement itself is a win-win for all those involved


November 14,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Pete Mckenna President of Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, commented on the Valley Hospital Settlement, “As I mentioned to the Village Council when this was on their agenda, our long local nightmare has ended.  Much of the credit for this outcome is due to the work of mayors Knudsen, Killion and Aronsohn over the past many years.  When this expansion was first introduced to then Mayor Pfund and his council it seemed like a done deal.  Fortunately for the people of Ridgewood, common sense and rational land-use planning have prevailed.  While this settlement is predicated on Valley receiving approval to move to Paramus from the State Department of Health, no obvious impediments to that approval happening have surfaced and it is expected to come in the months ahead.  ”

McKenna went on ,”The settlement itself is a win-win for all those involved.  The current litigation involved four parties, The Village, The Planning Board, Valley Hospital and CRR.  All of the preceding and current legal actions were essentially consolidated into a single action being heard in the Appellate Division in Trenton.  With the agreed upon settlement, CRR and all of the parties retain all the legal rights they have today should the state approval of Valley’s move not occur.  If Valley’s move to Paramus is approved, the underlying issues of the lawsuit will have been addressed and there is no reason to continue litigation.  Once approved to move the acute care hospital to Paramus, The Planning Board and Village will amend the Master Plan and Village Ordinances respectively to make the existing facility in Ridgewood “conforming”.  The Ridgewood property today is “non-conforming” as much of the building over the previous decades has been by variance.  By aligning the Master Plan and Ordinances with the existing facility size we provide the property owner and the community a greater sense of certainty about what can happen on that site. While the current facility has about 400,000 sq. feet of space above grade, the Master Plan that was being litigated would have allowed 1,000,000 sq. feet above grade on the same property.  Knowing that we are working with a baseline that is 40% of the previously approved Master Plan is a huge comfort to me and should be to all Ridgewood residents.  While there remains much work to be done to determine what health-related services will be performed at this location after the 2023 move to Paramus, I am optimistic that a workable compromise can be reached.  CRR needs to conduct what I hope to be our last fund-raising drive to pay the attorneys that helped make this settlement a reality. ”

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Opponents of Valley Hospital expansion celebrate move


Mary Jo Layton , Staff Writer, @MaryjolaytonPublished 12:03 p.m. ET Jan. 30, 2017

The medical center announced plans last week to move its main campus to Paramus, pleasing many Ridgewood neighbors.

It took a decade, but the David vs. Goliath battle many Ridgewood residents waged against The Valley Hospital’s proposed expansion ended Friday with a champagne party at Pete McKenna’s house, the epicenter of the resistance.

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Reader says Concerned Residents of Ridgewood deserve your Financial Support


Concerned Residents of Ridgewood has been out in the trenches and lawyers’ offices for a decade. They must not be allowed to hold the bag financially as well. I just sent my third or fourth check for as much as I could afford. From $5 to $5,000, everybody in town should do the same out of sheer gratitude for their perseverance.

Checks made out to: Concerned Residents of Ridgewood. Mail to: Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, P.O. Box 150, Ridgewood, NJ 07451, or via PayPal or credit card online at They have earned more than lip service appreciation from all of us. And the fight is not yet done. Lawyers are expensive. Let’s all participate.

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Please donate to Concerned Residents of Ridgewood


Your past contributions have made the difference.

If not for our grassroots involvement, a decade of massive demolition and construction would likely be underway today at Valley Hospital, doubling in size in a location that is already over-burdened.

The Fight Continues!  We vitally need your donations to: 

1) Finish our legal work.  The flawed Master Plan Amendment of 2010 is still on the books of Ridgewood.  The current or any future council could allow Valley to build to the 1.2 million square foot limits approved compared to the current building approximating 550,000 square feet.   While expensive, this legal action is essential to putting a final halt to Valley’s determined drive to expand in the Village.

2) Continue public advocacy before Ridgewood’s Village Council and Land-Use Boards.  The Valley Corporation has seemingly infinite resources and connections to get their way. It is imperative that we continue our grass-roots efforts to counter their efforts to put an incompatible building in our midst.

While there is much corporate and personal money being spent in support of the Valley aspirations, all the opposition is funded by our hard-earned donations. 


PayPal service is available for you convenience — or please mail your donation to

Concerned Residents of Ridgewood

P.O. Box 150 Ridgewood, NJ 07451.

Checks should be made out to Concerned Residents of Ridgewood

The group does not push that hard for money, but we cannot let them pay for this themselves. Please consider giving any amount–small is a lot better than zero. Let’s dig deep so that Valley doesn’t! Once is not enough–this has been going on for nearly a decade and is expen$$$$ive.

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Bike Valley 71

CRR Alleges 2016 Master Plan Amendment to Allow Valley’s Expansion Was An Improper Settlement of Valley’s Lawsuit Against the Planning Board; Cites Conflict of Interest of Board Attorney; and Finds Fault with Prior Planning Board Processes.

