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Reader Only Sees Downside to Hudson Parking Garage

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The garage is being built solely for the apartments who will then get a quantity discount that is lower than the actual cost to Ridgewood. Have you noticed the builders offering to pay part of the construction? Restaurants and stores much beyond Walnut will not get one bit of additional business from the garage but even those few won’t commit a cent to the construction. As many said, before you build a garage, see what will happen if Ridgewood starts enforcing repeat parking, marking the tires in such a way that they can’t be rubbed off or just rolling the car a little bit. Easily done with 2 marks on each outside tire at different locations so one would always be showing. Also these business complainers who blame everyone but their employees should enforce the parking rule as well. The lot where they wish to build the garage could be repaved and restriped with diagonal parking at each end and restriping of all the center lanes would provide much more parking than the garage is going to actually allow non-commuters if villagers cannot use but the ground floor. The ground floor as presently described in the garage will not even give as as much space as we currently have without the re-striping. If on the remaining downtown streets they would convert to diagonal parking on one side and parallel on the other, we would gain a lot of spaces. And lastly, take away the favored businesses extra reserved spots where their valet picks up, or where it has to be marked yellow for no parking because an illegal wall blocks parking spots. Do either of these precious to the Village properties pay the town for the parking meter charge that would be normally earned with removal of their illegal blockades? Two meters to a spot would really add up as you know they would be constantly used. Since Susan and Raymond think the Village will just curl up and die without this garage and are going to put it there regardless of objections–why don’t you two take it upon yourselves to count the total spots gained by restriping just in that one parking lot and the on the street parking? And removing the illegal obstacles! If you really wanted an accurate count of what is possible, why don’t you include as a second count all our current parking lots after repaving and restriping? I am sure you could easily come up with over a hundred. Yes, that may not help the commuters much, but who is Ridgewood really for? The commuters who park, maybe grab a coffee and a newspaper, go to work, return, unpark their car and go home? What money or convenience does Ridgewood gain from that? And again, a reduced fee for monthly parking that will not cover our costs. Or for the residents who you are expecting to pay much more in taxes to provide a convenience for the builders (do they leave any money here?). Instead you are forcing Mt Carmel members to use your garage on Sundays and other days that Church is in session (and I’m sure it won’t be free!). I’m going to insult you here but I wish you would rise up out of the poppy field in Oz, put your brains back in your head, and actually think and listen for a change. Are any of you, except Bernie, capable of doing that?
Also, many of the parishioners are handicapped or have several small children and it is a long walk from the garage even to the side door of Church.

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Reader say Case Closed No Need for a Garage on Hudson Street

CBD employee parking

The valet was worth a try. The fact that whining store owners like Vagianos and Damiano were unwilling to participate tells me that they wanted it to fail. They are unwilling to help,at all. They just want the taxpayers to fund a gigantic garage that benefits them and only them. How do they stand themselves. They are despicable.

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Hudson Street lot

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Village Hall Court Room – 7:30 P.M.
(all timeframes and the order of agenda items below are approximate and subject to change)
1.  7:30 p.m. – Call to Order, Statement of Compliance, Flag Salute, Roll Call – In accordance with the provisions of Section 10:4-8d of the Open Public Meetings Act, the date, location, and time of the commencement of this meeting is reflected in a meeting notice, a copy of which schedule has been filed with the Village Manager and the Village Clerk, The Ridgewood News and The Record newspapers, and posted on the bulletin board in the entry lobby of the Village municipal offices at 131 North Maple Avenue, and on the Village website, all in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.
Roll call: Knudsen, Voigt, Altano, Joel, Patire, Scheibner, Torielli, McWilliams, Barto, Van Goor
2.  7:35 p.m. – 7:40 p.m. – Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board
3.  7:40 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Committee/Commission/Professional Updates for Non Agenda Topics, Correspondence Received by the Board
4.  7:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – Ridgewood/Dayton, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 100-152 South Broad Avenue, Block 3707/3905, Lot 35.01/1.01: Adoption of Memorializing Resolution of Approval
5.  8:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Hopper Ridge Townhomes, Informal Review, Durar Avenue, Block 4104, Lot 3 – To be carried to December 19, 2017 without further notice and without prejudice to the Board
6.  8:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – Calbi, Minor Subdivision and Permit for not Abutting Street, 315 East Glen Avenue, Block 2106, Lot 20. Public Hearing continued from August 1, 2017 and carried to October 3, 2017 without further notice and without prejudice to the Board – To be carried to December 19, 2017 without further notice and without prejudice to the Board
7.  8:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Hudson Street Redevelopment Designation
8.  10:00 p.m. – 10:05 p.m. – Adoption of Minutes: January 3, 2017
9.  10:05 p.m. – Executive Session (if necessary)
10. Adjournment
Professional Staff: Christopher Martin, Esq., Board Attorney; Christopher J. Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Brigette Bogart, Planner; Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary
Members: Susan Knudsen, Jeff Voigt, Joel Torielli, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, Richard Joel, Isabella Altano, Debbie Patire, Frances Barto, James Van Goor
In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, all meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work sessions, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings, which are always open to members of the general public.

