RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Dozens of neighbors of an historic building that has languished for years turned out on Sunday in a show of determination to preserve their neighborhood.
The Ridgewood Baseball and Softball Association has promised the village a $150,000 gift toward cleaning up the Schedler property on West Saddle River Road in the hopes that a baseball field can be built.
A Bergen County Open Space grant will provide an additional $75,000 for the cleanup, village officials said.
Clearing four acres of trees for a baseball field so close to Route 17 will create noise and pollution and change the neighborhood's character, members of the "Save Our Schedler Neighborhood" group that gathered on Sunday said.
They want to preserve the 200-year-old Schedler House and turn the area into a family park.
There are no immediate plans for the property, Mayor Paul Aronsohn has said. The focus when the village bought it, he said, was on using the area for recreation while preventing commercial development -- not to preserve the house.
Earlier this year, the council approved following recommendations of a 2012 Open Space Committee report that called for a 90-foot baseball diamond and a multi-purpose overlay field, along with other improvements.
The field would be used by the Ridgewood High School baseball teams and two RBSA leagues.
The village bought the Schedler House property for $2.7 million in 2009. It has remained in disrepair, with major roof work and other improvements needed.
Officials said the village doesn't have the money to renovate or raze the house. Development could occur if more private funds come in, they said last month.
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