20190213 Village Council Public Meeting

A REGULAR PUBLIC MEETING OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR. COURT ROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOD, NEW JERSEY ON FEBRUARY 13, 2019 AT 8:00 P.M.

 

  1. CALL TO ORDER – OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT – ROLL CALL – FLAG     SALUTE

Mayor Hache called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M. and read the Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. At roll call the following were present: Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache. Also present were Heather Mailander, Village Manager/Village Clerk; and Matthew Rogers, Village Attorney.

Mayor Hache led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as well as in a Moment of Silence to honor the brave men and women serving in our armed forces and all our first responders.

  1. ACCEPTANCE OF FINANCIAL REPORTS

Mayor Hache moved the Bills, Claims, and Vouchers, and Statement of Funds on Hand as of January 31, 2019, be accepted as submitted. Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES

Mayor Hache moved that the Village Council minutes of December 5, 2018 having been reviewed by the Village Council and now available in the Village Clerk’s Office be approved as submitted. Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. PROCLAMATIONS
  1. DAD’S NIGHT DAYS – HAWES SCHOOL AND SOMERVILLE SCHOOL

 

Mayor Hache read the following proclamation:

  1. READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

 

Councilwoman Walsh read the following proclamation:

  1. SUPER SCIENCE SATURDAY

 

Councilwoman Knudsen read the following proclamation:

  1. POLICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS

Chief Luthcke stated that on January 28th, Officer Tuchol was off duty and exercising at Retro Fitness in Fair Lawn. Officer Tuchol reported observing a group gathering around the gym and went over to investigate what was occurring. He observed a young man who was unconscious on the ground and was in obvious distress. Officer Tuchol took immediate action to attempt to aid the victim and realized that the male party was not breathing and had no pulse. Utilizing his training and experience as a Police Officer, Officer Tuchol began to render aid and attached an AED to the patient’s chest and began CPR. The AED delivered a shock to the patient, and Officer Tuchol followed that with six rounds of CPR. After the sixth round of CPR, the patient began to breathe, had a pulse, and began to regain consciousness. All of these actions were taken prior to the arrival of an ambulance or the paramedics. The patient was treated by EMS and transported to the hospital for treatment. Due to Officer Tuchol’s swift actions in rendering immediate aid to the victim, he will be receiving two awards: a Lifesaving Award for his prompt and alert actions which resulted in saving a life and a CPR Save Citation awarded for extending a patient’s life by providing CPR. Chief Luthcke thanked the D’Rico family for being here as she understands how emotional the entire situation is for everyone involved and they are very grateful Officer Tuchol was there that day.

Chief Luthcke asked Sergeant Chuck, Detective Casson, Detective Henky, Detective Shortway, Officer Turino, and Detective Youngberg to please join her. In September, there was a motor vehicle accident where an individual fell into the street, subsequently was run over by a vehicle, and was killed. The driver of that vehicle did not stop. The Ridgewood Police Department was looking for a needle in a haystack, because they had no information on the vehicle. Through the hours that the Police Officers standing here tonight put in, knocking on doors, and looking at cars, they were able to identify the vehicle and the driver. It was not an easy case to solve, and she was proud to say that these Officer would be receiving two awards for the work they did on this case. The first award is an Exceptional Service Award for Highly Credible Accomplishments, bringing acclaim to the Officer and Department, as a result of training and devotion to duty, and the second award is a Unit Citation for a team effort under adverse conditions.

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Mayor Hache invited Dr. Brendan Sullivan, owner of a new business in town to come up and say a few words. Dr. Sullivan stated that he is a longtime Ridgewood resident, and is a cardiologist. He joined a practice in Clifton, but has decided to open an office locally at 75 North Maple Avenue. He does cardiology and internal medicine, is on staff at Valley Hospital, and is happy to be working in his hometown.

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he looked at the Village website to find out the time of tonight’s meeting and he saw two meetings for the evening, one at 7:30 P.M. and one at 8:00 P.M. He clicked the 7:30 P.M. meeting and it led him to a page which did not make sense. He added that he wanted to respond to two comments that Councilwoman Knudsen made at the end of last week’s Village Council meeting.

