RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Residents concerned about the leasing of Habernickel's Gate House to Health Barn have been questioning the Village Council about the move.
To help answer their questions, council members are offering the following answers:
Traffic Safety Issues
The Ridgewood Police Department completed a traffic study on Hillcrest Road in the Habernickel Park area during the fall recreational season. Additional studies are planned – one for winter, another for spring recreation season. The traffic study shows the average speed falls within a safe area and even though there were a couple high-end speeds that percentage was minimal. As far as existing volume, the street has a low volume even though this area is a known “cut-through” street. Some signs will be added in addition to other items.
Operation of Facility
When the village purchased the Habernickel property in 2004 using Green Acres money, a conservation easement was required to be placed on the deed. The easement states Green Acres rules and regulations must be followed for this property. Green Acres requirements have been followed by Ridgewood, including most recently, the hearing to alert the public to the proposed change in use.
The Village Recreation Department will establish a satellite office on the second floor of the Gate House. The office will be used to provide any assistance or support necessary and will be staffed as needed. No zoning changes were necessary for the village to make this change in use.
Green Acres will not deny public access to parks that are in the Green Acres program. Student drop-off and pick-up areas will be at the entrance to the Gate House. If parking is needed during classes, 12-onsite spaces will be used in the parking lot. In addition, three staff parking spaces are available in the Gate House garage/driveway.
The initial lease is for five years with renewal for one more year adhering to Green Acres rules. A capital improvement of $50,000+ entitles the tenant to a six-year lease.
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