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Village Council Tables Vote on High Density Housing

Village Council Tables Vote on High Density Housing
all photos by Boyd Loving
October 1,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , A huge turn out filled the the courtroom last night with some estimates saying there was another 300 people in the rooms downstairs watching it on the TV’s.It seems the people were finally heard. The council voted 4-1 (Al Pucciarelli the only no vote) to continue the hearings and conduct impact studies on the fiscal impacts, traffic (a comprehensive study that would include all off the proposed buildings as well as the 2 parking garages and the 98 unit assisted living facility), and schools.

 The resistance to the over development and urbanization was spearheaded by the Citizens for a Better Ridgewood . The group is  non-profit with a mission to make sure development is achieved within the character of Ridgewood.

They are in favor of development that compliments our existing CBD. “Our town has been reacting for far too long. It is time for a shared vision, a comprehensive plan that allows for extensive community input and can move us forward.”

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The council has postponed the vote on the ordinances to increase the density from 12 to 35 until those studies have been done. The next meeting will be held Monday, November 9th. Many people left because it just ran too late so If you want your chance to speak Nov 9th, you will be able to.

Reader said , “Partial victory tonight… tabled the vote! However the real solution here is to roll back the “Valley Hospital inspired” master plan changes which allowed these ordinances even be proposed in the first place.”


39 thoughts on “Village Council Tables Vote on High Density Housing

  1. Congratulations to Citizens for a Better Ridgewood. Grass roots community activism trumps special interests and agenda driven politicians. More work to do but what a great job getting our voices heard.

  2. Mob justice prevails again.

  3. When is the next election and how many seats are up for grabs?

  4. When is the next election and how many seats are up for grabs?

  5. It is not mob justice it is the citizen becoming involved.

  6. What an incredible turnout from concerned Residents. So proud of this town. Your voices were eloquent, powerful and virtually unanimous against over-sized development that unnecessarily changes the character of OUR Village. Thank you to Councilman Sedon for bravely making the motion to perform the much needed Fiscal Impact Studies and to Councilwoman Knudson for adding to that a Comprehensive Planning Review taking into account all the massive development projects proposed in our downtown: four large apartment complexes, one 100-unit Assisted Living Facility and a 300 car parking garage. Thanks also to to the Mayor for having the wisdom to recognize the will and needs of his constituents and finally speaking/voting in favor of these studies, despite a longstanding hesitancy to commission them. A good representative truly listens to his/her people, and last night the Mayor did that. So kudos. Supporters of Citizens for a Better Ridgewood have asked for such studies for several years, and our voices were finally heard. But one important request from the majority last night was not yet agreed to: to PUT HIGH-DENSITY HOUSING AT 35 UNITS/ACRE TO A REFERENDUM. If the Council can put a single parking garage to a community vote on 11/3, they certainly can and should do the same for the single biggest decision facing this town in many many decades.

  7. I used the term “mob” because that is how Mr. Pucciarelli referred to the gathering. Perhaps he felt a bit uncomfortable.

  8. Pucciarelli got pummeled.

  9. I’m happy about this. It shows we do have a representative form of government after all. The question still remains about what is to be done with the underdeveloped plots of land in town.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing an indoor sports complex on the Ken Smith property. Either a real gym with real weight training and crossfit / kickboxing facilities (the Y and NYSC both suck) or an indoor ice rink.

    Anyone who thinks that it is acceptable for that property to be used as a parking lot for a landscaping company is crazy. It makes the town look weak. Ditto Chestnut street north of Franklin. I can’t comment on South Broad because I rarely venture down past Sook (almond croissants FTW!).

    We need a measured approach to this issue though, not a carte blanche for developers to pull a bait and switch – because who didn’t see that coming – when the real feasibility studies are completed.

  10. I watched the entire event on TV last night and was so proud of the way the residents spoke up. Their points were well spoken, and polite. I think the council realized that they have more homework to do so they can attempt to justify any change to the master plan. It was also important to note, that as some of the Attorney’s who spoke pointed out, that this is spot zoning. This means that any future developers can request the same 35 unit density per acre and if this is approved how can we say no to new applications when we said yes to these developers. One Attorney said the property just across from Ben & Jerry’s is just over one acre. Can you imagine 35 luxury apartments with parking in that one acre parcel. Seems way to much to me. I do thank the council for staying until 1:00 am and listening the heartfelt residents and hope they will come back and say the maximum is 12. Let’s stick with the master plan we have. It works keeping Ridgewood as Ridgewood.

  11. I went to bed at midnight, I need my sleep.

  12. Sadly, Councilwoman Hauck was quite clear in her opposition to spending anymore time on the issue. She has no problem bonding taxpayers $500,000 on the parking deck before it is even voted on, but no patience for any spend on the master plan changes. She also seems to not understand her role in the process. The planning board is there to tell what we CAN do not what we SHOULD do. The council can consider the education and economic impacts that the planning board is not legally allowed to do. The council woman revealed that she has no interest in examining those issues. Think about it, the planning board is not allowed to consider schools and money and that is good enough for her. We begged for a consideration of those issues and she attacked that idea in front of us all. If you have not seen it yet, watch from 11pm-1130pm on the replay if it is ever posted…

  13. I had little hope going into last night’s meeting. I am so proud of everyone who came and stood up for our village. Bottom line, we have to repeal ordinance 3066. Also, say no to ordinances requesting our Master Planner. Our Master Plan should be treated with the respect it deserves. It has been in place for decades, protecting our village from the potential high density developments that are on the table now. Should development occur, yes, but within the safeguards of the master plan. Developers: get a variance and if appropriate for Ridgewood it will pass. If the densities are to low for your project and potential profits, to bad, come to the table with something else. But don’t threaten residents with statements “if you don’t give us this, we’ll do something you really won’t like”. That is not neighborly or nice.