Mr. Halaby stated that Councilwoman Knudsen had said that she had been working on the Village website for quite some time, and that if the Village Manager had a problem she would have said something to the Councilwoman. It is his opinion, it is unbelievable that the Village Manager would use much political capital to tell the Councilwoman much about her efforts. Also, the fact that the Councilwoman has spent quite some time is a problem, as this is not a situation where you get an A for effort and time spent. He asked the Mayor to put his foot down and instruct the Village Manager to seek outside help to get the website done. Ridgewood needs a professional website done.

Mr. Halaby stated that the Franklin Lakes website, when you click a link you get there immediately, as opposed to a delay that occurs on the Village website. He added that Councilwoman Knudsen categorized his comments as hurling insults last week, and he begged to disagree as his comments were highly critical about the content of the website, not the style. He stated that he complemented the Mayor for communication to keep the residents informed, but he wasn’t going to thank the Mayor for something that he ought to do in the execution of his duties. When it comes to hurling insults, Mr. Halaby stated that Councilwoman Knudsen sets the gold standard, as he would never forget when she referred to Ms. Janice Willett as a two time loser when she raised some questions pertaining to the interpretation of the ordinance pertaining to the hiring of Village residents.

Saurabh Dani, 390 Bedford Road, stated that on the new website, the big buttons that they have for navigation are easy to navigate and that it was a very good design.

Joanne Ricci, owner of Raymond’s Restaurant, stated that she was glad to see that there is an amendment to the ordinance about outdoor café dining, but added that some of the restrictions go too far. If the need of the ordinance is for people to be able to get out of the cars and for the planters not to be in their way, that is great, but she asked that the Village Council not enact restrictions that are not necessary. She has been the victim of overzealous ticketing for Code Enforcement, and if the ordinance states a planter can be four feet, including the height of the plant, she will get a ticket at four and a half feet because her plant grew too big. Ms. Ricci added that her trees in the planters for Christmas are probably not permitted under the new ordinance because she is sure that they are more than a foot. She said these types of restrictions prevent her from putting in nice plants, which are going to look great on the street. The space in between planters are necessary so people can get to the meters, but she questioned why a space is necessary at the curb where there are loading zones and no meters. She asked that the Village Council create an ordinance which includes only restrictions which are necessary.

There were no additional comments from the public.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that in response to Mr. Halaby’s comments, she would stand by her statement from the last meeting that he hurled insults at the volunteer who worked extremely hard on a newsletter to convey relevant information to our residents that is above and beyond what he is required to do and the Mayor did a great job. She added that she stands by her comments about the website, and finally, at no time did she ever refer to anyone as a two time loser, and if he is attributing that comment to her, she highly suggests that he go back and review the materials because she never made that statement. She asked that if he is going to accuse someone of something, he should make sure to have it right.

  1. MANAGER’S REPORT

Ms. Mailander stated that Recycling Coach is a recycling platform for Ridgewood which residents can access from their desktop, mobile device, Alexa and Google Home. The platform makes it easy for people to get local disposal information when they need it. This information was presented in the Ridgewood Recycling News Winter Edition, in the most recent E-Notice, and there is a link from the Village website to this information in the narrative section.

Ms. Mailander stated that posted on the Village website is a listing of corrections and additions to be included in the 2019 Village calendar. They will also be included in an E-Notice and any calendar given out or sent out by Village Hall employees going forward.

Ms. Mailander stated that Ridgewood Camp will take place next week during the February school recess. The Ridgewood Recreation staff has organized a wide variety of special programs such as the Science Tellers to the Wild West, Winterfest Celebration with Healthbarn, Hobby Quest will present the program, Science of Flying, and there will also be Colorful Warrior Yoga and Art Camp programs.

Ms. Mailander stated that the annual Weight Loss Challenge postcards will be mailed soon. The challenge begins on March 24th.

Several dogs have been seen running off leash at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square, and she wanted to remind everyone that the only park where dogs can be, on leash, is at Habernickel Park. All other parks prohibit dogs.

