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Ridgewood Taxpayers Still fighting for basic Information on Hudson Street Garage Design

Hudson_Street garage ridgewood
photo courtesy of Saurabh Dani
March 14,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood Nj  Many Ridgewood residents went to the council meetings and asked exactly “How Much” does the garage encroach into the street. We had tried to look at some smaller images of the plan in the traffic report’s appendices and tried to figure it out, as the information was not available anywhere on the village web site and we were not getting an answer in the council meetings.

The village manager recently responded to a post on Facebook saying the previous design was 18 feet more than plan D. So plan A was encroaching 23 FEET, not 12 feet which we had assumed. 23 feet encroachment in plan A?? Was that a sincere starting point where we claim a ‘compromise’.

23 feet is 23 feet , however you measure it . The point is the only way anyone found out this dimension was when another option became more attractive then a previous one. Why do the taxpayers, who are going to guarantee this bond, have to go through hoops to find out this basic information?

22 thoughts on “Ridgewood Taxpayers Still fighting for basic Information on Hudson Street Garage Design

  1. Lies upon lies and then more lies. No accountability and no public outrage. So disappointed in the residents who continue to support such a project that has been driven by lies. Is this what has happened to our village? Did the tide of people change so much that the process is accepted by the masses because the end result gets them what they want? Tony, Siobahn, Sullivan, Hillman, Rurik, Jim etc. can get behind such propaganda because they want a garage so much? The garage is so important that a blind eye to the unethical meandering is accepted? Residents can watch a house of worship be so mistreated and unprotected for the better good of all to get a garage? A garage. Wow.

  2. Mount St Carmel needs to make an important statement of either impact or support as proposed..politics aside

  3. Here are the two comments I made in response to this Facebook thread that James left out of his recap above:

    I believe this discussion requires extreme specificity of how “encroachment” is being defined in order to prevent confusion.
    For example, “encroachment” could reasonably refer to either of the following:
    – Reduction in paved road width by some amount.
    – A building extending beyond its lot boundaries by some amount.
    In addition, the previous Design A had the following design features that further complicate things:
    – An archway on top of a sidewalk
    – A cantilever further extending beyond that archway and over-hanging the street
    So here are two ways to compare between Option A and Option D:
    1. Paved Asphalt Width
    – Current = 30 ft
    – Option A = ~18-20 ft (not clear on drawings)
    – Option D = 25 ft
    2. Extension of Building Structure Beyond Current Lot:
    – Option A = ~23 ft (not clear on drawings)
    – Option D = 5 ft
    So how much “encroachment” is there? If measuring reduction in asphalt width, Option A encroaches 10-12 ft and Option D encroaches 5 ft. If measuring structure beyond the lot line, Option A encroaches ~23 ft and Option D encroaches 5 ft.
    Why are the two measures of encroachment not the same? The archway over the sidewalk and the additional cantilever for Option A.
    My point is that there is no single definition of “encroachment”, and the exact answer depends very specifically on what is being measured.
    Note: I offer no comment or perspective on what was said in prior communications on this topic, the effectiveness of those prior communications in explaining the above facts, or the exact intentions behind such communications in presenting one definition of encroachment or another.

  4. #2:
    23 ft is 23 ft no matter how you measure, but “encroachment” of Option A is 23 ft under one definition and 12 ft under another definition.
    Again, I have no comment on what was said in the past, how things were exactly communicated, and who knew what and when.
    Timing-wise for Option A, I do believe the 12 ft reduction in the street width and the 23 ft extension of the building structure beyond the current lot was “visible” in the Maser traffic study document ( whenever that study was originally available to the public. The drawings in that report are admittedly very blurry and unclear. It takes some interpretation and judgement to extract the relevant numbers. I don’t know whether higher resolutions of those floor plans were ever publicly available to make that interpretation easier.
    For those evaluating Option D for consideration, it’s actually quite helpful to note that the “mass” of the building is moved back 18 ft from Option A. Option D garage really did shrink in that dimension by quite a lot. (I offer no comment on the process by which Option A turned into Option D, other than my general comment that I have found the overall process disappointing.)
    At the time when we were looking at Options A, B, and C, I may have said publicly (and definitely said privately) that I thought Option A was okay and I didn’t mind the size. But the “significance” of the encroachment was not very evident to me, in terms of how it would feel on Hudson St.
    I am grateful that people spoke up about that encroachment.
    Overall, I prefer Option D to Option A. And I prefer Option D at 4-stories / 5-levels to a theoretical “Option E” at 3-stories / 4-levels. I don’t mind tall buildings, and I think the economics have the potential to work better with a 325-space garage than one a level smaller.

  5. John V, how are you getting 10-12 feet reduction in asphalt width with 23 feet total encroachment? Is the rest of the encroachment on cantilever?
    Also are you and James not saying same thing on timing? That this information was only available in a fine print in the traffic report / maser report posted on the village website in December (8 weeks after the Nov vote), and has not been provided to taxpayers in any other forum / meeting / website? This traffic report also does not show the exact measurements. One has to scale it and measure it to come up with their own conclusions.