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New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center : Referendum Petitioning

Ridgewood garage referendum

Ridgewood friends,

If it weren’t for the guidance and extensive knowledge of Renee Steinhagen, Executive Director of NJ Appleseed, we would be dealing with a massive parking garage, encroaching halfway into Hudson Street, being funded, built and run by the BCIA. Renee and her staff gave us the tools we needed to defeat the massive garage proposals. They have extensive knowledge of referendum petitioning, and were incredibly supportive.

When asked to send to send a bill, Renee said she will not, but rather requested our group contribute to NJ Appleseed, so that they can continue their mission:
“New Jersey Appleseed Public Interest Law Center is a non-partisan, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. For over 10 years, we’ve striven to correct systemic problems that are at the root of injustice in our state.”

This is the link to donate online. Share this link with your Ridgewood friends!

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Reader says A garage at the Hudson Street in Ridgewood would only benefit building owners and the would-be developers of apartments who could legally use the existence of such a garage to reduce even further the paltry number of parking spaces they intend to provide

hudson street Ridgewood

No garage at Hudson and S. Broad, please. That parking lot could be rejiggered for whole lot less than $11.5 million and counting to provide more spots. But restore the lane at the north end of the rows in the middle that previously enabled people to go all around the lot seeking a space. Blocking it off to insert a couple of more spaces was wrong. Parking garage contingent: please read all the information and rethink. A garage at that location would be of benefit only to local building owners and the would-be developers of apartments who could legally use the existence of such a garage to reduce even further the paltry number of parking spaces they intend to provide, merely worsening the situation and putting us back to Square One or worse. Unfortunately, careful manipulation of the populace replaced honesty for too long. Look deeper, for the real motivation, and shake yourself awake–do not believe the hype of the departed council members or the yaps of their hangers-on or those with a personal stake in this (Vagianos, etc.).

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Ridgewood-only election to vote yes or no on a binding referendum for the financing of a parking deck at Hudson Street

Vote Ridgewood NJ

file photo by Dana Glazer

Dear Nattering nabobs of negativism,

This is a reminder that tomorrow is a Ridgewood-only election to vote yes or no on a binding referendum for the financing of a parking deck at Hudson Street.

The  referendum question on the ballot tomorrow is:

Shall ordinance No. 3521 submitted by referendum petition providing for the Council of the Village of Ridgewood to issue $11,5000,000 bonds or notes to finance the cost of constructing the Hudson Street parking deck, be adopted?  Yes or No

Please note that polls are open from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M.

You may also refer to the Village website at for more information.

If you have any questions regarding the election, please contact the Village Clerk’s Office at 201-670-5500, ext 201 or the Village Manager’s Office at 201-670-5500 , ext. 203.  We can also be reached by email: or

Roberta Sonenfeld
Village Manager
201-670-5500, ext. 203

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Ramon Hache : The Village of Ridgewood needs a comprehensive and modern parking solution that is both innovative and reflective of the world we live in

Ramon Hache ridgewood NJ

Ramon M. Hache
Village of Ridgewood

Ridgewood NJ, On June 21st, residents will be voting on a binding referendum regarding the bonding of $11,500,000 to finance the cost of building the Hudson Street parking deck. There is a high level of speculation and misinformation circulating, including print and video propaganda posted on the Village website. As a member of the next Council, I feel it is important to communicate my views regarding the overall parking issue.