Ms. Mailander stated that geese are becoming a problem again in the Village, and if anyone finds geese nesting on their property, they should call the Health Department to report their observation. If anyone would like to volunteer with Geese Peace, the Health Officer will welcome their help.

Last week, there was a question about ACH payments and the $1.05 that is charged for an ACH payment. Ms. Mailander stated that she found out that is because the Village is charged the $1.05 so therefore, they charge it back to the resident. However, there are two types of ACH payments, one is off of the Village website and the other is through the Finance Department. There are approximately 250 taxpayers who use the information off of the Village website. However, a resident can ask the Finance Department for a form and fill it out and there will be no service charge. On the website, a resident can designate the day he/she wishes to pay taxes, but for the Village payment, which is free of charge, the taxes will be taken out of the resident’s account on the first day of the month that taxes are due.

Ms. Mailander stated that on Monday, February 18th all Village Offices will be closed in observance of the Presidents’ Day Holiday. There will be no recycling or sanitation pick up and the Recycling Center will also be closed.

  1. COUNCIL REPORTS

Shade Tree Commission – Councilman Sedon stated he and members of the Shade Tree Commission will be meeting with the Mayor and the Central Business District Advisory Committee tomorrow morning, to discuss the tree wells in the Central Business District. There may be a future project to make the tree wells a better environment for the trees to thrive. Their next meeting is at 7:30 P.M. on February 20th.

Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee and the Green Team – Councilman Sedon stated that the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee and the Green Team will meet on February 19th at 7:00 P.M. to kick off the meeting where NV5 will discuss the Village Master Plan.

Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the HPC will meet tomorrow evening at 8:00 P.M.

Master Plan Councilwoman Knudsen stated that NV5, the planner who is doing the Visioning Process, is preparing a Village-wide mailer which will help promote the Vision Process and surveys. Once people receive the mailers, they will be able to contact the Village Clerk’s Office if they want to request a paper copy which can then be sent right back to the Village. NV5 will then enter the data on the paper copies manually.

Chamber of Commerce Councilwoman Walsh stated that the Chamber of Commerce meeting was this morning. Neil Desai was the guest at the meeting, and gave the Chamber a brief overview of the Visioning Process. He invited members to attend the meeting on February 20th if possible. Mayor Hache stated that the first meeting is with business owners and commercial property owners downtown from 8:30 A. M. to 10:00 P.M. in the Library Auditorium and then from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. they will be meeting with Realtors. He added that they are public meetings so that anyone can come and sit, but it would not be an open forum.

Councilwoman Walsh added that they had a conversation about the parking kiosks and while they are working for many, there are still lots of challenges. She added that it needs to be a topic of conversation for the Village Council because there is the feeling that some people are not happy with the fact that they have to use a kiosk and are not coming back to Ridgewood to shop or do business. In certain areas it is more of a challenge, such as on Broad Street, as people are used to stopping for a quick coffee but the kiosk is causing some challenges. She suggested having some more conversations about kiosk issues.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that there were several individuals present at the Chamber meeting regarding the café ordinance, as they had concerns that it would limit the outdoor seating and the seating in the warm weather is what brings a lot of people to the restaurants and into town.

 

Central Business District Advisory Committee Mayor Hache stated that the meeting with NV5 and the CBDAC, so far the response rate has been very high from the businesses, realtors and commercial property owners, so they were looking for a lively discussion on February 20th. Tomorrow, the CBDAC meets at 8:30 A.M.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked Ms. Mailander if she could pull a report from the kiosk so that the Village Council can better understand revenues from the kiosks. Ms. Mailander stated that she would put it up for a discussion item at a future work session and would have the results pulled as well.

  1. RESOLUTIONS – RIDGEWOOD WATER

 

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS, NUMBERED 19-41 THROUGH 19-48, WERE ADOPTED BY A CONSENT AGENDA WITH ONE VOTE BY THE VILLAGE COUNCIL, AND WERE READ BY TITLE ONLY:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ORDINANCES

 

  1. INTRODUCTION - #3704 – Amend Chapter 156 – Outdoor Café Ordinance

 

Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3704. Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3704 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ARTICLE VIII OF CHAPTER 156 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FOOD AND FOOD HANDLING ESTABLISHMENTS, AT ARTICLE VIII

           

Ms. Mailander stated that this is an amendment which allows for larger heights for various moveable barriers up to four feet. It also states that streets that do not permit public parking along the curb where there is parallel parking, the moveable barrier in these locations may be thirteen inches from the face of the curb instead of thirty inches. The other part of the ordinance is up for Public Hearing later tonight.

