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Clearly, the judge saw the Village of Ridgewood as the bad guys in this case

Bike Valley 71

July 2,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood blog consulted Ridgewood Attorney John Hersperger on the judges “90 days to clear way for Valley Hospital expansion”, and this is a verbatim quote:

“I completely expected this.  I attended most of the hearings, and it was clear from the start that  the Judge was convinced that the public interest outweighed Ridgewood’s interest, and she was going to contort the law and the facts to support Valley’s expansion.  I won’t expound on this now, but with respect to the law, the cases the Judge cites do not back up her reasoning, and in fact,  would support the Village’s right to zone the property as the Village sees fit.  On the facts, respectfully, she cherry-picked  what she needed and ignored decades of evidence clearly indicating that the Village never wanted a giant hospital at the site.

What was perhaps most disappointing was Judge’s remark (paraphrased) from the bench, in which she described that last decade of Valley’s applications as a “saga” for Valley, but just “history” for Ridgewood.  Clearly, the judge saw the Village as the bad guys in this case .  Honestly, after 60 or so public hearings and all the time and stress that residents endured, it was most painful to hear that kind of comment from a presiding Judge of this County.

So consider this, over the course of decades, Ridgewood has accommodated Valley’s multiple expansions  (except for this last one), which has allowed Valley to grow and become one of the busiest and  most profitable hospitals in the state.  And when we finally say “no”, we’re the bad guys.  And consider further we’re saying “no” to an expansion that would more than double the size of the facility.  I’d say that  contrary to the Judge’s ruling, Valley and the region actually owe Ridgewood a big “thank you” for being the municipality that took the brunt of Valley’s growth for all these years.  I agree with the Judge that Valley serves a regional public need.  But the delivery of that regional service, on our small local roadways, in a confined residential neighborhood, next to a middle school, should no longer be the sole obligation of Ridgewood.  It’s time for  a truly regional location for Valley, such as the 26.5 acres they own in Paramus, right between the Garden State Parkway and Route 17.”