and the Ghetto-ization of the Village continues

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm

The Village Council will forever change the aesthetics of the Village of Ridgewood. Within the past year the following decisions have been made and approved by VC:

Change in the Zoning Laws to increase the heights of buildings to accomodate “McMansions” (Spring 2008)Just look around the town and see all of the oversize houses including the one across from Willard School.

Allowing several variance in order to construction a storage facility within the Village (Spring 2008)

Plans to construct a garage, housing units and retail facility during the worst economic crisis to hit USA since World War II.

Plans to construct an 80 unit housing facility on leased property on South Broad Street.

Purchase of the Habernickal farm for $7million and failing to convert the property into something useful to the Village

Proposed change to the Village Master Plan in order to accomodate the over height construction at Valley Hospital

The Village of Ridgewood has a terribly tract record in constructing building within a budget and with a building and engineering department who are not up to the task. The Village Hall cost overruns to construct an excessive structure were in the range of 7 million dollars.

It’s time to vote out the remaining Board Members who have allowed this to occur. They are David Pfund and Pat Mancuso.

All of this activity has the Village Manager saying he is not up to the job and needs to have an assistant in order to get the work done.

Maybe we need to get rid of the Village Manager and hire one who can oversee the Village affairs in a competent manner. We need to have the street plowed, the roads paved, the current zoning laws enforced.


  1. he needs an assistant while every other dept. in town is told to do with less. look at the condition of the streets compared to the surrounding towns. its a shame.years ago there was suficent staffing to handle the tasks today there are as many part timers with no experiance as there are full timers.not like the ridgewood of old when there was pride in saying i work for or live in town.back in the day ridgewood had the best equipment around now there is alot of used up junk.something needs to change.

  2. "Ghetto-ization"???

    You're mixing metaphors, once again.

    One doesn't find "McMansions" in a real ghetto. Go to Patterson or Newark or Camden & see for yourself.

    "Ideas have consequences", as you are fond saying ad nauseum. And your ideas make no sense.

  3. dont forget the inner city math progam we have

  4. seems the VC and the BOE have been actively trying to destroy this Village for the last 5 years ,this Christmas tree fiasco is proof positive its just shocking …..

  5. there are some beautiful mansions in paterson, but if you’d never driven around paterson, you wouldn’t know that.

  6. I have only lived in Ridgewood for the last three years. I decided on Ridgewood because of the good schools and community / town feeling. It is still a good place to live but I have seen a slow decline in standards and services offered by the village while taxes went up! The recent storm showed the village no longer offers the same snow clearance available 3 years ago. Pfund and colleagues either need to have a serious rethink or hand over to fresh thinkers.

  7. What seems like destruction is the result of a political class that takes its cues from the Left. That class runs Ridgewood, which is why we are left to pick up and/or live with the garbage they produce, sincerely, of course.

  8. there are some beautiful mansions in paterson

    Those are mansions, not the “McMansions” referred to in the original post.

  9. 744 i dont need to buy drugs in patterson any more plenty in ridgewood

  10. 744 i love when you pretty bys pretend you go to patterson its very funny … you havnt left moms basement in years

  11. 3:54/3:55 time for you to lay off the drugs, wherever you buy them

  12. The original post is loaded with misinformation.

    The zoning law that was passed was meant to limit McMansions, not accomodate them. The increase in building height provisions were meant to allow for historic architectural elements in dwellings.

    The storage facility is replacing a DMV inspection station that had lines of idling vehicles every day. The facility is in an area that contains autobody shops and municipal garages. This area is already degraded and the storage facility will probably improve it.

    The parking garage is for the benefit of the business community and their patrons who have been shouting for one for decades. It would benefit the local economy. Who knows if it will ever be built, but this is the farthest they’ve come.

    The plan for an 80 unit housing facility is meant to meet State affordable housing mandates. The housing facility would be on the property of a former auto dealership/service facility. This wouldn’t degrade the area more than the former use.

