The Ridgewood Board of Education posted signs and gave notice in an Aug. 22 letter to high school parents that the 23 parking spaces on Heermance Place, which runs between the school building and the football field, will be available only to faculty and staff during the hours of 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., September through June.
The board of education requested last year that the village council act to reserve the spots, citing a staff that has increased with a rise in the student population over recent years, leaving the main lot with inadequate space to accommodate teachers and visitors to the school.
The idea of opening parking on Beverly Road, adjacent to the building, was also discussed but ultimately dropped.
When the council mulled the Heermance proposal, concerns were raised about allowing the school to take over parking on a public street, potentially booting taxpayers in favor of out of town employees. But as the discussion went on, exactly who owned the street—the village or the school board—became unclear.
“After review of the title work and survey that was researched by the surveyor and the village attorney, it was determined that Heermance has actually been owned by the Ridgewood Board of Education,” Mayor Paul Aronsohn said.
Though the council had been set to move forward with a plan to reserve the parking spots earlier this year, Aronsohn said that after a survey in the spring showed the street to be BOE property, no council action was necessary.
Superintendent Dan Fishbein told Patch that it has not yet been decided who will be responsible for enforcing the regulation, but that, if necessary, the district will seek to tow violators.
With the determination that the board of education is the owner of the street, Aronsohn said, the council will have "ongoing discussions" about issues such as maintenance of the road, as well as how the regulation will be enforced.
Aronsohn said that the council will take up the issues at its Sept. 11 meeting.
Students are still able to park at the South Graydon Lot, across from Vets Field, and are annually able to purchase permits for the 71 parking spaces at First Presbyterian Church, located across Ridgewood Avenue.