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The Village of Ridgewood is Starting Condemnation Proceedings Against the Owner of Former Town Garage

Onyx Equities, LLC

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, looks like the Village of Ridgewood is starting condemnation proceedings against the owner of former Town Garage property at 120 Franklin Avenue .

Continue reading The Village of Ridgewood is Starting Condemnation Proceedings Against the Owner of Former Town Garage

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Despite budget crunch, Ridgewood Village Council continues plan to purchase & develop vacant auto repair shop property

Town Garage

the staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, “No money; no money; no money!” “Forget about it!” “It isn’t going to happen this year!”

Those are the responses Ridgewood’s taxpayers pleading for safety improvements (e.g., sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge repair/replacement) have been getting from Village Council members for the past few months.

Continue reading Despite budget crunch, Ridgewood Village Council continues plan to purchase & develop vacant auto repair shop property

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Vagianos’ Ridgewood Council Campaign Reports Donors

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, donations in excess of $300.00 made to Paul Vagianos’ campaign for Village Council as of 10/04/2021, as reported to the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission:

Continue reading Vagianos’ Ridgewood Council Campaign Reports Donors

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Reader claims Ridgewood Has Lost that Special Vibe


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

If your house is not already on the market, then you are not sitting on what you think will be a sizable retirement plan. Have you noticed how many for sale signs there are? Way more than is seasonably normal. There are a number of reasons for this exodus, some of it due to national and international changes, and some of it local. The local stuff that is negatively affecting real estate are things like the new SALT changes to what is tax-deductable in property taxes. The Ridgewood issues are the loss of that special vibe that Ridgewood had, which is quickly fading with affordable housing, apartment blocks, and a multi-story car park. Other factors that once made Ridgewood a highly desirable place to live was its schools reputation. This was mostly a myth, made possible by realtors, and parents that had fallen for the bs and now needed to re-state the myth to friends so that their home investment was maintained. These days, we live in a world of data. Home buys have a multitude of online tools where they can do their school research.

The world is also changing. There’s a gradual flattening process in terms of work. NYC generates most of the high-paying 6 figure salary jobs that fuels places like Ridgewood. These high paying jobs are slowing moving out. The advancements in technology are slowing changing the global landscape and places like NYC will no longer be one of the special places where “the talent” is.

I am moving out, having sold my place already. I’ve enjoyed my time here but I won’t be looking back at Ridgewood with any fondness.

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NJ Democrats Propose a “Parking Tax”

parking BAC  Glen Rock

file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Prior to Monday’s voting session,Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick released the following statement on the Trenton Democrat’s plan to tax parking (A5070).

“Another voting session in Trenton, another new tax on hard-working New Jerseyans. Today it’s another new tax on parking your car. Last month it was the rain tax. The Democratic majority is tone-deaf to the financial burden place on average citizens.”

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Former Owner of the Town Garage in Ridgewood has Passed Away


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

STERLING FOREST NJ,  according to a recent obituary Richard “Rick” M. Agnello, Jr. passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on 11/6/2018. Born in Paterson and raised in Glen Rock, Rick is a graduate of Glen Rock HS. Upon graduating, he served in the National Guard. Rick owned and operated Town Garage in Ridgewood with his father and brother. Rick had an immense passion for spending time with family/friends, music, cars, motorcycles, boats and spending time at Cape Cod and Greenwood Lake. Rick is survived by his loving children, Keri (Brendan), Eric (Angela), and Craig (Judi). He adored his two grandsons,Ash and Liam.

Continue reading Former Owner of the Town Garage in Ridgewood has Passed Away

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Reader says Overall the council has been a disappointment ,carrying more water for the developers

parking garage cbd

Overall the council has been a disappointment ,carrying more water for the developers
and businesses with own agendas that are being served with a first priority at our public taxpayers expense . Seems when something routine gets completed its like a miracle has shown itself from the heavens .We expected better VC.Time to strap in for a real mess over next 2 to 3 years as they tear the roads and streets apart to raise their supporters bar –
on over development of Rental housing developments and raised parking structure projects .Just wait until you see the traffic and the impact to the town we know so well.

This did not have to happen..It was forced down Taxpayers throats .