Mayor Hache stated that the measurement from the face of the curb should be six inches, and not thirteen inches. Ms. Mailander stated that they would just need a motion to change that measurement. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that was in areas where there was no parking, and added that if there are no parallel parking spaces, the outdoor café can have the moveable barrier at the outside edge of the brick band.

Ms. Mailander asked for a motion to amend this from thirteen inches to six inches. Councilwoman Knudsen made the motion to amend the ordinance to six inches from the face of the curb, and Mayor Hache seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilman Voigt moved that ordinance 3704 be adopted, as amended, on first reading and that March 6, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon. Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. INTRODUCTION - #3705 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Significant Sewer Discharger Fees

 

Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3705. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3705 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 145 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FEES, AT SECTION 145-6, “ENUMERATION OF FEES RELATING TO CODE CHAPTERS”

           

Councilman Sedon moved that ordinance 3705 be adopted on first reading and that March 13, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. INTRODUCTION - #3706 – Amend Chapter 133 – Refuse Containers

 

Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3706. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3706 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 133 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, “DUMPSTERS”

           

Councilwoman Walsh moved that ordinance 3706 be adopted on first reading and that March 13, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon. Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

  1. INTRODUCTION - #3707 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Refuse Containers

 

Mayor Hache moved the first reading of ordinance 3707. Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3707 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 145 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FEES, AT SECTION 145-6, “ENUMERATION OF FEES RELATING TO CODE CHAPTERS”

           

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3707 be adopted on first reading and that March 13, 2019 be fixed as the date for the hearing thereon. Councilman Voigt seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3698 – Bond Ordinance – Street Paving and Streetscape, Purchase of Senior Bus

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3698 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3698 by title:

BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR VARIOUS CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS IN AND BY THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, IN THE COUNTY OF BERGEN, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING $2,137,000 THEREFOR AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $2,030,000 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE VILLAGE TO FINANCE PART OF THE COST THEREOF

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open. There were no comments from the public, and he moved the Public Hearing be closed. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3698 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3699 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Parking at Train Station Lot after 6:00 p.m.

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3699 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened. Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3699 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 265 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, AT “SECTION 265-33, “PERMIT PARKING”

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open. There were no comments from the public, and he moved the Public Hearing be closed. Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3699 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law. Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3700 – Amend Chapter 156 – Food and Food Handling Establishments – Outdoor Café Regulations

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3700 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened. Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3700 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ARTICLE VIII OF CHAPTER 156 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FOOD AND FOOD HANDLING ESTABLISHMENTS, AT ARTICLE VIII

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open.

Paul Vagianos, 280 Rivera Court, Owner of “It’s Greek to Me”, stated that he has been in business for almost 23 years, with an outdoor café for that entire time. It’s the outdoor cafes that in the mid-1990s revitalized the entire downtown. He emphasized that Ridgewood is a restaurant town, it is not a retail town. It’s the outdoor dining, the sidewalk cafes, and the umbrella tables that are at the foot of the curb, which really changed the shape and the face of the Village’s Central Business District.

Mr. Vagianos stated that he sent a letter to the Village Council, about the fact that although he can live with many of the changes being made to the outdoor café ordinance, moving the tables thirty inches from the curb is going to change the landscape of the sidewalks and the outdoor cafes in the summer time. Many of them will still be able to maintain a 52 inch walkway, but the requirement of 30 inches from the face of the curb will cause tables to be floating in the sidewalk, which will be very unsightly. It is not going to be something that is done in most other communities. He pays attention to this across the country, and while he understands that the Village wants to be able to accommodate drivers who want to get out of their cars, he believes that this can be accomplished by having an eighteen inch instead of a thirty inch setback.