May 16,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ. Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Inc. (CRR), a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation, filed a Complaint on May 12 th, in the Superior Court of New Jersey against the Planning Board of the Village of Ridgewood and Valley Hospital Inc., demanding that both the 2016 and 2010 Master Plan Amendments tailored to Valley Hospital’s immediate and long-term growth plans be declared null and void. CRR is represented by Michael B. Kates of the law firm of Kates Nussman Rapone Ellis & Farhi, LLP, of Hackensack.

On April 5, 2016, the Planning Board reversed itself and voted to settle the lawsuit that Valley Hospital had filed against the Board in 2014 for rejecting a proposed Master Plan Amendment that would have allowed Valley to more than double in size at the Ridgewood site. The “settlement”reduced Valley’s proposed development from 1,240,000 square feet to 1,206,000, whichrepresents an insignificant 3% reduction in the size of the proposed expansion that was denied in 2014.

CRR’s Complaint questions the motivation behind such a capitulation on principle and sets forth several flaws and improprieties in both the process and reasoning the Board used in arriving at that settlement. Pete McKenna, CRR President, commented, “It is astounding that our Planning Board would capitulate to Valley Hospital for this almost immaterial reduction in the immensity of Valley’s proposed expansion. Neither this settlement, nor the manner in which it took place andwas enshrined as a Master Plan Amendment, are in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law.”

In another Count of its Complaint, CRR asserts that the process culminating in the settlement was compromised by a conflict of interest, stemming from the fact that the Planning Board’s attorney, Gail Price, did not recuse herself and her firm from advising on the settlement at the same time that her husband, Richard Brooks, was a candidate for Village Council and was expounding in public on his positions on the Valley litigation. This conflict was brought to the Board’s attention by a resident attorney (not CRR), in a letter and during hearings on the settlement, calling for the appointment of outside counsel to replace Ms. Price’s firm, Price, Meese, Shulman and D’Arminio PC. But the Board disregarded the conflict, failed to investigate it, and made no public announcement as to its position following closed session discussions. CRR asserts that the failure to disclose what transpired in closed session, in and of itself, is a violation that should render the settlement null and void. CRR president McKenna contends there may be more to the issue, saying “the conflict issue raises other serious questions about how this settlement process was handled by the Board, and we intend to get some answers in this lawsuit.”

In a further Count of the Complaint, CRR asserts that the Board, at the direction of attorney Price, committed major procedural errors during the Board’s consideration of Valley Hospital’s proposed Master Plan Amendments, dating back to 2006. The Complaint focuses particular attention on how Ms. Price applied Ridgewood’s Ordinance 3066 in a way that severely restricted the participation of CRR and the residents, created prohibitively narrow standards for evidence to be put forth by the community, gave disproportionate control of the proceedings to Valley, and ultimately, in CRR’s words, “turned the master plan process upside down”. As set forth in the Complaint, the Planning Board attorney wrongly precluded any modification of the Amendment proposed by Valley, stating that such a narrow approach was “in contravention of the Municipal Land Use Law’s vesting of absolute discretion in the Planning Board to craft a Master Plan according to the Board’s understanding of the public interest and not according to the narrower interest of any property owner.” In sum, Ms. Price’s handling of the Master Plan Amendment hearings pervasively skewed the process in Valley’s favor.

Regarding the conflict of interest issue, CRR believes Mr. Brooks’ pursuit of public office to be laudable, and in fact recognizes his considerable contributions to our Village. The fault here, CRR contends, lies with the candidate’s spouse who is a government official and who does not recuse herself or her law firm from concurrent mediation and settlement discussions that concern the largest single development project in Village history. CRR also stated that it resolved to take this action during the first week of May, but did not want it to appear to unfairly influence Mr. Brooks’ candidacy or the municipal election; therefore, the organization purposefully delayed filing its Complaint until the election had ended.

“Concerned Residents of Ridgewood does not take legal action lightly, and realizes such action incurs an unfortunate expense to Village taxpayers and even more to those residents who will donate to CRR to fund our legal effort; however, due to the continued mismanagement of the Master Plan process and the potentially dire and irreversible consequences of the Master Plan Amendment of 2016, we feel bound to take this action to protect the character of the Village and the wellbeing of the community, and most importantly, the welfare of children attending BF Middle School who would have to endure more than six years of construction during phase one of the expansion,” Mr. McKenna further stated.

Constant Contact newsletter page, where you may help support us through Pay Pal or a check. If you’d like to be on our email list for updates, wish further information, or have any questions, please contact

CRR’s efforts on behalf of our community are expensive. 
We are in need of donations to pay our legal fees.
Please donate generously today by using this link: 
Or checks payable to “CRR” can be mailed to: 
CRR,  PO Box 150, Ridgewood, NJ 07451
Thank you for your support!  
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April 20,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood, NJ, The Concerned Residents of Ridgewood (CRR) is delighted to endorse Jeff Voigt, Bernie Walsh, and Ramon Hache for Councilpersons in the May 10th, 2016 Village elections.

