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Ridgewood Village Council Tables Master Plan Changes

Left to right, Gwenn Hauck, Paul Aronsohn and Albert Pucciarelli Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Ridgewood residents came out in force against high density housing. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — The Ridgewood Village Council late Wednesday tabled a proposed master plan amendment allowing the development of four multi-family apartments around the Central Business District until more comprehensive studies are conducted.

"I'd rather see us table all of these ordinances until we can have a comprehensive study done," Council Member Michael Sedon said, to the applause of those still at the meeting at about 11:30 p.m. Hundreds of people packed into Village Hall to express their displeasure over the amendment.

A traffic and infrastructure study, a school study and financial study will be done before a vote is taken.

Council Member Gwenn Hauck called it a "waste of village resources.""It's not the cost, it's the time," she said before voting with the majority.

Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli opposed any further delay. Tabling the vote was a "disruption of the process" and was done to cater to applause by the residents, he said.

The amendment calls for increasing 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.

Residents urged council members to consider the impact.

Village resident Dave Slomin, who works for an apartment management company, said the village council didn't conduct any independent studies -- but, instead, considered data issued by the property developers.

“They haven’t done the market studies to determine this for themselves,” Slomin told Daily Voice. “Those are crucial.”

Arthur Wrubel was among the few attendees favoring the amendment.

“All of these topics have been discussed ad-nauseam and many of these people weren’t around when we discussed them,” the former planning board member told Daily Voice. “Eighty percent of what’s being stated here is mostly incorrect. It’s emotion, not facts," he said. "It’s not like this is West End Avenue or Riverside Drive in Manhattan. It’s just a pea in a pod."

Wrubel rejected the argument that more research needs to be done.

“The density of schoolchildren and traffic has all been studied to death years ago," he said.

As of Wednesday night, more than 1,400 signatures had been collected on a petition opposing the amendment.

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