I am, first and foremost, committed to improving the quality of life of our residents, public safety and the health and well-being of our Central Business District. I certainly recognize that bringing additional parking to our Village, if properly done, will enhance quality of life, public safety and the vibrancy of our CBD. Also, as I stated during my campaign, I am supportive of a parking deck on Hudson Street. It is also important to note that the next Council is committed to implementing a comprehensive parking solution, that includes a parking deck, but most importantly, will bring much needed parking relief to the entire CBD. A parking deck on Hudson Street, while crucial, only solves part of the problem. Ultimately we have a parking distribution problem in our CBD, not a parking deck problem. We have already begun planning for more cost-effective solutions that will require minimal expenditures.

Without knowing the outcome of the June 21st referendum, we are exploring all options including the impact and viability of a smaller deck on Hudson Street combined with a second deck/lot at the corner of Walnut and Franklin. While the Hudson Street deck will address the parking needs of commuters and patrons of the shops and restaurants within its immediate proximity, we also need to consider the parking needs of the rest of the CBD. Again, this is why solutions in addition to the Hudson Street deck are so crucial.

We will be working with an expanded group of experts, residents, board and committee members. We are fortunate to have a tremendous amount of intelligent and caring people in our community. We will leverage their knowledge, expertise and love of community to devise the right solution that meets the broader needs of our Village, not just of a selected few.

Ridgewood has waited 90 years for a parking solution, not just a parking deck. The notion that a single parking deck will solve our parking problem is in itself an outdated 90 year old idea. The Village needs a comprehensive and modern parking solution that is both innovative and reflective of the world we live in. Coupled with bringing a better mix of businesses, it should serve to enhance an already vibrant Central Business District.

Being fiscally conscious, we want to avoid unnecessary and costly expenses including changes in work orders. The Village Council has already spent over $600,000 of taxpayer money and we have not added a single additional parking space. The next Council will make final decisions regarding size, shape, and look of the Hudson Street parking deck. What the final comprehensive solution will look like, will depend on the outcome of the referendum. Therefore it would be premature at this time to communicate any specific plan but rest assured we are prepared for either possible outcome. As I had promised during my campaign, I will support whatever the people want to do and I will not direct residents on how to vote. It is my duty as a member of the Council, to listen to the voice of the people and act accordingly. I look forward to working for you, and with you, in moving forward on the various important issues our Village is facing.


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This is the Hudson Street lot at 9:20 Friday morning in Ridgewood

hudson street Ridgewood
June 10,2016
by Anne LaGrange Loving

Ridgewood NJ, This is the Hudson Street lot at 9:20 Friday morning. I do not know how many Village Council meetings I have attended at which members of the Chamber of Commerce stated that this lot is filled to capacity first thing in the morning every morning with commuters and restaurant workers. My crummy little camera does not show the scope of how empty the lot was. Please vote NO on June 21. We might (operative word is “might”) need a small increase in parking, but we certainly do not need the gigantic garage that Aronsohn, Roberta, Hauck and Pucciarelli are continuing to promote in the waning days of their time in “power.”

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Ridgewood Council Elect Jeff Voigt says NO to ordinance No. 3521 on June 21

Jeff Voigt Ridgewood


To the editor,

On June 21, the registered voters in Ridgewood will be asked to vote on the following referendum:

“Shall ordinance No. 3521 submitted by referendum petition providing for the Council of the Village of Ridgewood to issue $11,500,000 bonds or notes to finance the cost of constructing the Hudson Street parking deck, be adopted?”

As those who voted for all three of us (Bernadette Walsh, Ramon Hache and me) know, we are in favor of a parking deck on Hudson. It is unclear however, whether this bonded amount addresses funding for the current garage design – Version D. The way this referendum is worded obfuscates this issue. I personally am not in favor of Version D which includes 5 levels/4 stories and; results in a diminution in the width of Hudson St from 3 lanes down to 2 (eliminating parking on the North side of Hudson) – it is just too large and out of character with the surrounding community. A smaller garage (e.g. one level and story less) would be more in keeping with the look/feel of the surrounding buildings and could fit the footprint better without taking away street width. The Financial Advisory Committee which studied all sizes of garage designs found a smaller garage (e.g. 4 levels/3stories) to be financially feasible.

