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Want a viable downtown : building department has been a nightmare


Want a viable downtown : building department has been a nightmare

The building department has been a nightmare for all residents for years. An audit of the department was completed about ten years ago. Recommendations were made and ignored. The tiger team should look at the report.

Now that the tiger team has turned their attention to the downtown business district they are no longer just a financial advisory committee. A viable downtown should be supported but the needs of the business district are not always the same as the needs of the taxpayers. The business owners are not all resident taxpayers. That being said, I think that the Guild is doing a fantastic job. Their activities encourage people of all ages to come to the business district.

Now is the time to focus on the needs of the taxpayers. A recent article in the Record highlighted the fact that property taxes are an important part of the home buying decision. What about discounts for retired residents? If someone has lived here 10, 15 20 or more years there should be incentive for them to stay. A house with 4 bedrooms could bring 3 new students into the schools. If that homeowner had a 10k exemption (incentive) they might stay in town. It would be a net savings for the village. Win-win. Maybe there is someone in the village with financial modeling experience who could help to put a number on the costs and benefits of this type of program. Those planned condos in town do not appeal to me. They will probably cost as much as a home, have maintenance costs and pay the same taxes as a home.

Maybe encouraging (incentivizing) seniors to move to smaller “starter” homes in the village is the answer. The downside of this is that you could create neighborhoods of senior citizens since the smaller homes tend to be clustered together. The upside is that it could be like our own “active senior” community within the village. The block parties would be a lot different.

I don’t know that the solution is, but my tentative plan is to leave when my youngest graduates in about 8 years. Most of my tax bill goes to pay for schools that I will no longer be using. The next homeowner can pick up the tab. If the downtown is a mecca when I move then I will visit for dinner from time to time – just like everyone else

4 thoughts on “Want a viable downtown : building department has been a nightmare

  1. My parents have lived here since 1969. There were 2 children in the schools until 1976. They remain here in a 3 bedroom home paying 16,000 in taxes.
    I am single, here in a 4 bedroom home. Never had children in the schools. Here for the ‘ambiance’ NOT for the ‘social scene’. 14,000 in taxes. If we both sell, theres a good chance for 6-10 children to crowd the schools.
    There is zero incentive for me to stay in town after my parents go to an old age home and I sell their house and probably mine. I’d buy a condo @ Ken smith Village if it was priced right with a garage, or I’ll move into NYC

  2. On the corner of Lincoln Ave and Lotte Road the house was torn down around 10 years ago and a “developer” began a building project that he may work on once a year with no end in sight. Why can’t the Buildings Department and the Town resolve this eyesore and problem? The property has for all intent and purpose largely been off the tax roles for years.

  3. #2 that location has been complained about before. The building Dept’s answer was the builder did enuff to stay within the law. Sometimes it’s the rules that need changing not the building dept. But I defineatly see your point.

  4. “business owners are not all resident taxpayers”… Maybe not. But, the landlords who own the building are. A vibrant CBD is an important step in addressing Ridgewood’s financial troubles.

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