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Village Planner: Heermance Parking Might Actually be School Property

Regardless of who has ownership over the spots near the high school, the Ridgewood council majority remains interested in evicting residents/students in favor of teachers.

Ridgewood school officials have been lobbying the local government for close to a year to designate public parking on Heermance Place for teacher use. As it turns out, they might not have to ask at all – it could be their property, Village Planner Blais Brancheau revealed Wednesday night.

According to the village planner, maps suggest that the road abutting the high school is only 20 feet wide. As such, the 23 spots facing RHS Stadium Field could actually be on the property of the high school. If that's the case, he said, the school officials likely wouldn't need permission to strip the students or general residents of the right to park there in favor of teachers.

Still, he said, there could be a previously existing agreement between the two governments stipulating that the village controls the street and the parking spots. That will have to be researched, he added.

"There's got to be an answer out there," Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck said. Other similar towns like Chatham and Montclair are having the same conversations, she said. "We need to do the research."

The district has rescinded a request to designate on-street parking on Beverly Road for teachers.

The council majority on Wednesday night again expressed support for ceding the spots for the teachers.

"I'm willing to defer more to the board of education as to whether the schools are best served by providing this modest amenity to staff," Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli said. 

By offering up the spots to teachers, the main parking lot would allow for five spots to be used for visitor parking, Superintendent Dan Fishbein said.

It's a selling point Mayor Paul Aronsohn latched onto.

"Having 4-5 designated spots for parents would provide much needed relief," he remarked.

Their interest proved a contrasting point to that of council members Bernadette Walsh and Tom Riche.

"It's like reverse eminent domain," Walsh said. "That's the part I'm uncomfortable with. We're taking rights from every other resident of Rdigewood for a specific group of people... It's an awkward situation. We all have kids in the school but we're obviously asked to look at it from the general standpoint of what's fair in the public eye."

"I'm concerned about taking of public property designated for private use and what it could do to businesses in downtown for example," added Riche.

Aronsohn, who originally voted against a similar plan in 2012, said he wants to move forward in drafting an ordinance while researching who actually has ownership of the spots.

jp1 January 10, 2013 at 08:27 PM
This street has been a public street for as long as i can recall, this just an end around run by the school system and our phony mayor.
Ron Verdicchio January 10, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Councilwoman Walsh and Councilman Riche should go with the majority on this one. Reverse eminent domain? Really!
Boyd A. Loving January 10, 2013 at 08:46 PM
If the parking spaces do turn out to be BOE property, and there's no agreement in place allowing for their use by anyone other than BOE employees, then let's ensure all maintenance (street sweeping, snow plowing, repaving) is paid for out of the BOE's budget.
westwood kid January 10, 2013 at 08:51 PM
more nonsense in the town of ridgewood! i went to ridgewood high school and was class of 2000 we always had that as student parking and it was never a problem for as long as i remember. i dont know why the mayor needs to get involved in this. if there is no parking for the teachers they should get there early and fight for a spot the way we all did to get a spot on the street.
westwood kid January 10, 2013 at 08:53 PM
to fix the parking problem the school should buy a few houses around the school and make a huge parking lot the same way other schools in the area have. look at northern valley they have no problem at that school the lot is huge and even has lights so u can see at night when you leave after a meeting or a sport event.
Long Time Resident January 11, 2013 at 12:57 AM
Lewis, Riche and Walsh independent thinkers....Please you must be joking! Talk about having one brain. When Killion, Wellinghurst, Walsh and Riche were a voting block they demonstrated that they didn't have one brain between with all four of them!
Joe January 11, 2013 at 01:13 AM
I assume you mean maintenance of just the parking spaces, not the street next to them? Who cleans the street and parking spaces now?
milly January 11, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Build an underground parking garage underneath the tennis courts! Seems simple to me.
James Jr. January 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Back in the day there was a referendum to buy the property next to the tennis court to extend the school property to Van Dien Avenue but was voted down.
Anne LaGrange Loving January 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Faculty, staff, students, or visiting parents who do not find parking should simply go to Graydon South, where there is ample space. Since when does a 10-minute walk constitute a hardship? Why does Mayor Aronsohn drive around and around the lot when he has to visit the school? - he could spare himself the frustration and save time by heading straight to Graydon where he could park and walk in for his meeting. Most working people (the Deputy Mayor notwithstanding) go to the office, park, stay the day, and then go home at the end of the work day. Albert Pucciarelli's contention (from the Wednesday night Village Council meeting) that teachers need to be able to come and go throughout the day to run home and walk the dog, visit the dentist, etc, seems excessive to me. Moreover, I strongly disagree with his opinion that teachers require the "respect" that comes with having designated parking. I taught for 39 years, and faculty~students~staff always parked on a first-come, first-served basis. Respect is earned in the classroom, not because students are awestruck when they see their teachers pull into designated faculty parking. This is a minor battle; there are much bigger problems looming for the Village Council to consider. But sometimes from the smallest situations a great deal can be learned.
JAFO January 11, 2013 at 01:53 PM
or build a garage on the tennis courts and put the tennis courts on top.
Angie S. January 11, 2013 at 02:45 PM
First come, first serve. The 8 minute walk is not a burden. How about offering the senior bus to shuttle the teachers from the Vets parking lot (choose 1 convenient time) to HS as a good will option instead of all this nonsense?
USAUSA January 11, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Dan Fishbein is a baby, his teachers cry because they do not get up early enough to get the parking spots and STUDENTS are at school before teachers which to me is amazing. But as the young person who graduated in 2000 from RHS said, it has never been an issue until now! My guess is it has never been an issue before 2000 either, so why after all these years are we addressing this issue because the cry baby Fishbein says so. To bad first come first serve assuming it turns out to be a public street, if it is legally (and if I was someone I would watch the bait and switch) the schools area then so be it let the teachers have it.
Rwd January 11, 2013 at 08:20 PM
If you look at a tax map the road goes across the bleachers and football field
JAFO January 11, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Let's make Heermance a one-way going out. Left turn only lane and right turn only lane.
Boyd A. Loving January 11, 2013 at 09:16 PM
The pot calls the kettle black? Mayor Aronsohn has accused the Village's previous Mayor of rushing to judgment last Spring on this issue. However, Mr. Aronsohn himself seems to be rushing to judgment this time. Following a single December discussion on this "revisit" of last Sping's BOE request, Mayor Aronsohn directed Village Manager Gabbert to have a draft ordinance readied for review by January. Now, without even waiting for the results of a property survey and search of official records to determine what BOE/Village Council parking agreements might be in place, Mr. Aronsohn has again directed the Village Manager to have a draft ordinance readied. So who is in a rush now?
jp1 January 11, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Village council should not even bother with this school parking there are more important issues.
Rgwdmema January 12, 2013 at 04:38 AM
There are more and more aides in the building as you bring students back to the district. These aides do not work full time so that you are not paying them benefits but must be inthe school at odd hours and thus need parking.
Cars January 12, 2013 at 09:14 AM
Odd hours? The school is only in session from 7:30-3:30! There is ample parking and it is a five minute walk away. There are many commuters in town that walk farther than this to reach their bus stop or the train station. I drive to the city, pay $21.00 to park daily and still have to walk 12 minutes. The aides and teachers will not melt.
J.D. Luke January 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Boyd, would that actually make any difference? You and I would still be on the hook for it, what difference does it make which bucket the money sits in between the time we pay and the time it's disbursed?
J.D. Luke January 15, 2013 at 11:49 AM
How will teachers getting designated parking spots improve education and lower taxpayer costs?

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