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Valley lawsuit is troubling


JULY 31, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2015, 12:31 AM

Wealth shouldn’t determine future of community

To the Editor:

The litigation with Valley Hospital over its $780 million expansion plan is in the news again. I’m having a lot of trouble trying to reconcile Valley’s position with my understanding of what democracy is all about. I thought the people in the village, through elected officials, determine the nature of the village. We have established a master plan that presumably gives guidelines of a general nature about the village, such as defining ourselves as a residential community as opposed to, say, a home for heavy industry like the oil refineries that we see from the NJ Turnpike. We also have zoning specifying the maximum height of buildings, etc. All these plans and regulations were established by officials elected by the citizens of Ridgewood.

Now along comes Valley who seems to be saying: “Your master plan and zoning regulations are restricting our expansionary vision. Change your regulations!” Valley has been here for a long time, and it certainly knew our regulations when it decided to build and operate in Ridgewood, but now it has decided it wants to change the regulations established by the citizens of Ridgewood. Hmm. I know a number of people who have settled in Ridgewood because they like the community as it is, its ambiance, its schools, its zoning and other regulations. If we now give in to Valley, have we not abandoned an implicit trust?

The Valley litigation says to me democracy is not about the majority of citizens deciding on our regulations. No, instead it says to me it’s about wealth deciding the fate of the community. Valley, with its $780 million allocated for expansion (where did a non-profit, suburban hospital get $780 million anyway?), can out-litigate the Village of Ridgewood simply because the village doesn’t have Valley’s budget of discretionary funds. This is democracy?

Martin Cohen


5 thoughts on “Valley lawsuit is troubling

  1. I know where they got $780 million. Off our backs!

  2. Martin, such a well written and true statement. Thank you

  3. Valley is a disgrace to Ridgewood with their actions. Why would anyone support Valley in this town anymore? I believe Hackensack is Top 5 in the country. The 10 minute extra drive is now worth it for me. This town has so many issues. A 3-2 Council, we’re the minority on this. High Density housing, unreasonable size units we’re given. A 15 Million dollar parking garage? Are you insane? How much did the Town Hall cost in the flood zone. How many studies have we paid for? Let’s do another study. Steel beams and concrete..$15 million dollars, only in RichWood. Town is a disgrace and moving in the wrong direction. I just heard, needs to be confirmed, the Engineer is asking taxpayers sidewalks to be repaired? Take a look at the sidewalks in the CDB. Hint, the red bricks meeting concrete. Don’t ask others to do when you don’t! True

  4. Excellent letter. I really hope the mediator that has been appointed in the Valley lawsuit concludes that Valley, through their own doing over the years, has become much more of a liability to this town and it’s residents than an asset. Nice to have it, but in no way really needed, especially when you factor in their ridiculous expansion plans, as well as their attitude towards the financial obligations they should have operating in a town that has helped make them extremely profitable. Make a ton of money and don’t pay taxes on a good portion of your assets. What a gig.

  5. I wish they would leave altogether. They make me sick–not healthy.

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