RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Everyone who wants to speak on a proposal to increase the density of affordable housing around Ridgewood's Central Business District will get the opportunity tomorrow night, Sept. 30, Mayor Paul Aronsohn promised.
Aronsohn said a 7 p.m. public hearing that will proceed the scheduled vote at Village Hall will run as long as it needs to.
“Anyone who wants to speak will be able to speak,” the mayor told Daily Voice Monday afternoon. “We'll make sure of that.”
If there is an overflow of attendees, a seniors lounge on the first floor will stream the event live on a plasma-screen television, he said.
The Village Council will vote on a proposed master plan amendment allowing the development of four multi-family apartments around the district.
If approved, it would increase the number of allowable housing units per acre in each zone from 12 to 35. Building heights in some areas of the district could be 50 feet, as well.
The vote originally was scheduled for last week, but residents noted that many parents were attending back-to-school events.
They also urged officials to conduct independent studies to determine the impact that hundreds of new residents will have on the village.
“It’s not that we’re saying there should be no apartment developments,” Anne Spalckhaver said during the Sept. 16 meeting. “We’re saying that the massive numbers that you are proposing are beyond what is actually needed and wanted.”
Residents have taken to social media to encourage their neighbors to attend the meeting and write letters to council members asking them to reject the amendment.
“It’s been a long process – an exhausting process," Aronsohn said. "But I think in the end it will be a good process.
“We want to allow everyone an opportunity to be heard,” he said. “That’s how we come to the right decision."
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