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October 4th,the Ridgewood Planning Board will be discussing the Conflict of Interest complaint

CBD high density housing

Like last Sept 30th – Your help is needed

Friends and Neighbors,

I can’t believe it was a year ago today that over 600 of us went to Village Hall to stop the Village Council from moving forward on the High Density Housing issue. It was truly a remarkable night that brought people together and made an incredibly clear statement: We do not want high density housing in our Village!

So, here we are, a year later and we need your help yet again.

As most of you know, last March the previous VC majority passed an ordinance allowing these massive multifamily dwellings to be built – and make no mistake – once the shovels go into the ground, our schools in particular will be impacted.

What many of us didn’t know then is that the Planning Board and then the Village Council process was riddled with possible conflicts of interest. A few weeks ago, several residents and I filed a formal complaint requesting that the current Planning Board cease their high density site plan process immediately and investigate.

On Tuesday, October 4th, at 7:30pm in Village Hall the Planning Board will be discussing this formal complaint. I would urge you, for the sake of our kids, to attend so that the Planning Board is encouraged to make the right choice. If you do plan to come, please email me to help better coordinate the evening.

Please also consider sending the following note to the Planning Board and our Mayor via email:

Dear Mayor Knudsen, Chairman Joel and Planning Board Members,

I am aware that a group of concerned residents delivered a Motion of Complaint to the Ridgewood Planning Board, under By Law Sections 2.13 and 7.21, dated September 16th. Their motion brings to light a series of conflicts of interest and unacceptable mistakes that impacted the high density housing votes. It spotlights the truly defective process by which these highly unpopular ordinances (3489, 3490, 3491 and 3493) were passed. It is not right for Ridgewood residents to have such important decisions made, and the future of our village impacted, by a forum influenced by potential personal conflicts and/or mistakes. Preventing such actions is clearly the intent of the Planning Board’s own By Laws.

Therefore, I fully support the motion made by these residents. I ask that the Board stop all current high density site plan reviews and promptly begin a complete review of the residents’ complaints. Should any conflicts or mistakes be found, the Ordinance votes and Ordinances themselves should be rescinded and reevaluated via a proper and untainted process.

Secretary Cafarelli, please forward/print this email to all Planning Board members.

Thanks for considering this request.

Mayor Susan Knudsen, Mayor ( Michael Cafarelli, Planning Board Secretary (
My email address: (

Thanks for doing your part to protect our Village and hope to see you Tuesday night!



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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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Ridgewood First responders may be unable to fit under the parking deck

February 29,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, In the desire to fit maximum spots on the Hudson St lot the current proposed design still proposed 5 stories (including roof level parking) while the height of the building has been reduced. This was achieved by reducing the height of every story. Residents hope the council does the right thing and does not compromise on safety in their attempt to fit maximum cars at one spot. Here is what happened at Short hills mall: Quote from the article:
“Then, more time passed because the ambulance was unable to fit under the parking deck’s ceiling, forcing first responders to roll a stretcher up an entrance ramp to Friedland.”
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Will the Ridgewood parking deck pay for itself?

parking garage cbd

Ridgewood News Letter: Will parking deck pay for itself?

DECEMBER 11, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2015, 12:31 AM

Will parking deck pay for itself?

To the Editor:

The results of the recent election have indicated that there is a need for a parking garage. The village website provided inadequate information. Of the three designs only one was shown.

The consultants have stated that the bond can be retired from the projected revenues. However, there is no evidence of the reliability of these projections.

The design that is favored by many is one that has brick panels. It is pleasing aesthetically. The design is more expensive to build and more expensive to maintain in this climate. No financial considerations appear to have figured in this design. In addition, there is only a small building in the vicinity that has some brick exterior. If the construction bids come too high, will the architect redesign the project at no additional fee?

The revenue projections are based on increased meter fees. When fees are raised, occupancy tends to go down. The financial report cites one case where this happened. If sufficient revenues are not generated, the town residents will be left holding the bag. The consultants and the council members will be long gone.

There is no urgency to build a large deck given the uncertainty of revenue projections. I therefore suggest that the project be built in two phases.

