Planning Board to Discuss Downtown Housing Projects Wednesday

Four separate plans have been filed to build apartment complexes in Ridgewood's downtown.

Village zoning officials will be debating the controversial issue of proposed zoning policies for multifamiy housing in Ridgewood's downtown on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

The meeting – first planned for Nov. 6 but canceled due to Hurricane Sandy – will take place in the senior center of Village Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Village Planner Blais Brancheau spent about eight months determining what he felt was an appropriate scale to potential housing developments in the downtown.

In a 5-page checklist, he sought to include desired lot sizes, traffc congestion, density, building height, proximity to public transit and other points. The checklist will likely be discussed on Wednesday.

Currently, two projects are in front of the zoning board (Chestnut Village and The Dayton) while the zoning board sorts out The Enclave. There are plans to also build an apartment complex at the former site of Ken Smith Motors on Franklin Avenue though it has not yet been in front of a board.

Some developments seek a re-zoning in the Master Plan for approval while others seek numerous variances at the zoning board level.

All told, more than 300 units could be constructed if approved. Proposals range from the 57-unit "Enclave" between Maple, East Ridgewood and Franklin and the Dayton, a 106-unit 5-story plan near the train station on S. Broad St.

A traffic expert has also been hired for the village to review plans in front of the zoning and planning boards.

Also on the agenda Wednesday night is a pending ordinance amending the regulations of houses of worship, schools and public utilities. The council recently killed the ordinance, noting it did not address all issues.

The ordinance sought to strike a balance between the constitutional right for protected facilities to operate and expand while also ensuring quality of life factors in neighborhoods. The ordinance was spurred by constant complaints from neighbors living near Church of God on Godwin Avenue.

There will also be discussion of policies on site plan exemptions and site work permits.

The meeting takes place at the same time as a Chamber of Commerce's open forum on the parking garage/business development proposal in the downtown.

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