Posted on

Reader says It is Time for Ridgewood to Appeal the Valley Ruling


Appeal, yes, but the town may also wish to obtain a stay the part of the ruling that requires the Council to adopt the specified ordinance. The latter is no mean feat. Final judgments and orders from New Jersey Superior Court trial court judges are extremely difficult to “dislodge”. Appellate Division judges have to practically be charmed to within an inch of their lives before agreeing to block implementation of a trial court’s judgment pending final appellate disposition. The whole system is more or less designed to front load power at the trial court level rather than at the apellate level. Hard to see why things must be arranged this way but thems the facts and Ridgewood must deal with them squarely.

Posted on

Ruling: Ridgewood must comply with master plan amendment



RIDGEWOOD – Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia issued an opinion last Thursday, which gives the village 90 days to adopt an ordinance consistent with The Valley Hospital 2016 master plan amendment adopted in April by the Planning Board.

Valley Hospital, which is surrounded by homes in an otherwise residential neighborhood, plans to nearly double in size, from 565,000 square feet to 961,000 square feet, which will create 451 one-patient rooms.

Posted on

Reader says ,Valley in Ridgewood has already lost – Hackensack is the regional hospital of choice

Bike Valley 71

Valley has already lost – Hackensack is the regional hospital of choice. Valley (and their arrogant supporters) just seem to want to win their battle with Ridgewood. Fact is, in order to have had any shot against Hackensack, they needed to have finished this expansion years ago but they’re still battling that handful of pesky neighbors that don’t know what’s good for them.

Next up – Real Estate Taxes!

Posted on

Reader questions if Valley Hospital is “inherently beneficial ”

Bike Valley 71


We all appreciate the uphill battle against a major business and the law that Corzine pushed through that eliminates any sort of evaluation of whether an institution with an “inherently beneficial ” usage is necessary.

Previously, it was a factor but not THE factor in zoning decisions. Clearly in this case it doesn’t make sense. There are multiple fine hospitals within 10 miles of here. There is clearly no lack of need.

Valley is a tough adversary. Clearly money is of no object to them. They buy up millions of dollars of languishing real estate and then they complain they are struggling.

Come on.

They have the real estate they need in Paramus now They should use it. It makes more sense for a “regional” hospital to build between two major highways in a commercial zone rather than on a small lot in a residential neighborhood. Princeton is the best example of what a good neighbor hospital would do- move to the highway when they outgrew their lot a few years ago.

Let’s bring this fight to the next level. Maybe now we can get Hackensack to chip in some more money, if they haven’t already.


Posted on

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.”

Posted on

“I think this decision should have a chilling impact on municipalities across the state”, CRR ‘s Pete Mckenna


july 2,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, CRR ‘s Pete Mckenna commented to the Ridgewood blog on the recent ruling ,that Ridgewood has 90 days to clear way for Valley Hospital expansion .

“The Judge’s decision is disappointing, but not surprising given the way she conducted these hearings.

I think this decision should have a chilling impact on municipalities across the state.  If this decision is upheld it would indicate that localities have no say in controlling land-use within their borders if a hospital is involved.

If Ridgewood isn’t permitted to determine that 1 million square feet of building is too much for this sensitive site, than what are municipalities to do when applicants come forward with plans that are completely out of sync with their surroundings?

The Judge relied on the flawed 2016 Master Plan Amendment that is the subject of CRR’s current litigation.”

Posted on

N.J. judge: Ridgewood has 90 days to clear way for Valley Hospital expansion



RIDGEWOOD — A state judge ruled Thursday that the Village Council has 90 days to adopt an ordinance putting into effect master plan changes that clear the way for a vast expansion by The Valley Hospital, or else the hospital may “move to enforce” her decision through a court-appointed special master.

The ruling, issued by state Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia, said the council ordinance must be consistent with April Planning Board approvals allowing the hospital to nearly double in size, from 565,000 square feet to 961,000.

Posted on

Please donate to Concerned Residents of Ridgewood


Your past contributions have made the difference.

If not for our grassroots involvement, a decade of massive demolition and construction would likely be underway today at Valley Hospital, doubling in size in a location that is already over-burdened.

The Fight Continues!  We vitally need your donations to: 

1) Finish our legal work.  The flawed Master Plan Amendment of 2010 is still on the books of Ridgewood.  The current or any future council could allow Valley to build to the 1.2 million square foot limits approved compared to the current building approximating 550,000 square feet.   While expensive, this legal action is essential to putting a final halt to Valley’s determined drive to expand in the Village.