Phil Almeida


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Ridgewood Mayor Aronsohn : not “whether” to build a parking deck or even “where” to build it; rather, the questions are “what size” and at “what cost.”

parking cbd

“see those empty spaces  thats where the  new Parking Garage is going to go ,bigger is better”

Time to build a parking deck

NOVEMBER 27, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2015, 12:31 AM

‘Time to build a parking deck’

To the Editor:

On Nov. 3, Ridgewood residents voted in support of the financing and construction of a parking deck on the Hudson Street lot. Although the referendum was “non-binding,” the message from the 3,236 residents who voted in favor of the parking deck – a full 65 percent of the vote — was loud and clear: After decades of discussion, it is time to act. It is time to build a parking deck.

Therefore, the questions now before the Village Council are not “whether” to build a parking deck or even “where” to build it; rather, the questions are “what size” and at “what cost.”

So, on Dec. 2, the Village Council will take up these two questions and decide on “what size” and at “what cost.” Then, a week later, on Dec. 9, I plan to introduce a bond ordinance that corresponds with those decisions and moves this process forward.

To facilitate these decisions, our design team has put together three options – at different sizes and at different costs — and although the referendum allowed “up to $15 million in public funds” to be expended, each of the options comes with a considerably lower price tag. (Please visit the Village Hall lobby and Village website for pictures and relevant information.)

Our design team will be on hand at the Dec. 2 meeting to outline the three options – pros and cons – and take questions from the council. We are also making special arrangements to allow members of the public to ask questions of the design team, too.

I encourage all residents to let us know their thoughts about “size” and “cost” – either by email or by showing up at the Dec. 2 meeting. We are at a critical, albeit exciting juncture in this process, and we want all residents to be a part of it.

Thank you.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn

Village of Ridgewood

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Mayor Paul Aronsohn, the “next steps” with respect to a proposed parking deck

paul Aronsohn

Dear Neighbor,

I am writing to share our “next steps” with respect to a proposed parking deck.

As you know, we have spent the last few months engaged in a community-wide conversation on this topic – one that has been asking and answering a series of fundamental questions: Do we need a parking deck? If so, what should it look like? How big should it be? Where should it be? How should we pay for it?

To inform this conversation and to fully involve the public, the Council did two things:

First, the Council commissioned architectural renderings and a financial analysis that – together – have not only helped answer those questions, but have also given us a good sense of the challenges and the opportunities. We have made all of the information available to the public on our website and have discussed it during several public meetings … including Council work sessions, a Planning Board meeting, a Historic Preservation Commission meeting and a handful of public forums that involved presentations by the design team and one-on-one conversations with the experts. The renderings — which have evolved to reflect input received throughout this process — have been on display at Village Hall, the train station and the library. And the Village Manager and I have even set up shop outside of Memorial Park at Van Neste to answer questions and hear people’s ideas and suggestions.

Second, the Council also decided to put a referendum question on the November 3 ballot, so that we could gauge public opinion. The result was not only a record turnout on Election Day; it was also a show of strong support for a parking deck, which received a full 65 percent of the vote. In fact, the parking deck was the big vote getter for the day … receiving more support than any of the candidates on the ballot … 3,236 votes in support!

Now, we need to move forward and decide on the size of a parking deck.

To that end, working with our design team, we have settled on three alternative designs. Each has pros and cons. Each reflects feedback received from people throughout our community. And each would cost much less than the $15 million originally discussed.

§ Option A: A parking deck with 4 floors and an open roof that could accommodate 405 cars and cost approximately $12 million. (The current rendering on the Village website.)

§ Option B: A parking deck with 3 ½ floors and an open roof that could accommodate 355 cars and cost approximately $11 million.

§ Option C: A parking deck with 3 floors and an open roof that could accommodate 306 cars and cost approximately $10.1 million.

To facilitate this decision, the design team met individually with Council members last week to go through these options, and the design team will be on hand at our next Council meeting on December 2 to do the same with residents, too. We are also making available in the Village Hall lobby renderings that show what each of the options would look like and the costs associated with them. Our plan is to make a decision by mid-December.

Your involvement throughout this process has been invaluable, and we want to hear from you … again. Please stop by the lobby. Please come to our December 2 meeting. Please let us know your preference.

And as we get closer to resolving this issue – the need for more parking – that has been discussed and debated for over 50 years, I sincerely hope that we can share in the excitement of the moment and work together to make it happen.

Thank you.


PS. Please let me know if you have questions.

Paul Aronsohn, Mayor
Village of Ridgewood