    The Habernickel Farm purchase was meant to preserve an open space area. Much of the $7 million was payed for with grant money. Would the original poster have preferred a developer to purchase this property, have it subdivided into dozens of lots consisting of dozens of dwelling units and paved driveways? If so, that isn’t consistent with the poster’s opposition to the proposed developments noted elsewhere.

    The proposed changes at Valley haven’t been approved at this point. If ghetto-ization includes improving the quality health care services to the community, then the original poster is correct.

    By the Village’s terrible record of building within budget, the original poster refers to the Village Hall construction. The poster should blame the consultant architect and low bid contractor before blaming the building and engineering departments. No reference was made to the recent $17 million sewage plant upgrade that came within budget. Not surprisingly, when the Village does a good job it is ignored.

    Regarding the recent snow plowing performance, it is acknowledged that the Village screwed it up. But to be fair, the poster should recognize the great performance of the leaf collection effort this year. Again, the poster uses selective memory and ignores the positives.

    Regarding the street paving, the Village has succeeded in recent years in getting several hundred thousand dollars in State-aid grant money for paving. This reduces the burden on the local taxpayer.

    Unfortunately, this negatively skewed version of reality is common in Ridgewood and much of it can be attributed the Village’s poor job of PR. They have allowed the rumor mongers to control the discussion.

  13. It would be interesting if someone could confirm whether the original post or the 11:38 post is more accurate. My own observations suggest the original post is:

    At its very last spring 2008meeting, the old Village council passed a law to increase the height of buildings and garages by 10% as a parting gift to the Village. The original poster is correct if that is what he is referring to. 11:38 may be referring to the mcmansion law from 2007, which does not seem to be enforced. Score the first point to the original poster.

    The Village council, planning and variance board consistently allow more building. This means we must build more COAH housing. The Village council and managment were then completely unprepared when the state did not allow more time to select a spot for the housing, leading to the Broad street housing project. Broad street may be perfect for an 80 unit apartment building without parking. But, it should have been chosen after sustained debate. Score that to the original poster.

    The storage facility might be nicer that the inspection center. Though it depends on what is stored there. Score that to 1138 while we wait and see.

    The Pease library project is ugly. But that’s a subjective opinion, so let’s put that in the toss up column.

    The buidling department has absolutely no impulse control when it comes to approving plans. The Willard school house can’t comply with any known law, nor do another dozen or so recent buildings. Mr. Melino is a dope. We all know that. Some people schmooze him into getting what ever they want, and others get stuck for months trying to teach him how to read building plans and/or zoning laws. [Although, perhaps I am unfair and he’s not that stupid, and its really whether you are willing to pay the price of a few dead presidents that decides if your project get passed.] Anyway, lots of ugly building going on, so score that to original poster.

    The proposed garage plans have been ugly too. We are not a city. There is a limit to what our downtown can bear. And we have too damn many restaurants. Why build a parking garage just so 30 somethings from neighboring towns can drive their cars into town drunk every weekend. Original poster wins that one.

    Original poster also right on the Village track record. No one who had anything to do with the ever flooding Village Hall should have anything to do with the Village now — that includes Ten Hove, Mancuso, Pfund, etc. 11:38 brings up a good point though, what happened to the lawsuit against the builders and architect — did we get any money back?

    11:38 is correct on some of the things that have gone right — we don’t always appreciate the fact that leave collection, sanitation and sewage is taken care of pretty efficiently.

    11:38 wins on Habernickel farm too. Open space is a plus, even if not used 100%. Yes, it costs us dollars, but that is why we work hard and are willing to pay taxes, IF the money benefits the people who live here and the children we raise here, but not if the money is wasted. The Farm may not have been a great deal money wise, but its not bad at all to have some lebenshraum.

    Finally, the JTH question. Seems to be the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. Everyone feels for and encourages those confronting his/her personal demons. But at some point, there has to be accountability. It seems that the job is just a bit beyond JTH’s ability. Why not move him aside where he’s matched to something he can do competently, and then get a new Village Manager? Can we do a public referendum?

