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Ridgewood Council Approves Downtown High-Density Housing

Ridgewood's council approved a parking garage
Ridgewood's council approved a parking garage Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

RIDGEWOOD, N.J.– The Ridgewood Council approved high-density housing in the downtown by a 3-2 vote following a three-hour public hearing Wednesday night.

Earlier in the night, the council unanimously approved an $11.5 bond to build a new parking garage.

"Ridgewood has endured what must have seemed like cataclysmic changes in the past [but] we've managed to adapt and adjust to these things," Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck said. "We aren't doing this blithely. We've put a lot into these changes."

The venue was changed from Village Hall to Ridgewood High School's Campus Center to accommodate the expected turnout.

About 100 people showed up -- several of whom left after the parking garage vote.

Most citizens spoke out against the high-density housing.

"You're set to vote on high-density housing that's too big, too out of scale, and too out of character with the Ridgewood we love," said Dave Slomin, a Citizens for a Better Ridgewood supporter.

"These changes did not arise from any identified need by the village," said Councilman Mike Sedon.

Following several extensions from the Bergen County Superior Court, the affordable housing plan must be submitted by March 31, Mayor Paul Aronsohn said.

"Both issues are very important. Both issues have benefitted from years of studies and public input. Both issues are ready for decision," Aronsohn told Daily Voice.

Not every speaker opposed the change.

“I hope to live in one of these [units] some day," said Janice Willet, who is running for council.

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