Mr. Vagianos stated that he went out this afternoon and measured how far cars park from the curb, and while there is the occasional car that parks right against the curb, it is by far the exception. He measured 25 cars and the vast majority are nine to twelve inches from the curb. There is a reasonable buffer zone of about 30 inches if you include that space for people to open their car doors. He added that at the Hudson Street lot, there is a single white line between spaces, and most cars don’t have 30 inches between cars in that lot. The 30 inch requirement is providing a greater buffer zone than is provided in the Village’s parking lots. He stated that this would cause a lot of problems in the downtown as some restaurants will lose their seating at the curb and others will have to move their seating in towards their buildings. Mr. Vagianos stated that his walkway is 65 inches wide, and he never puts a chair on the end or obstructs, and on a busy Saturday night in the summer that walkway gets very crowded. He stated that narrowing that walkway will cause problems for the thousands of people who walk those streets on weekends than by the handful of people who will still have enough room to get out of their car, but not enough room to swing the door wide open when parked against the curb.

Mr. Vagianos suggested the ordinance be amended to allow for outdoor cafes eighteen inches from the face of the curb, adding that it was a great move to amend that buffer zone to six inches for those restaurants that don’t have parking adjacent to their restaurant. He added that this is the most important change. He also spoke about the idea of limiting the sidewalk café permit to March 1st to November 30th. Last week, there was a day that was 66 degrees in February, and yesterday it snowed. Yesterday the revenue was down, but that gets balanced out by those days where it hovers around 60 and everyone comes out to eat and wants to sit outside because they all have cabin fever. Mr. Vagianos stated that even if they have to take the table in and then put them out, if they just have the option of putting them out on those warm winter days, it would be greatly appreciated.

Michael Velicu, 250 Hope Street, stated that he saw there was less of a setback for places that do not have public parking or loading zones. If the logic behind it is the opening of the door, then can they suggest to add that that exception places where parking is 45 degrees. He added that when he reads the ordinance, he understands that the barrier is supposed to be able to be moved by a regular person, but he wanted to point out that without the possibility of anchoring them to the sidewalk, if that barrier is able to be moved by a regular person it is going to be in the middle of the street in no time. Mr. Velicu stated that there is a lot of wind in the downtown, and agreed that they need to be removed fast, but asked that they be careful with making the barrier able to be moved by one person.

Mr. Velicu added that he spoke last week regarding the trucks and the deliveries, and he was under the impression that it was just a conversation, but it became television news. Ms. Mailander stated that they couldn’t talk about this right now because it is a Public Hearing for the outdoor café ordinance, but suggested he save this for Public Comments at the end.

Melanie McWilliams, 431 Bogert Avenue, stated that she was in a conversation over the last couple days about this ordinance with a couple of restaurant owners in town and their comment was that the restaurants that have outdoor seating on private property or their own property are charged the same amount or held to the same rules as restaurants which have their outdoor seating and cafes on public property or town property. It doesn’t seem fair. The example that came to mind was MacMurphy’s. If they are giving up their own private parking to have outdoor seating, their planters are on their own property and aren’t blocking any site distances. She stated that charging the same price for the outdoor café when they are on their own property, as restaurants using the public property, should be discussed further, before the ordinance is adopted.

Glen Carlough, 143 Union Street and owner of Steel Wheel Tavern, stated that he wanted to echo the sentiment that it makes sense to have language in this ordinance where if there is no parking or if there is 45 degree angled parking, a 30 inch or 13 inch setback from the curb wouldn’t make sense. He wants to avoid a blanket ordinance for the outdoor cafes. He asked whether the passenger side rear and front doors were the concern with being able to open and get in and out, and if there was precedent for a certain number of inches and how this number was determined. Mr. Carlough added that Mr. Vaggianos’ point was fantastic, because if the outdoor cafes are moved in from the curb too far, people will be walking in between the tables and the curb. He added that he thinks this needs significant thought because unintended consequences can come up. He volunteered to serve on a sub-committee regarding this as well.

Joanne Ricci, owner of Raymond’s, stated that it just occurred to her as Mr. Carlough was talking, that perhaps where there is parking, the distance could be the same as a parking meter.