“This election is about residents regaining control over the big decisions in our town, rather than falling in line behind applicants and institutions like Valley Hospital, which has sought to replace our Village planning with threats of litigation.  As we embrace positive change in Ridgewood, our Council and Planning Board can no longer let applicants lead the discussion on the appropriate scale and intensity of new building and land use in our village,” said Pete McKenna, president of the CRR.

“We think Jeff, Bernie and Ramon will challenge a recent trend in Ridgewood government where bigger is always presumed to be better and where applicants for changes in land use are treated as higher authorities than our own residents.  We
chose to endorse these three independent candidates because we feel they each will listen to residents on matters of village governance before reaching a conclusion.  ,” added Mr. McKenna said.

“We have interviewed all the candidates and feel that Voigt, Walsh and Hache are best suited to restore a positive vision of the Village of Ridgewood’s future.  Please get to know them and mark your calendar for Tuesday May 10th to vote as you see
fit,” a.  Added Mr. McKenna.

The Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Inc. (CRR), a grassroots organization that has sought moderation and sound land use planning at the H-Zone site, and opposes the expansion as currently exerted by Valley Hospital through its ongoing
litigation against the village..  A group of CRR members met individually with each candidate for Council in April of this year, to discuss their views and priorities for the village prior to their endorsement.

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Reader says Time to take Back the Village of Ridgewood from Special Interests

Abraham Godwin Ridgewood

There has been no better opportunity than now to unite all Village neighborhoods. Citizens for a Better Ridgewood has its roots on the West Side and favors slower growth in high density housing. The Concerned Residents of Ridgewood is based in the Travel/BF/Somerville neighborhood and favors a smaller-scale modernization effort by the Hospital. Friends of Schedler are in the neighborhoods east of Route 17 and favor preserving the woodlands on that property. Most recently, a group of tax payers from all over town that favors a 4 level garage over a 5 level garage has successfully petitioned to bring that issue to a vote.

After 4 years of a “Council majority” that has claimed to know what’s best for the rest of us and has insulted anyone that has disagreed with them, it looks like we might actually be able to take the town back from special interest groups and Council members with personal agendas.

Candidates Bernie Walsh, Jeff Voight and Ramon Hache have the very unique opportunity to unite these neighborhoods in our quest to preserve our property values and the charm of our Village. Please vote for them on May 10.

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Concerned Residents of Ridgewood is working to Educate a new group of younger parents that are less familiar with Valley Expansion Issue


April 4 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, Only the terms of the mediated settlement between Valley Hospital and the Planning Board is known at this moment and Ms. Hauck had nothing to do with that negotiation. It was PB Chairman Nalbantian and Vice Chairman Joel.

Ms Hauck and Ms. Knudsen are the two VC members negotiating Valley Hospital’s suit against the Village Council. We understand that a court date is set for early May. At that time we will know more about that case.

In the meantime, CRR has not stopped their efforts and are encouraging people to show up to Monday’s PB meeting. They are also working on educating a whole new group of younger parents that are less familiar with this issue. If you would like to help, contact

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Concerned Residents of Ridgewood endorses Knudsen, Sedon


Concerned Residents of Ridgewood endorses Knudsen, Sedon

The Concerned Residents of Ridgewood are thrilled to endorse Susan Knudsen and Michael Sedon for council. We are extremely confident that Susan and Michael are the best candidates.

Michael Sedon brings a different perspective that will serve Ridgewood well. He and his wife are raising three children in the village. They have a newborn as well as two children in grammar and middle school and want the best place for them to grow up. Michael was a reporter for The Ridgewood News for almost four years. He regularly attended, analyzed and provided coverage on council, planning board and municipal budget meetings and learned about the workings of Ridgewood government from an insiders’ perspective. After leaving The Ridgewood News, he continued attending council and planning board meetings as a citizen interested and invested in what happens to our community. He is in this for the long haul. Michael is concerned about overdevelopment, the budget, Ridgewood’s aging infrastructure, traffic and parking.

Susan comes in with corporate experience, volunteerism and community involvement. She and her husband have raised their three boys here for the last 15 years. Since 2011, Susan has served on the Ridgewood Zoning Board of Adjustment, voted vice chairwoman since 2012. She has a strong knowledge of land use issues in the village and is very passionate about helping Ridgewood move forward while preserving the quaint and special town that we all know and love. Susan Knudsen is intelligent and creative and will bring new ideas to the council. She is concerned about overdevelopment, the budget, lack of open space and parking issues in our town.

Each candidate has demonstrated a deep understanding of the serious issues facing our village. Each comes into this without a personal agenda and willing to be an independent advocate for the taxpayers of Ridgewood. They share a desire to bring our village forward while maintaining quality services, keeping taxes within reach and retaining the character and charm of our wonderful village.

Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, May 13 and vote for these outstanding candidates, Susan Knudsen and Michael Sedon.

Pete McKenna


Concerned Residents of Ridgewood