Report: Plan to Save Historic Schedler Home Needed, Freeholder Says
County officials came to express support for the preservation of the 190-year-old Dutch home on a site that may become sports fields.
A Bergen County Freeholder told historic preservationists they should develop a concrete plan to save the historic Zabriskie Schedler house, according to a report in The Ridgewood News.
The Ridgewood Village Council purchased the 7-acre property containing the historic Dutch-frame house in 2009, predominantly using grant money. Local officials have said, however, they haven't had the money to develop the property and have left the property virtually untouched.
The council in spring of 2012 held a series of community forums to elicit ideas for development. Members of the Residential Eastside Development (RED) group have heavily lobbied to preserve and restore the 1800s-era home. Their fears may be well founded, given the sudden demolition of a historic slave home in nearby Paramus.
Sports groups, citing a lack of playing fields in the village, have lobbied to transform the triangular property between West Saddle River Rd. and Route 17 into a sports complex, with a 60-foot baseball field and an overlapping multi-purpose field.
The proposed plan from sports groups does not threaten to demolish the Dutch home, Ridgewood youth sports scheduler Ed Seavers said at the last forum meeting.
Freeholder John Mitchell, who appeared with Maura DeNicola and Robert Hermansen on Wednesday, pressed the RED to come up with a "solid plan," according to The Ridgewood News report.
"A plan will add to your argument, and it will allow you to work in concert with the government," Mitchell was quoted as saying. The freeholders have no legal authority in the matter.
No specific development plans have been vetted by the council. Officials have said they'd be mulling the ideas generated by the residents and the Open Space Committee.
Any development would require private fundraising, officials have said.