Randy Carson, 817 East Ridgewood Avenue, manager of Park West Tavern, stated that the overall picture is that everybody is trying to beautify their place so that people can enjoy themselves and relax and he hopes that is taken into consideration. He added that he wasn’t sure why the time restriction was being considered, but he assumed it was for snow removal, which is the responsibility of each restaurant, and for them to have snow build up in front of their place, defeats the purpose. He added that they maintain these properties very nicely, and if they are going to reduce the time for outdoor cafes by five or six months, maybe the fees should be cut in half. He added that he has people coming to walk down the street and sit down to rest along their way. They are community driven and he hopes it’s taken into consideration when these decisions are made.

There were no additional comments from the public, and Mayor Hache moved the Public Hearing be closed. Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

Ms. Mailander stated that if the Village Council would like to take these comments into account then they could do that, but if they want to continue the hearing she would advise them not to close the Public Hearing. Mayor Hache stated that his inclination is that on the streets where there is angled parking, there could be a lesser setback because car doors are not opening into the outdoor cafes. At the angled parking spaces, thirty inches is too great a setback. Ms. Mailander stated that with the angled parking the issue was that people had to walk a long distance in the street before getting onto the sidewalk, and that’s why they didn’t want to have the outdoor café so close to the curb.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated she felt that having the three foot opening between each barrier, was resolving the issue of people having to walk in the street to access the sidewalk. Ms. Mailander stated that she would have Tom Yotka, the Director of the Building Department, address some of the concerns that had arisen.

Mr. Yotka stated that for outdoor cafes that have angled parking, there is a three foot opening for every eight feet of barrier which may not line up with a pedestrian passage. This will cause the occupants of the vehicle to walk behind the vehicle for one or two parking spaces before they can actually gain access to the sidewalk. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that the width of a car is maybe six or seven feet, so if they are doing a break every eight feet, then logically there would be a short distance to an opening onto the sidewalk.

Ms. Mailander agreed that they didn’t have an issue with angled parking and there being blocks of sections where people couldn’t get to the sidewalk. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she felt that was resolved by this ordinance since there is linear footage of barrier and then an opening to the sidewalk. She felt that would resolve the issue where anyone would have to walk to find an opening. Mayor Hache stated that there is also a safety stop of the front tire hitting the curb. He added that it becomes problematic with a six inch allowance with a car parking into the curb.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that if they were looking at the same 30 inch setback where there is angled parking and then the run of barrier and a space, may make sense to reduce the angled parking setback for an outdoor café to 18 inches. Mr. Yotka stated that they could examine that, but on a street that has angled parking, if someone brings the tire to the curb, the bumper overhangs the curb and there should be a buffer between that bumper and the outdoor diners.

Councilwoman Knudsen asked what would happen now if someone pulls into that angled parking space and then could possibly hit the barrier. Mr. Yotka stated that it was possible. Mayor Hache asked how many instances there were where barriers have been hit by vehicles. Mr. Yotka stated that to date, it has not happened. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she didn’t know if that would ever happen.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that they could adopt this ordinance now and then amend it again, in terms of whether or not they close the timeframe when there are no outdoor cafés permitted, and maybe the timeframe will be reduced. The timing for no outdoor cafes was recommended by the Building Department and Code Enforcement, as it gives them the opportunity to evaluate sidewalks and tree well repairs, as well as general maintenance. At a later date, perhaps the Village Council could narrow the window of when outdoor cafes are not permitted.

Mayor Hache stated that he felt they were assigning a lot of weight to a low probability event for one or two nice days in the winter. In terms of what is reasonable when they talked about the distances, he doesn’t see a need to have a 30 inch setback on the angled streets. Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she agreed, and she didn’t see any reason to do the setback on the angled spaces and would agree to amend the ordinance.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that they could have a stretch of warm weather and she doesn’t see why they would keep people from putting out and then bringing back in the seating in the winter. Councilman Voigt stated that he agreed, and he thinks restrictions on not having seating in the winter, especially when there are warm days, is restricting the business from doing what they are supposed to be doing. He added that some of the suggestions that were provided by many of the proprietors were good suggestions and they should look at them and come up with a reasonably good solution, which makes everyone happy. He added that he wasn’t in favor of adopting the ordinance this evening.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was in favor of moving forward with adopting the ordinance, as they can amend the pieces of it moving forward at a later date, but they want to get this done so that outdoor café permits can be issued. She added that an important piece is that they wanted to have these safety features in place before permits were issued, so they can adopt this ordinance now and then amend it later on. In terms of the blowing around of barriers, she wholly disagreed with that, because the barriers can be weighted, like the A-frame signs, so they do not blow around in windy weather.