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Reader says Here’s some other “simple economics” of the Parking Garage


Here’s some other “simple economics”
Parking deck can’t possibly pay for itself.
Will require subsidy from taxpayers for years and years.
Meter rates will rise and infuriate shoppers and store owners.
Meter times will expand and infuriate shoppers and store owners.
None of that seems to matter. The garage is going to be built.
If there are empty spots in the deck, which will almost certainly be the case, they should be rented to commuters for the highest amount the market will bear. Then if parking in the deck becomes a problem, cut back on the out-of-towners permits.
Until then, out-of-towners permits will mitigate the pending financial disaster..

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Reader says This just in…..”Retail Dying”


This just in…..”Retail Dying”. The Wall St. Journal reports that even trendy SoHo is seeing a store closings as retail shopping continues to dip.…/even-soho-cant-escape-the-retail-property-storm-1519160376
In 10 years people will wonder what possessed a Village to build a hulking garage to support a retail shopping district that went the way of the dinosaur. If we are looking to the future it should be how the CBD will be repurposed once retail shopping has evaporated. Not building a garage decades after it would have made a difference.

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Reader says EVERY parking study done over the past 50+ years by objective professional consultants has indicated the need for a parking garage in Ridgewood

Hudson garage

EVERY parking study done over the past 50+ years by objective professional consultants has indicated the need for a parking garage in Ridgewood. It appears the current Village Council is doing something to remedy the longstanding parking deficit. The garage will primarily serve commuters during the day and local businesses afterwards. It will be a boost to all of Ridgewood and despite the naysayers it will not destroy or diminish the character and desirability of the Village. Other higher end towns (particularly Summit and Princeton) have garages and residential property values in these towns have continued to rise. There is not one shred of evidence that the garage will negatively impact residential property values in Ridgewood. To the contrary, it will likely enhance values because prospective homeowners who commute to NY will benefit from the availability of convenient parking. This is a big benefit when you are rushing to catch your regular morning train to the city.

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The Time of Reckoning Has Come for the Hudson Street Garage in Ridgewood

Hudson garage

February 2,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Village received 4 proposals for the Hudson street garage project. At last Wednesdays council meeting Village Manager Heather Mailander made it clear that the Wednesday review was a quick once over with more in-depth review to follow.

Reader says , “Several months ago Councilman Hache publicly (during an open public meeting of the Village Council) voiced his strong opposition to the construction of any sized parking garage that would result in either increased parking fees, expanded metered parking hours (he cited both of the aforementioned as simply “another form of taxation), and/or an increased property tax burden for homeowners.
Now, all of a sudden, he’s Gung Ho on proceeding with the review of parking garage designs even prior to the financials being discussed. He went so far as to publicly chastise Mayor Knudsen for “stalling” when she suggested that financing arrangements should be discussed first.
WTF Ramon? What gives? Why the sudden about face?”

Many readers pointed out that Councilmen Ramon Hache seemed very focused on pushing the garage project forward for both design and financing . While we are not sure we would agree with that assessment .

The garage issue has be bandied about for the better part of 30 maybe 40 years although some would trace it back to the time when parking meters were first introduced to the Central Business District in Ridgewood making it more like 60 years .

Frankly we think the issues should be moved forward or finally put to rest once and for all .We now 4 proposals coupled with proposals for financing . Either the garage makes sense or it does not .

An anti garage reader summed it up , “Why are we still arguing every week about a garage we don’t need.It’s become the national pastime in Ridgewood. It’s been happening for over 20 years.At this rate it will happen for twenty more. We voted it down and it refuses to die.Politicians continue to ignore the voice of the people and make side deals with developers.There are much better uses of our tax dollars that can be made in our Village’s infrastructure.Is there anyone on the council with some real vision?”


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Ridgewood Resident Says “Parking Garage” down side deeply out weighs the limited upside

bill mccandless

January 11,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at last nights Village Council meeting during the comment period resident Bill McCandless summed up the economic realities of the Hudson Street Parking garage .

Speaking to the council McCandless said, “The Village taxpayers face a new reality this year one that the fiscal state of the Village has not faced before , the decision and progress around certain issues will need to be reexamined coming into this year and we are going to need to clear the decks on a few things and reexamine how we prioritize things first and foremost are we burdening the taxpayers with new fees and taxes and if we are is the return on that investment greater than those taxes and fees and can we prove it.”

