The developer behind a proposal to build multifamily housing on the site of the former Sealfons building is planning an open house this month to address resident concerns about the plan.
The Enclave, one of four potential residential developments in and around downtown Ridgewood, is a proposed 52-unit complex incorporating 28,000 square feet of retail space.
“We recognize that any time change is proposed it can be unsettling,” John Saraceno, the principle of Onyx Equities, the developer proposing the project, said in an announcement of the open house.
“However, in this case many of the concerns about impacts are unfounded and we want to make sure we address them head on. In particular, these developments are far more attractive than the current permitted uses.”
Proponents of multifamily housing argue that the four underutilized plots where the developments are proposed could become higher impact commercial sites under Ridgewood’s current zoning ordinances.
“Many of these downtowns, including Ridgewood, want to avoid the massive traffic impacts of new big-box stores, so they allow lower-impact residential uses instead, which make significant property tax contributions with minimal service requirements and generate few new school children,” Saraceno said.
“Downtown residential also supports the commercial life of the town without adding significantly to traffic, as the residents can walk to shopping and restaurants.”
The planning board is currently considering a zoning change that would raise the density and height limitations of the areas where the developments are proposed. Critics have taken issue particularly with the potential increase in density.
The open house is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 18 in the auditorium of the Ridgewood Public Library.