    The bottom line, though, is that things are running less well at a greater cost. Yes, the original poster was pointing out negatives, but they were real things, not rumor nor innuendo. I sense the unplowed roads lead him/her to speak their mind. And, the point is that for all the things going right, there are things going wrong. And, for those of us paying a hell of a lot of taxes, we want to see more things done right.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  14. 11:38, don’t try to correct the original post with these “facts” of yours. It’s the truthiness that matters.

  15. 1) McMansions:


    11:38pm was correct in the rational of the height provisions. I was at the public meeting when this was discussed. It was to prevent McMansions being built with a “square” look and to require new homes to have historic architecture. I forget the details but the slope is regulated, preventing a flat roof.

    Willard House:

    SAAK, LLC – (Postponed from 5/27/08) For the construction of a new single family dwelling which will result in a front yard setback, on Bedford Road of 36 feet and a front yard setback on Morningside Road, of 35.5 feet where 40 feet is the minimum required for both, a side yard setback of 16.2 feet where 20 feet is the minimum required and a rear yard setback, to the chimney, of 28.5 feet where 30 feet is the minimum required. Applicant also proposes a driveway with a width of 24 feet where 16.7 feet is the maximum permitted at 221 Bedford Road, Block 1309, Lot 20 in an R-1 zone. David Rutherford Attorney, and Michael Elkin Architect, appeared representing the applicant. Neighbors, Susan Schink of 614 Morningside Road and Cathy Daicoff of 608 Morningside Road had concerns regarding the size of the house, impervious coverage, drainage and the removal of trees. David Larsen didn’t like the configuration of the driveway, David Rutherford stated that changes could be made. Application carried to 7/8/08.

    2) Habernickal farm:

    Should the town not have bought it and allow multiple “McMansions” to be built. If the Village did not buy it, a developer would have.

    3) COAH

    COAH is a faulty agency which does not properly calculate the amount of usable space in regards to the number of required houses. Some blame should be on COAH for mandating these numbers.

    4) That section of Chestnut Street is industrial looking as it is, with the new storage center might be a nice touch for people who have a lot of junk in their house and want to store it away. The storage center it not being built around any houses or in the middle of a residential area. Maybe jealous you did not think of the ideal first?
    5) Pease Library
    It was looking nice all decrypted before. Now possible revenue can be made as no landlord would take a place without some parking.

  16. Pease’s fortress wall is a sight to behold. It reminds of driving on the highway with its large retaining walls. Oh, I know. This one is pleasing to the eye with its fake stone facade. That makes it more pretty when I look up and can’t see the library as I drive by.

  17. 12:47,

    Like every government worker you want praise for doing the job expected but no criticism for services not done well or projects over budget.

    In the real world, responsible parties would be fired not allowed to post in their defense on blog.

    Merry Christmas JTH.

    And for the record, we paid 7 million for the farm and another 3 million came from us too, via Trenton. Unless you believe that the money received from Trenton came from the citizens of Patterson?

  18. How can 11:38 even compare the existing dealership building with affordable housing units? One brought in customers who purchased high end cars and the other will bring in residents who will need somewhere to park in an area already needing additional parking and whose kids will increase the burden on our school system. The comparison is idiotic.

  19. 9:00 pm –

    Not sure of your points because as to 1) you admit you can’t remember the details, 2) acknowledges a variance was required for willard house — but what was granted and why?, 3) all agree that COAH is just plain wrong, but that does not excuse with the VC or town hall people from dropping the ball and not taking it into account; and 4) I don’t think anyone who has commented thus far is jealous they don’t get to build a storage facility.

    709 am — do you really think 1247 was a government worker instead of a tax payer giving views?

    Sounds so far like the original post is the most accurate.

  20. Traffic is out of hand. Linwood Ave backs up from Paramus Rd to No. Pleasant every evening. Traffic from 17 spills on to local roads. Valley’s expansion will only make it worse.

  21. No it won’t

  22. Well said 9:44.

  23. You got a crystal ball 9:44

  24. Don’t need one….I just know it won’t make it worse.

  25. Yes, i am sure once more services are offered to more people the traffic will subside. Its a law of nature, isn’t it?

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