Further, the Hudson Street garage should not be examined in isolation. One of the main purposes of this rather large garage (Version D) is to help satisfy parking issues that would result from high density housing being built at the Brogan and Ken Smith sites. This does not help other issues the downtown faces vis-à-vis parking in other areas of the CBD, traffic, and public safety. In other words, the Hudson St garage addresses a symptom but not the disease.

We as a community need to examine the totality of parking, traffic, and public safety within the CBD (i.e. a more comprehensive plan). A more comprehensive plan should include such issues as additional parking (including the Hudson St garage); possible diagonal parking on reconfigured one way streets in the CBD (which would increase the number of spaces and parking revenues); mobile apps for finding parking; and new lights and signaled crosswalks at some of the major intersections (for improved traffic flow and public safety). The new council should take this up at its earliest convenience and; my guess is it likely will.

I am voting no (to not adopt ordinance No. 3521) on June 21. As a Village, let’s put together something that makes sense, is clear as to what our monies are to be used for, and makes our CBD more user-friendly.

Jeff Voigt


Councilman Elect

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Ridgewood Village Council : Revised agenda for tonight’s VC meeting?

Hudson Street Parking Garage

A very recently revised agenda for tonight’s VC meeting?
Am I nuts or does this imply no presentation to the public, no further discussion, etc. ?
16-31:  Approve Hudson Street Parking Deck Design


Discussion: Parking

  1. Authorize Change Orders No. 1, 2, & 3 – Hudson Street Parking Deck (Desman)
  2. Authorize Change Order No. 4 – Hudson Street Parking Deck (Desman)

3. Award Professional Services Contract – Validation Study of the Revised Design of the Hudson Street Parking Deck (Walker)
4. Approve Hudson Street Parking Deck Design
Discussion: Budget
Award Professional Services Contract – Professional Land Surveyor Services
Discussion: Policy

  1. Revisions to Field Policy
  2. Healthbarn – Irene Habernickel Family Park

Highlights – Special Public Meeting:

ORDINANCE #3519: PUBLIC HEARING –  Leasing Agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority Resolutions
16-28:  Authorize Change Orders #1, #2, & #3 – Hudson Street Parking Deck – Desman, Inc. (in the amount of $20,800)
16-29:  Authorize Change Order #4 – Hudson Street Parking Deck – Desman, Inc. (in the amount of $121,650)
16-30:  Award Professional Service Contract – Validation Study of the Revised Design of the Hudson Street Parking Deck (Not to Exceed $12,500)
16-31:  Approve Hudson Street Parking Deck Design

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Questions arise over delay in Presentation of “Masers Traffic Study”

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

file photo by Boyd Loving

January 9,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Questions arise over why the Traffic Study for Hudson Street Parking Deck was not released until after the vote , when some of the Village Council and and the Village manager had access to this key piece of information in October . While both Councilman Michael Sedon and Council Women Susan Knudsen both saw the Masters study when the public viewed it .

According to the Village Manager it was merely an oversight by the Village for not posting it sooner . While the 3 amigos , Paul ,Gwen and Albert  stalled in their answer to when the study was available to them , Mike and Susan seemed to indicate they only saw the study recently.

The big dust-up came resident Dana Glazer pushed the issue and Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli as well as Gwen Hauck took offence at the implication . The Village attorney chimed in with a “you can say what you want to the council as long as you agree with them ” ordinance to defuse the tension.

The omission whether it was intentional or not once again brings up the old  issue of the Village’s inability to manage large scale projects and effectively communicate with residents . A key piece of information seems to be left out of the mix ,in the race to aggrandize egos and leaves many residents wondering are we once again providing a solution in search of a problem .

Traffic Study for Hudson Street Parking Deck

Click Here

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LARGE parking garage still in the works for Ridgewood

parking garage cbd

January 8th 2016
Boyd A. Loving

Ridgewood NJ, Despite the overwhelming negative feedback about the “Option A” ($12.3 million, cantilevered over Hudson Street) parking garage Village Council members received on Wednesday night, by a 4-1 vote, Council members introduced Ordinance 3519, which gives authorization for Village officials to begin negotiations with the County of Bergen to bond $12.3 million for a “Village of Ridgewood Parking Deck Project.”