    A recall for a certain politician should be started too! We deserve better.

  14. Soon Gwen won’t have to attend these council meetings…

  15. Not so 10:52 the West Siders love their Wicket Which From the West along with the Seniors. I just wish that for the rest of her term she could put together one cohesive sentence. Watching her speak is painful.

  16. Best of the night was when Albert whined about being the only one who works full time. And then someone suggested he should resign. Don’t whine, resign!

  17. Repeal ordinance 3066!

  18. It was epic. I was thrilled. Too wrought up to go to bed until 3:30 AM….

  19. Can we hire a new Village Planner now? Someone who has a clue?

  20. Maybe Gwen can take the other two stooges with her on safari next time and stay there.

  21. Fed up, I don’t agree with Puccerelli’s vote, but I agree with his right to cast it. It is a little dramatic to talk “recall” just because his vote didn’t agree with the vocal majority in the room. That kind of chest thumping makes it harder to take your more legitimate points seriously.

  22. Just starting watching the hearing.
    What a disgrace using little Charlie Glazer as a prop.
    Parents should be ashamed of themselves.
    Next time have the balls to get up and say silly stuff yourself.

  23. Dave Slomin for council!

    I do not know him but he wrote the best piece on why the high density development was a bad idea. Clear, concise and spot on. It looked like something that should have been done by the council. Not a developer’s report.

    He can replace all three of the three headed monster on the council.

  24. The next council election will have the best turnout ever.

  25. Yes Rich, I thought that was underhanded. I noticed how they used a little kid to point out the elephant in the room (“under the table”).

    I mean, sure, after living in Hoboken for 8 years, I immediately figured someone on the consul was on the take in some way. Otherwise, we’d never get to the point where hundreds of people need to show up at 131 South Maple on a random Wednesday night.

    But if I, as an adult, got up there and made that sideways comment, I’d be on the business end of a slander suit. Young Charlie’s parents obviously know that. I hope they’re proud they made their kid a target by putting words in his mouth.

  26. Well said at 3pm.

    Hauck is so done. The west sisters who endorsed her were disgusted by her response to them and by her behavior last night. Fortunately most of the village was in the room or watching online ( at one point over 20,000 people were viewing online). She revealed exactly who she is and everyone saw it.

  27. So proud of my Village neighbors that came out! Let’s take our Village back! I’m with Dave Slomin..REFERENDUM All we need is 10% or 678 registered voters to present the governing body with a signed petition. Then, the governing body must adopt a resolution at its next regular meeting requesting the county clerk to print the proposition as formulated and expressed in the petition on the ballot. (N.J.S.A. 19:37-1.1)

    We can do this!

  28. I too have been frustrated by Ms. Hauk and with others on the board to an even greater extent. But wasn’t it Ms. Hauk’s “yes” vote that turned the tide last night. She joined Mr. Sedon and Ms. Knudson before the Mayor did. Also, do we really need to vilify Ms. Hauk and call her names? She is our neighbor. Her kids go/went to school with our kids. We may disagree with her, even vehemently, but why be uncivil? Next time she goes out to dinner or food shoping, should she have to wonder if the person behind her on line or at the next table is the one who said hateful things about her on this blog. Should that be her takeaway from her time in public service? Is that who we are?

  29. Though only 20% voted in the last election, there are almost 17,000 registered voters in Ridgewood.

  30. Yes Kieran Doyle she did vote yes but she so confused by what was going on that she probably misunderstood what she was voting on. This was quite evident by her rambling before the vote.

  31. I hear that Bug Al the Developers Friend is going to charge the Village overtime for any meeting that goes over 11 pm. You know because he has a day job.

  32. Ever notice that you never see Kieran, Rurik and Declan at the same time….?

  33. 7:24: Clearly 6:25 meant 1,686. I’m sure you get the point..10% of voters, to petition for a referendum, is attainable.

  34. Did you see RURIK HALABY turn and growl SHUTUP to someone in the crowd. Wow, Rurik, maybe you need to go to Alberts meditation room.

  35. 8:11. Ho Ho Ho, his wife was texting him to get home. Electronic leash.

  36. Love the shot,of Aronsohn standing while everyone else. Sits. Napoleon complex?

  37. 2:11… Why do you assume I want Pucc recalled just because he voted no? Your assumption tells me you are a new viewer to the shenanigans that have been occurring for the last 6+ years. I was referring to Aronsohn but would be happy to see either of them go. Both of them have had a reputation of berating, bullying and total disrespect for their fellow council members. Pucc’s behavior and comments are nothing new, and Paul has behaved in a similar manner for years. I give it to him that his demeanor the other night was the best I’ve seen, 20,000 people watching may have had something to do with it. Just ask anyone who has had their eye on the ball these past few years.

    Paul has been the quarterback for these developer’s plans from the get-go totally disregarding what residents have been telling him for years. He endorsed Pucc and Gwenn knowing if they won he’d have a 3 block vote at the council level. I put this whole debacle at his feet. Watch him…he will be doing all he can to get these studies done asap, the clock is ticking before a new council will be voted in. Regardless of what the studies show the 3 will still support these amendments. If a referendum is not put out to vote in November, a recall would be the next best option to secure a no vote on these ordinances.

  38. We said “Fed up” They were all voted in together they should ALL be vote out together. Its like a three headed snake. You have to chop all 3 heads off ti get rid of it.

  39. 11:58

    Someone told me the other day they are like a cancer. You have to extract the whole thing, every last cell, to be rid of the disease. Roberta is part of the illness that has infested our Village.

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