  6. It is 2016. You mean to tell me that the architect does not have the ability to show ALL structures to scale?

    They can’t show Hudson to scale – sidewaly pushed out and no cars on the street.

    This picture does not even attempt to show the true lines if the building, sidewaly and road. It will look awful.

  7. Taking part of the street–even one inch–means the thing doesn’t fit and should be eliminated or moved.

  8. build it real big.

  9. Since it does not fit..we shall not aquit…

  10. Parking garages are slums for dirty noisy cars..pollution funnel into the community.

  11. 1:20pm-
    Under Option A, the building was over the sidewalk, in a covered walkway with open arches. Thus the asphalt didn’t need to be reduced the full amount the building extended south of the lot. Under Option D, no covered sidewalk.
    The words above are not by James, they are by Saurabh Dani and were cut and pasted by James from Facebook with no attribution. My words are from Facebook in reply to Saurabh.
    I have no idea when and where the 12 feet number or the 23 feet number was communicated. Obviously things should be made clearer than a fuzzy drawing in a traffic report. I don’t believe the high-res floor plans of Option A were ever released showing the above detail more clearly.
    My point is that there both 12 ft and 23 ft could be considered the relevant amount of encroachment depending on what aspect you were interested in about the project.

  12. 1:20-
    To specifically answer one of your questions, the extra encroachment from option a is first hanging over the sidewalk and then on an additional cantilever of some amount. The cantilever was as on higher floors, and I think was 4 ft or something like that?

  13. John V, what’s your point? Are you challenging the title of this article?

    “Ridgewood Taxpayers Still fighting for basic Information on Hudson Street Garage Design”?

    Do you have all the dimensions available for plan A and plan D? (how much side walk, how many lanes etc)?

  14. It’s okay John V , the garage won’t be built

  15. This blog is not about having a civil discussion but is just about a single POV. I have seen this “garage” discussion go on for 40 years and it is going to finally happen so instead of throwing bombs why don’t we all just suck it up and work together to get it done. Are we really fighting over 2-3 feet.. please that is not make or break.

  16. you are incorrect. option A was NOT planned as cantilever over current side walk. Option A covered entire current side walk + some of existing roadway. A new “sidewalk” would have been built where current roadway exists, and that too was part of the garage (i.e. arcade), with big concrete posts. That’s not side walk. That’s part of the building structure.

  17. 8:12pm-
    Two points:
    1. James continues to cut and paste stuff other people have written without giving even the minimum indication where something is from. All the post says is “the staff of the Ridgewood blog”, which is the same title he uses whether he wrote it himself or is highlighting someone else’s comment.
    2. Saurabh D. said the following: “So plan A was encroaching 23 FEET, not 12 feet which we had assumed. 23 feet encroachment in plan A?” That’s a confusing statement, since Plan A could be considered to either be encroaching 12 ft or 23 ft depending on the definition.
    I have no doubt this all could have been made clearer by Roberta et al, which I very much agree with Saurabh. I just disagree with the way he phrased that point.

  18. John V – What do you mean when you say “My point is that there is no single definition of “encroachment”, and the exact answer depends very specifically on what is being measured.*”? Are you now going to rewrite the dictionary for demonstrating your support.

    There is only one definition of encroachment – “advance beyond proper limits”. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the ground or in the air. Current property line is where sidewalk starts not where asphalt starts is the proper limit. Public property starts at the sidewalk. No other businesses are allowed to build over the sidewalk. Yes the village is except from the rules, but that doesn’t mean you can change the definition of encroachment. It’s still 23 FEET ENCHROACHMENT. – The actual structure that encroaches might be a tree, bush, bay window, stairway, steps, stoop, garage, leaning fence, part of a building, or other fixture.

  19. 7:12am-
    Fair points. I agree that “encroachment beyond the property line” for option A was 23 ft. “Encroachment into the roadway”, which some people were extremely considered with, was only 12 ft.
    “Encroachment” as a term may most typically mean “encroachment beyond the property line”, as you note. Not trying to change that term. Just arguing for importance of clarity and specificity by all sides here.

  20. John V – Respectfully Disagree. You are trying to ignore the encroachment of side walk when you consider 12 feet.
    SideWalk with large concrete columns that’s part of an arcade is not same as a normal side walk.

  21. The garage is too big for that lot, it doesn’t fit. Period. It negatively impacts a Catholic Church. Isn’t that enough of a reason to say no? Doesn’t anybody care about the church and its people? Are people so desperate for a garage that the well-being of a church and the staff that LIVE there are dismissed. Arohnson, Sonenfeld, Saraceno, Sullivan, Vagianos, Damiano, Schimmel, Hauck, Pucciarelli none of these people attend OLMC. I have to wonder if it was a house of worship one of these people attended would we not be building a garage on Walnut Street?

  22. no name mike – single point of view? People get into online arguments on this blog. People bash the blog owner. No, this is not a single POV blog, far from it.

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