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Ridgewood sued over high-density housing plan


AUGUST 17, 2015, 7:26 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2015, 6:31 AM

RIDGEWOOD — A grassroots citizens group long opposed to any change to the master plan that would permit the construction of high-density multifamily housing projects downtown is suing the village and its Planning Board.

The lawsuit — filed by Citizens for a Better Ridgewood on Aug. 10 in Bergen County’s Superior Court in Hackensack — seeks a judge’s order reversing the Planning Board’s June 2 decision.

Ridgewood officials — including Mayor Paul Aronsohn, a member of the Planning Board — refused to comment on pending litigation.

The board’s June vote to raise the number of allowable housing units per acre in four of the village’s zones to 35 from 12 ended five years of meetings, public hearings, and expert testimony on the master plan amendments, which were first requested by developers keen on building in town.

The developments pitched include The Dayton, a 106-unit luxury garden apartment complex at the site of the former Brogan Cadillac dealership; the 50-unit Chestnut Village, on Chestnut Street; and the 52-unit Enclave, on East Ridgewood and North Maple avenues.

The suit alleges board members and village professionals met privately with the developers requesting the master plan revisions, violating the state’s Open Public Meetings Act.

The lawsuit calls the Ridgewood Planning Board’s decision “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable,” and contends two of the board’s members should have recused themselves.