I ask you; why would we be asking the County to bond $12.3 million if it was agreed that a MASSIVE garage isn’t suitable for Hudson Street?  Am I the only one who heard a big “NO WAY” vote cast by the public in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting?  What will it take to get those who sit on the dais to listen?

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Votes fall short for Ridgewood parking garage ordinance

village council meeting

photo by Boyd Loving

JANUARY 8, 2016    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016, 12:31 AM

Residents listen to public comments on a proposed parking garage during Wednesday’s council meeting.

Wednesday’s marathon Village Council meeting ended with the governing body voting 3-2 on a $12.3 million bond ordinance to build a parking garage on Hudson Street.

Because the ordinance requires a supermajority vote (four out of five council members), it was defeated.

Following that vote, a second ordinance was introduced that would enter Ridgewood into an agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority (BCIA) for a garage. The ordinance, introduced with a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, would require three votes for final approval.

Council vote

Prior to the meeting, which went until almost 3 a.m. Thursday, Mayor Paul Aronsohn sent out a statement explaining that while he is still in favor of the largest garage option (option A), he was willing to compromise.

He lent his support on Wednesday to the smallest option (option C) in the hopes of approving the bond ordinance.

“The idea of building a garage is an idea that has been discussed and debated for decades,” he said at Wednesday’s meeting. “While I still think that building a larger garage is the way to go, in the spirit of compromise … maybe at the end of the night, we can come to an agreement.”

Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli and Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck, who had both been strong proponents of option A, also agreed to support option C if it meant moving forward in the process.

“We clearly need to think about this opportunity very carefully,” Hauck said. “I would like to work together in the spirit of cooperation to see this parking deck built.”

Though he noted that he is still in favor of plan A, Pucciarelli said that he understands that there is “objection on the part of plan A,” causing him to reconsider.

“It is clearly time to get going on this garage,” he said, adding that “studies in this town have become a mantra for not making tough decisions,”

While he had initially been in favor of bonding the ordinance for plan C, Councilman Michael Sedon expressed reservations with the idea due to new information about the proposed plan.

He opined that the public did not really have a true view of what the garage would look like before voting in the non-binding referendum in November that started the entire process. Sedon also said that he thinks the process was not made very clear to the public before they voted, which caused him some consternation.

Sedon said that instead of voting to bond option C, he is in favor of looking at less expensive alternatives for adding parking.

“We could do this, and it wouldn’t cost nearly $12 million,” he said. “If it’s decided that it doesn’t work, it’s easily reversed. I can’t support this bond at this time, and I’m voting no.”


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Ridgewood Garage Council Meeting: It is now crystal clear that 3 council members, led by the village manager and mayor, were not forthcoming about their intentions ahead of the vote

Village Council Meeting

January 7,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, There were too many discussions focused on needing a garage or not. I voted no, but it passed, let’s build a nice one. We need to be talking about what it looks like and how we pay for it. The only design offered to date is ugly, doesn’t fit the lot, and the council is in a rush to build it. We don’t really know how it gets paid for. The traffic impact is going to be huge. The garage is going to be filled with train commuters every day- the village has been clear about that. The one traffic study (done over 4 hours on one day) says we need to know more about overall traffic impact. The village has a poor record dealing with traffic design. This is a traffic disaster waiting to happen.

Judging by comments to the council and online discussions, too many voters did not educate themselves ahead of the vote. A lot of buyer’s remorse and people who “assumed”. There were some amazing speakers who clearly and smartly got to the issue and were ready to dive into to the details the council wishes to avoid. There were also uninformed garage supporters who thought the architect’s renderings were fakes made by opponents of the garage. Quite the indictment when supporters of the garage have no idea what it looks like and even they think it can’t possibly “look like THAT”.

It is now crystal clear that 3 council members, led by the village manager and mayor, were not forthcoming about their intentions ahead of the vote. They promised a conversation about design and then offered one photo ahead of the vote and no options on design. The only design option was a meaningless 10′ difference. The village seems to revel in ignoring codes and statutes created to preserve what everyone loves about the village. The village should set the standard and go beyond what is required. This manager and 3 of the council now have a demonstrable record of doing the opposite. Let’s hope the promise of a new design to be created is true.