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.

Ridgewooder November 13, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I support luxury rental units in the CBD along with more mainstream stores. Nobody wants mom and pop stores. Nobody.
jp1 November 13, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Most towns through out the state have mom and pop stores, restaurants,etc. Ialso believe a majority of people prefer them to another Macy's or Bloomingdales.
Ridgewooder November 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Is that why J.Crew and Banana Republic are packed along with the higher-end chain restaurants at the Shops at Riverside in Hoboken while the CBD is littered with shuttered store fronts?
Mikka H November 14, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Classic Ridgewooder....High - End chain restaurants.....chain restaurants ! where should we put the Red Lobster Ridgewooder? I have more class in my ass then you have in your entire body.........
Steve T. November 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Interestingly, the elite than ran Ridgewood back in the day completely frowned upon downtown restaurants. Just think about the number of restaurants that were located in the downtown in the mid 1970s - you could probably count them on one hand and have a few fingers to spare. The ones I remember include the Brass Rail, Wilsey Pub and Espositos - that's about it. Remember when Ridgewood had a collective fit when Blimpies moved in using a zoning technicality - which I believe was promptly fixed afterwards. But times change - people change - I'm now glad Ridgewood has downtown restaurants since right before they arrived, the downtown was simply beyond dead. So villagers, please continue taking good care of my former village. Steve Tombalakian (villager between 1967 and 2001)
Ridgewooder November 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM
You certain seem to have alot of class! Wow!
Chris Cortazzo November 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM
The focus shouldn't be on retail, retail is dead. The advantage of a place like Ridgewood is that it is a beautiful place that people want to be. There should be downtown housing, and also downtown office space. The town is accessible by train and highway, which makes it attractive to commute from and travel to. This balanced approach will keep a vibrant customer base for the restaurants, theater, and remaining retail downtown both during the afternoon and evening.
maureen November 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I fear the traffic , the traffic, the traffic , the traffic...
Ridgewooder November 14, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I agree. People either shop on-line or at known quantities like Banana Republic, Abercrombie & Fitch or Cheesecake Factory.
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Fan of Ridgewood November 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM
me too!


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