Central Business District Advisory Committee
November 8, 2018
Attending: Bill Gilsenan, Michael Pickholz, Philip Davis, Gail McCarthy, Chief Luthke, Amy Borque, Kathryn Schmidt, Lorraine Reynolds, Garry Kolesaire
Absent: Michael Velicu, Chris Rutishauser, Mary Jane Shinozuka, Ramon Hache
Bill Gilsenan facilitated the meeting. The minutes from October 11 were accepted.
Bill indicated that revisions to the B1, B2 zoning were passed at the Council meeting on November 7. The new ordinance adopts an exclusionary approach, listing uses that will be prohibited, rather than the current inclusionary approach of listing what is permitted in the zones.
The Blade Sign ordinance, which had been previously passed, needs to be communicated to the businesses. Bill updated the group on the concept of “site plan exemption” and how it eases approvals for certain use request. Blade signs will be done through site plan exemptions.
The group discussed the pros and cons of consistent signage overall including backlit signs, goosenecks, and LED lighting and whether consistency was a plus or detriment for the overall aesthetic of the Village.
Parking kiosks and Park Mobile are now able to take 20 minute parking sessions rather than a minimum of 1 hour, as recommended by the CBDAC. Business owners noted that walk-in traffic has declined and it is assumed that that is aligned with the new parking regulations. Some expressed a wish that the parking changes had been delayed until the new parking garage was completed.
The Parking Garage is on track. Deep pilings will not be necessary for construction.
It was recommended that the Village find a way to offer free parking at select times during the holiday season to encourage shoppers and visitors to the downtown area. Kathryn volunteered to write a memo to the Village Council ASAP to get this idea in motion. [Note that since then, at the CBDAC’s recommendation, the Village has suspended parking fees on Saturdays until Christmas.]
The Van Neste lighting project is underway and it is anticipated it will be completed by December 1. Discussions regarding a temporary or permanent stage are also underway. Security cameras are also anticipated. Some trees may need to be taken down and the cast iron street lamps will also be retired. We discussed potentially having a “Light Up the Night” event to showcase the Village.
LED Snowflakes, including extra ones purchased, are ready to go up. Phillip volunteered to coordinate the lighting installation with the Chamber banners that are also slated to go up for the holidays.
PSE&G is in the process of replacing street lighting in the Village, at the request of the Mayor.
It was recommended to delay the web-site launch and revisit having the site designed and constructed by a professional web designer who specializes in marketing.
Everyone is encouraged to complete the on-line Master Plan questionnaire and encourage others to complete it as well.
Mayor Hache’s article about Ridgewood, published in the Bergen County insert of the Daily News, was noted.
There was an open discussion on how to begin planning now for what to do in the spring to enhance and draw visitors to the CBD, as well as what to do next in the Park.
December 12, 2018
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