Ms. Mailander stated that with the moveable barriers they can’t allow them to drill into the sidewalk because it is a public piece of property and could cause a tripping hazard. Councilwoman Knudsen added that the importance of having nothing on the sidewalk for a period of time allows the Village Engineer to go out and inspect the sidewalk, to observe and make certain that they are maintained properly.

Councilman Sedon stated that some of the concerns were minor and could be amended. He added that it doesn’t seem like there is anyone that is against the entire ordinance. He added that keeping the area clean during the winter time, so they can do sidewalk inspections is important. The language should say that the outdoor cafes can’t stay out during some winter months. They can amend the distances, but for the purpose of issuing permits, they have to adopt this ordinance now and can then make amendments next month.

Mr. Rogers stated that if they try to tweak the ordinance now, it would require a re-publication and starting at square one regarding distances. Regarding the time of year that outdoor cafes are permitted, this ordinance has March 1st to November 30th. If the ordinance is adopted tonight, it would go into effect after March 1st, so the time of year the outdoor cafes will be closed could always be revisited. If they do anything tonight regarding the distances that the outdoor cafes are placed by the curb, it would require the ordinance to be reintroduced and republished.

Councilwoman Walsh stated that Restaurant Week is held for three weeks in January, and it was successful. Perhaps, if the weather is good those three weeks, they could have the ability during that time to have the outdoor seating.

Councilwoman Knudsen stated that she was suggesting moving forward with adopting the ordinance and then bringing it back to the next Work Session to rethink about narrowing the dates that outdoor cafes are not permitted, to the more brutal days of the winter. In this way, inspections can be made to ensure the sidewalks are maintained and safe.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilwoman Knudsen moved that ordinance 3700 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law. Councilman Sedon seconded the motion.

 

 

 

 

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            Councilman Voigt

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3701 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Outdoor Cafes

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3701 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3701 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 145 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FEES, AT SECTION 145-6, “ENUMERATION OF FEES RELATING TO CODE CHAPTERS”

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open. There were no comments from the public, and he moved the Public Hearing be closed. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilman Voigt moved that ordinance 3701 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3702 – Amend Chapter 265 – Vehicles and Traffic – Ridgewood Premium Parking Permit for Hudson Street Parking Lot and Use of Rideshare Program

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3702 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened. Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3702 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 265 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC, AT SECTION 265-33, “PERMIT PARKING”

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open. There were no comments from the public, and he moved the Public Hearing be closed. Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilman Voigt moved that ordinance 3702 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law. Councilwoman Knudsen seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. PUBLIC HEARING - #3703 – Amend Chapter 145 – Fees – Ridgewood Parking Permit for Hudson Street Lot

 

Mayor Hache moved the reading of ordinance 3703 by title on second reading and that the Public Hearing thereon be opened. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

The Village Clerk read ordinance 3703 by title:

AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 145 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD, FEES, AT SECTION 145-6, “ENUMERATION OF FEES RELATING TO CODE CHAPTERS”

Mayor Hache announced that the Public Hearing was open. There were no comments from the public, and he moved the Public Hearing be closed. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

Councilman Sedon moved that ordinance 3703 be adopted on second reading and final publication as required by law. Councilwoman Walsh seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call Vote

AYES:             Councilmembers Knudsen, Sedon, Voigt, Walsh, and Mayor Hache

NAYS:            None

ABSENT:        None

ABSTAIN:      None

 

  1. RESOLUTIONS

 

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS, NUMBERED 19-49 THROUGH 19-57, WERE ADOPTED BY A CONSENT AGENDA WITH ONE VOTE BY THE VILLAGE COUNCIL, AND WERE READ BY TITLE ONLY:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

 

Rurik Halaby, 374 Evergreen Place, stated that he was a proud registered Democrat and when he listened to the discussion about the outdoor café tables, he opined that these are people who know nothing about what they are talking about. If there is a safety problem he suggested that the restaurant owners look at it and solve whatever concerns the Village Council has.

