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5 Stories in Ridgewood and Glen Rock to Watch for in 2014

A potential parking garage, the proposed Valley expansion, the Herold's Farm property and other stories to look for this year.

Herold's Farm / Photo: Jim Leggate
Herold's Farm / Photo: Jim Leggate
Ridgewood Parking Garage?

Village officials have long contemplated the idea of a downtown parking deck, eyeing North Walnut Street and the Hudson Street parking lot as possibilities.

There was little movement in 2013 on a chamber of commerce plan to lease another village-owned lot to a retail developer, and use the revenues to fund the construction of at least one garage. But the council has discussed reworking the plan and rebidding it in the coming year.

Officials also revealed late in 2013 that they have been in discussions with Bergen County on the possibility of its improvement authority funding a parking structure, the next steps of which could occur in the next few months. Proposals have also been made to upgrade parking meters with mobile payment options. Either way, parking changes in the central business district are expected in 2014.

Valley Hospital Expansion

A longstanding and contentious issue in Ridgewood, discussions on the hospital's proposed expansion are expected to heat up in 2014.

After the Village Council voted down its last expansion proposal, the hospital submitted a new, slightly scaled back version earlier this year. Testimony is winding down before the planning board, with the opposition having cited concerns about an adverse impact on the surrounding residential neighborhood.

If the planning board votes to recommend a master plan amendment allowing Valley's expansion to move forward, it will again be in the hands of the council. With two seats up for election in May, it could also become a defining issue for candidates.

Herold's Farm Rezoning

With the iconic, nearly century old farm planning on shuttering its operations, a developer is eyeing the property for a Walgreens and Dunkin Donuts.

Neighbors of the Prospect Street farm opposed an ordinance before the council to rezone the entirety of the property, which contains some residential uses, to a commercial site. The council withdrew the ordinance and sent the issue to the zoning board, where we'll be following the hearings closely.

Glen Rock Turf Proposal

Poor conditions on Lower Faber Field have had some residents, and an organization dubbed Game On! Glen Rock to lobby for artificial turf at the site.

The nearly $3 million project factored into the borough council election in 2013, and officials have said that the project will be considered within the coming year's budget. It's been a controversial issue in Glen Rock, but many agree that something has to be done in the near future about the field's conditions.

New Village Manager

The Ridgewood Council is expected to be zeroing in on candidates early in the year to replace Ken Gabbert, the former village manager ousted in a contentious split vote last August.

The decision is a big one. As the town's top administrator, the village manager oversees 220 full-time and 67 part-time employees, and leads preparation of the village's roughly $45 million annual budget.

Is there anything you want us to watch more closely in 2014? Leave a New Year's suggestion for Patch in the comments below, or email the editor at devin.mcginley@patch.com.

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