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Local Film Maker and Sometimes Activist Resident Dana Glazer Endorsed James Van Goor and Susan Knudsen

Vote Ridgewood NJ
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, local film maker and sometimes activist resident Dana Glazer endorsed James Van Goor and Susan Knudsen in a thoughtful Facebook post :

Continue reading Local Film Maker and Sometimes Activist Resident Dana Glazer Endorsed James Van Goor and Susan Knudsen

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Bike Valley 71

CRR Alleges 2016 Master Plan Amendment to Allow Valley’s Expansion Was An Improper Settlement of Valley’s Lawsuit Against the Planning Board; Cites Conflict of Interest of Board Attorney; and Finds Fault with Prior Planning Board Processes.

May 16,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ. Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Inc. (CRR), a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation, filed a Complaint on May 12 th, in the Superior Court of New Jersey against the Planning Board of the Village of Ridgewood and Valley Hospital Inc., demanding that both the 2016 and 2010 Master Plan Amendments tailored to Valley Hospital’s immediate and long-term growth plans be declared null and void. CRR is represented by Michael B. Kates of the law firm of Kates Nussman Rapone Ellis & Farhi, LLP, of Hackensack.

On April 5, 2016, the Planning Board reversed itself and voted to settle the lawsuit that Valley Hospital had filed against the Board in 2014 for rejecting a proposed Master Plan Amendment that would have allowed Valley to more than double in size at the Ridgewood site. The “settlement”reduced Valley’s proposed development from 1,240,000 square feet to 1,206,000, whichrepresents an insignificant 3% reduction in the size of the proposed expansion that was denied in 2014.

CRR’s Complaint questions the motivation behind such a capitulation on principle and sets forth several flaws and improprieties in both the process and reasoning the Board used in arriving at that settlement. Pete McKenna, CRR President, commented, “It is astounding that our Planning Board would capitulate to Valley Hospital for this almost immaterial reduction in the immensity of Valley’s proposed expansion. Neither this settlement, nor the manner in which it took place andwas enshrined as a Master Plan Amendment, are in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law.”

In another Count of its Complaint, CRR asserts that the process culminating in the settlement was compromised by a conflict of interest, stemming from the fact that the Planning Board’s attorney, Gail Price, did not recuse herself and her firm from advising on the settlement at the same time that her husband, Richard Brooks, was a candidate for Village Council and was expounding in public on his positions on the Valley litigation. This conflict was brought to the Board’s attention by a resident attorney (not CRR), in a letter and during hearings on the settlement, calling for the appointment of outside counsel to replace Ms. Price’s firm, Price, Meese, Shulman and D’Arminio PC. But the Board disregarded the conflict, failed to investigate it, and made no public announcement as to its position following closed session discussions. CRR asserts that the failure to disclose what transpired in closed session, in and of itself, is a violation that should render the settlement null and void. CRR president McKenna contends there may be more to the issue, saying “the conflict issue raises other serious questions about how this settlement process was handled by the Board, and we intend to get some answers in this lawsuit.”

In a further Count of the Complaint, CRR asserts that the Board, at the direction of attorney Price, committed major procedural errors during the Board’s consideration of Valley Hospital’s proposed Master Plan Amendments, dating back to 2006. The Complaint focuses particular attention on how Ms. Price applied Ridgewood’s Ordinance 3066 in a way that severely restricted the participation of CRR and the residents, created prohibitively narrow standards for evidence to be put forth by the community, gave disproportionate control of the proceedings to Valley, and ultimately, in CRR’s words, “turned the master plan process upside down”. As set forth in the Complaint, the Planning Board attorney wrongly precluded any modification of the Amendment proposed by Valley, stating that such a narrow approach was “in contravention of the Municipal Land Use Law’s vesting of absolute discretion in the Planning Board to craft a Master Plan according to the Board’s understanding of the public interest and not according to the narrower interest of any property owner.” In sum, Ms. Price’s handling of the Master Plan Amendment hearings pervasively skewed the process in Valley’s favor.

Regarding the conflict of interest issue, CRR believes Mr. Brooks’ pursuit of public office to be laudable, and in fact recognizes his considerable contributions to our Village. The fault here, CRR contends, lies with the candidate’s spouse who is a government official and who does not recuse herself or her law firm from concurrent mediation and settlement discussions that concern the largest single development project in Village history. CRR also stated that it resolved to take this action during the first week of May, but did not want it to appear to unfairly influence Mr. Brooks’ candidacy or the municipal election; therefore, the organization purposefully delayed filing its Complaint until the election had ended.

“Concerned Residents of Ridgewood does not take legal action lightly, and realizes such action incurs an unfortunate expense to Village taxpayers and even more to those residents who will donate to CRR to fund our legal effort; however, due to the continued mismanagement of the Master Plan process and the potentially dire and irreversible consequences of the Master Plan Amendment of 2016, we feel bound to take this action to protect the character of the Village and the wellbeing of the community, and most importantly, the welfare of children attending BF Middle School who would have to endure more than six years of construction during phase one of the expansion,” Mr. McKenna further stated.

Constant Contact newsletter page, where you may help support us through Pay Pal or a check. If you’d like to be on our email list for updates, wish further information, or have any questions, please contact

CRR’s efforts on behalf of our community are expensive. 
We are in need of donations to pay our legal fees.
Please donate generously today by using this link: 
Or checks payable to “CRR” can be mailed to: 
CRR,  PO Box 150, Ridgewood, NJ 07451
Thank you for your support!  
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Village Council and Village Boards Meeting Schedule


Planning Board Amended Meeting Schedule – March 18, 31



Special Public Meetings:March 18, March 31

In accordance with the provisions of the “Open Public Meetings Act,” please be advised that the Planning Board has scheduled special public meetings for:

• Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School, 335 North Van Dien Ave., Ridgewood, NJ, at which time the Board will continue the public hearing on the proposed H-Hospital Zone amendment to the Master Plan and have discussion regarding the North Walnut Street Redevelopment Plan.

• Monday, March 31, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School, 335 North Van Dien Ave., Ridgewood, NJ, at which time the Board will continue the public hearing on the proposed H-Hospital Zone amendment to the Master Plan.

The Board may take official action during these Work and Public Meetings.

All meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work session meetings, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings which are always open to members of the general public.

Village Council and Village  Boards Meeting Schedule 03/18/147:30PMPlanning Board Public Meeting H Zone Hearing at BFMS
03/25/147:30PMBoard of Adjustment Regular Public Meeting
03/26/147:30PMVillage Council Public Work Session
03/31/147:30PMPlanning Board Special Public Meeting – H-Zone BFMS
04/01/147:30PMPlanning Board Public Meeting
04/02/147:30PMVillage Council Public Work Session
04/08/147:30PMBoard of Adjustment Regular Public Meeting

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