“One place we can not and have not been able to prove this is the proposal for the garage , the case against the garage is strong and is powered by undisputable faces that nee to be considered before plunging the village taxpayers deeper into debt and creating more congestion on are already over crowed and over stressed roads .”

“A recent study done the garage proposal show there is more than enough parking capacity in the CBD and what we have is not utilized , there is no fiscal plan for the garage pays for it self or through increased CBD tax receipts , it is a net loss.”

“Traffic at every intersection in and around the CBD on both sides of the tracks will be worse with the addition.

The intersections in and around the CBD are already over capacity and many are blow standard for the existing traffic .

There is no logical argument for the garage , the only thing the garage will add is tax payer debt and high fees for every shopper dinner and more congestion across an already congested set of intersections .

why add what we don’t need ,cant afford and creates worse conditions on any one who wants to come to Ridgewood.

I’ve listen read and consumed all sides and see no compelling case supported by facts , case studies or logic that benefits the public good.

The coming revolutions of autonomous cars and vehicles this reality is closer than the public realizes , less than 10years away when the need for parking capacity will be hugely impacted .

How does more debt and congestion serve the village , the down side deeply out weighs the limited upside for a few more spots in the most congested part of the Village ?”

Then McCandless proposed the following simple solution :

“lease open new lots were possible
stop the meter feeding by employees
and plan for the driverless future “

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Reader says Ridgewood residents don’t owe Village Business owners anything and certainly not a garage built for their convenience.

Parking Spots in Ridgewood

Clean up and re- stripe and pave the current lots; get rid of valet parking using spots that residents want to use –let their employees drive further, not potential customers of competing businesses; make property owners repair their property (the Town Garage was hurriedly bought by speculators who had heard the village wanted it for a garage. They bought it to flip it quickly at a huge profit, not to maintain it. If the village won’t buy at their price, they plan to leave it an eyesore until the Village caves at the ugliness and finally buys it.) Last of all, do the repairs on the current lots first (while banning valet parking from using them) and see if we really need a garage more than a few nights a week. If we do, I doubt it, make the owners of these stores and restaurants pay at least half and sign the mortgage. If they need it so badly, they can help pay for it. If the builders of all these new condos need the parking to make their locations legal, let them join with the other owners to build a garage. Ridgewood residents don’t owe those owners anything and certainly not a garage built for their convenience.

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Lack of Interest by Local Merchants in Central Valet Parking Program Tells Taxpayers the Village of Ridgewood Does Not Need A Parking Garage


December 8,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Village Mangers office confirmed that “ZERO” business opted in the Central Valet Parking  program . That means that there are not any business in the Central Business District willing to Validate parking . Apparently we have all been misinformed about the parking problem .

Reader says …And if this wasn’t a big enough kick in the ass to Ridgewood’s taxpayers, Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce President Paul Vagianos had the nerve to stand in front of Council members last night and publicly bitch about the taxpayer funded Central Valet Parking Program. Mr. Vagianos expressed his personal disappointment over the single site chosen as a drop off/pick up location (Van Neste Square), saying it “lacked visibility.” In Mr. Vagianos’ opinion, a better location for single site operation would have been the western end of East Ridgewood Avenue (adjacent to the train tracks).

What Mr. Vagianos didn’t say last night was that both his restaurant and a commercial rental property he owns are closer to the western end of East Ridgewood Avenue. He also failed to mention that his restaurant does not currently participate in the reimbursement program associated with the Central Valet Parking Program.



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Reader says Roberta and the 3 Amigos ought to be made to reimburse the village for the cost of the video

Ridgewood 3 amigos

They worked so hard to get the garage for their own selfish purposes that it seems unfathomable that we are still talking about doing it. It was a stupid, stupid idea driven by the wrong reasons. Please, NO GARAGE–just repair the surface and rework the spaces to create more (done badly from the get-go). It shouldn’t be hard or expensive. And by the way, besides the wrist-slap fine paid to the state, they ought to be made to reimburse the village for the cost of the video, paid for with property tax dollars. That was the killer part!