He said to look at the mess the Village Council made with parking, because the kiosks are a joke. Mr. Halaby stated that he gets confused about the parking, all resulting from people sitting there trying to dictate.

Mr. Halaby pointed out that when it comes to the restaurants, outdoor cafes have helped revitalize the downtown area, and the owners have a stake in maintaining the Village and clean sidewalks. He encouraged the Village Council to set parameters and let the restaurant owners come back with a solution, as the one good thing about the downtown is the restaurants.

Anne Loving, 342 South Irving Street, thanked Ms. Mailander and the Streets Department as they did a great job yesterday plowing the streets near her house, but it brought to mind a question about the brining and the salt. She had been seeing a lot of things about how bad the brine and the salt are for the environment, and there is so much salt which is put onto the streets. Yesterday, it seemed that they had salted or brined and the streets were snow covered anyway and she wondered if that was really necessary when the plows do such a good job. She asked the Village Council to look into skipping the salt and brine from an environmental standpoint.

Boyd Loving, 342 South Irving Street, stated that he was the resident that made the comment about the ACH $1.05 fee and he appreciated the Village Manager doing some research about that. He added that he still feels that the fee is too high, as the Water Department had the same type of fee and got rid of it. He was aware that he could sign up with the Finance Department and have it taken out of his checking account automatically; however, sometimes it is difficult to make sure that he has $3,800 in his account on the day that it is going to be removed to pay his property taxes. Mr. Loving explained that when he controls it himself he knows he will have the money available. He added that the $1.05 is high for him, as in Hoboken the fee is 50 cents, which he feels is also high, as everyone else seems to be doing ACH payments without the fee.

Mr. Loving stated that regardless of the number of cones that have been placed on Franklin Avenue, there are still people coming out of Starbucks and making an unlawful left turn. He added that he would like the Village Manager to give an update, as there had been talk about adding some more cones to the road, but it had to be approved by the County. He explained it simply isn’t working. He suggested requiring the people at Starbucks to make a statement that there is no left turn out of their driveway.

Saurabh Dani, 390 Bedford Road, stated that regarding the refuse containers, a few years ago when leaf fines initially started, a lot of residents did not know about them and there were a lot of unhappy residents. Therefore, he encouraged the Village Council to come up with some communication plan regarding the dumpster permits and fines and suggested an initial grace period when it goes into effect. He asked whether the fines could be phased in over time, because once the first few people get the fines, then people will know about it.

There were no additional public comments, and Mayor Hache closed public comments.

Mr. Rogers stated that earlier in the night they did a Dad’s Night Proclamation and no one was in attendance. Mayor Hache stated that Sheeraz Iqbal, one of the Co-Chairs from Dad’s Night, was at the meeting now, and he would give him a chance to come up so the Village Council can thank him for all of the hard work that they put in to raise money for our schools.

Mr. Iqbal thanked the Village Council for taking the time to acknowledge Dad’s Night. Mr. Iqbal explained that Dad’s Night has been a big part of Ridgewood’s community since 1944, when it began as a little song and dance that the dads put on for the kids at the Kenilworth School. They are still going strong, with close to 300 members doing a lot of great charity work and a lot of things for the kids, as well as the community at large. This year, the show is on March 8th and 9th, free of charge, and they would love to see everyone there.

  1. RESOLUTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION

 

Ms. Mailander read Resolution #19-58 to go into Closed Session as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Village Council, on a motion by Councilman Sedon, seconded by Councilwoman Walsh, and carried unanimously by voice vote, the Village Council’s Regular Public Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 P.M.

______________________________

                                                                                                     Ramon M. Hache, Sr.                             

Mayor                        

______________________________

              Heather A. Mailander

     Village Manager/Village Clerk

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