The leaves may be changing, but the village's policy governing when and where they can be placed won't be.
The Ridgewood Village Council on Wednesday night unanimously defeated an ordinance that would have made few substantive changes to the existing policy, spare some tough penalties to violators.
At one point during the year-long process, it was proposed that all residents bag the leaves. At another, they could have been jailed for not abiding by the rules. Later, some homeowners could only place leaves on the street, others in the right-of-way.
Now, it's fully scrapped, including the enforcement provisions that would have allowed the village to fine people up to $1,000, force up to 40 hours of community service, and place a tax lien on alleged violators.
"I don't see a a reason to change our policy and pass this," Mayor Paul Aronsohn said. "It was well intended but has been whittled down to nothing."
Although it was revealed that the DEP rescinded the state rule that homeowners could not place leaves out seven days prior to pickup, the village won't be changing pickup times.
Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser said he felt if the village spread out collection times, leaf piles would grow in size. That, he said, would amount to a public safety hazard.
Residents still are not allowed to place branches in the leaf piles.
Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh said she believes it's the repeat offenders that create the problems, and further suggested exploration on easing restrictions on bagging leaves prior to the seven-day period.
Aronsohn said the council in future meetings will touch upon those issues.
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