2) Continue public advocacy before Ridgewood’s Village Council and Land-Use Boards.  The Valley Corporation has seemingly infinite resources and connections to get their way. It is imperative that we continue our grass-roots efforts to counter their efforts to put an incompatible building in our midst.

While there is much corporate and personal money being spent in support of the Valley aspirations, all the opposition is funded by our hard-earned donations. 


PayPal service is available for you convenience — or please mail your donation to

Concerned Residents of Ridgewood

P.O. Box 150 Ridgewood, NJ 07451.

Checks should be made out to Concerned Residents of Ridgewood

The group does not push that hard for money, but we cannot let them pay for this themselves. Please consider giving any amount–small is a lot better than zero. Let’s dig deep so that Valley doesn’t! Once is not enough–this has been going on for nearly a decade and is expen$$$$ive.

Posted on

Ridgewood Mayor Aronsohn Attempting to Divert attention from the Real Issues

ridgewood village manager


It has been a while since this group has communicated – I hope everyone is doing well.  I received your email below and wanted to respond.

I respect Roberta. I think she has done a great job overall managing this Village.  It’s not an easy job by any means.  I personally know Roberta…she is a good neighbor and I like to consider her as a friend.  She is smart, quick, effective – I respect her and admire her and from what I have heard she has done a better job of executing than previous VMs.  However, I was shocked to see the full page ad in the news.  I was even more shocked when I read your email and was targeted with a mass email chain from someone in my neighborhood (how she got my personal email is quite a mystery).  I guess I am confused…why are we making this election about her or any village staff? Shouldn’t the election be about the issues at hand – high density housing, doubling the size of Valley hospital in the middle of a residential area? When did we turn this election into village hall staffing?  You work for a corporation so you know very well that a new boss is entitled to evaluate the existing talent pool. So why is this even a concern? No company will hesitate to bring in the right boss for fear of cleaning up the existing talent pool.  We shouldn’t either.

We have to remember, this election isn’t about any Village Hall staff.  It’s about whether we trust the people we elect to represent the town fairly and responsibly.  It’s about where they stand on the issues that we each find important to our families, to our property values, to our future, to our way of life.

It saddens me that you are trying to turn this campaign around and divert the attention away from the true issues.  Not to mention make up deceitful lies.  Not one candidate has made any statement about Roberta and her role.  It’s simply not part of this election, nor should it be.  It’s a non issue.  It saddens me that we are not able to campaign with dignity and respect for one another.  I hope that changes.


Bonita Shimpfky

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Paul Aronsohn <>
Date: Fri, May 6, 2016, 9:04 PM
Subject: Vote for Brooks, Weitz and Willett
To: <>

Dear Neighbor,

Last week, I endorsed council candidates Rich Brooks, Evan Weitz and Janice Willett in a letter-to-the-editor, noting that they have solid experience, uncompromising integrity/ethics and a proven commitment to Ridgewood.  I also noted that they are right on issues important to me, such as the budget, the parking deck, the special needs community and the Village Manager.

This week, several additional community leaders – past and present – have also endorsed Rich, Evan and Janice – community leaders who have helped shape Ridgewood’s traditions, while moving Ridgewood forward.  And importantly, a group of residents took out a full-page ad in the Ridgewood News today, noting that “only 3 candidates are committed to keeping Roberta Sonenfeld as Village Manager – Rich Brooks, Evan Weitz and Janice Willett.”

Please see the attached list of endorsements and the full-page ad.

Needless to say, many of us believe that this year’s election is especially important, and as explained by the Ridgewood News Editorial Board, every vote matters.  Remember, in 2012, there was a difference of only 15 votes between the 3rd and 4th placed candidates.

If you have any questions, about this year’s election, please feel free to email me.  If you want to learn more about Rich, Evan and Janice — and their positive, inclusive vision for Ridgewood — please visit their website –

Thank you for your consideration.  Thank you for voting on Tuesday.


Posted on

Ridgewood : OUR WAKE UP CALL

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ


April 6,2016


If the events that transpired last night do not shake your faith in the sham of a process that has transpired, nothing will. We are being held hostage by an institution that is engaging in a scorched earth policy against Ridgewood. They do not want to be a good neighbor and it is clear they would rather destroy our neighborhood than offer any real compromise.

I’m extremely disappointed that the majority of PB members did show a spine. I understand their concerns but we have to be firm in our resolve that this is not right for Ridgewood and we will continue to fight. What is the point of a Planning Board that can’t plan???

I’m sure many of you realize this, but if you haven’t made the connection yet to the Valley expansion, Garagezilla, and the increase in allowed housing density in town, let this be clear: any judge and court will. Therefore, even if you haven’t signed the garage petition yet, please consider doing so. We need to show the courts and other interested parties that we aren’t going to cause self inflicted wounds first in order to help prevent a hospital that will triple in size in a residential neighborhood.

Secondly, the upcoming VC election is more important than ever. We need to get strong defenders of our town in place because clearly the troika in charge of this town has had their own agenda. Please consider supporting Bernie Walsh and Jeff Voight in May.

Thank you.

Posted on

Reader says Ms. Brogan’s failure to support the children and teachers was a terrible and unexpected blow to the Ridgewood School System


Sheila Brogan horrified the assembled multitude that night at BF and sure enough, her comments have returned to haunt us many times over. They were quickly turned into PowerPoint slides by Valley’s attorneys. Our elected BOE hires the Superintendent of Schools, not the reverse, and should have stood firm, acting as a staunch defender of students’ and teachers’ health, safety, and ability to learn and teach in peace and health. That defection was one of the harshest blows in this nearly decade-long fight to prevent Ridgewood from becoming Valleywood. Ms. Brogan’s failure to support the children and teachers was a terrible and unexpected blow. She has a great deal to answer for and should stop running for reelection to the BOE.

Posted on

Ridgewood Planning Board Wednesday Night Vote men caved and the women felt detrimental effects of the Valley Expansion far out weighed

valley construction
photo courtesy of Dana Glazer
April  6,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The men caved and the women behaved like troopers.  The men all voted YES for less than gallant reasons: Fear of further litigation and possible results that might be worse than the ” so called compromise.”

The women believed that Ridgewood was worth that risk and felt that the detrimental effects of the Valley Expansion far out weighed any benefits.

The public comments were unbelievable including little kids who spoke eloquently.

Our Board of Education members were missing and should have been there and should have advocated for Benjamin Franklin Middle school .  Their primary concern should be the health and safety of the children.  I don’t know why they would concede to Valley without a good argument for a better compromise.  We elected them to represent us.

Again I don’t know who is looking out for Ridgeood except Susan, Wendy and Debbie, The “Steel Magnolias” of the Planning Board.

Posted on

Valley construction and Ridgewood Schools

April 5,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Somerville, Hawes and Travell parents: please try to attend one or more of the remaining Valley expansion hearings. There are maybe 5 elementary school parents here tonight, and this massive construction plan will affect our children the most over the next decade and beyond in terms of pollution, noise and nonstop truck traffic back and forth in front of Benjamin Franklin Middle School.

Video Courtesy Dana Glazer


Posted on

Reader asks , “who is looking out for Ridgewood?”


March 31,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewod Nj, Reader says , “My take away from last night is, “who is looking out for Ridgewood?”. The best questions/ concerns came from public comment which was so limited and restrictive.  The majority of Valley’s testimony centered around aesthetics:  different colors and shadings on the buildings to minimize the visual perception, green coverage to hide the mechanicals, monitoring of all the potential environmental negatives,etc.

Blais was obviously sick last night but his comment about the need to balance the positive and negatives of the expansion and also considering the regional needs was very telling.

Are there any benefits to Ridgewood in this?  I only see Valley telling us how they will deal with the negatives.  How will exiting more cars onto Linwood ever work and trucks will travel back and forth down Glenn, make a left on Van Dien and then back out the same route?  BF just put in a new driveway with an exit onto Glenn.

My feelings are we should not amend the Master Plan and continue operating under the 2010 version.  The Valley project is too big for the 15 acre lot. There is no way around this fact.  Where is our counter  offense?  It wasn’t there  last night and our only hope is that the council votes against the ordinances needed to push this through. Jeff was really great last night.  It is so hard to be heard.

Posted on




Planning Board Amendent to Meeting Schedule – Special Public Meetings – March 30, 31 and  April 4,5,7

For complete details for the meeting schedule – Click Here