20220609 - CBDAC Minutes

Central Business District Advisory Committee  (CBDAC)

Meeting Minutes prepared by S. Del Percio approved July 14, 2022

Thursday, June 9, 2022     Zoom Call: 8:30 – 10:00am
 

Members present: Anastasia Bamberg, Jordan Kaufman, Stacey Tsapatsaris, Steve Del Percio, Pamela Perron, Chief Luthcke, Trish Manzo, Michael Pickholz, Phil Davis, Steve Aspero

 

Guests present: JT from Bolger Foundation. Kathryn Schmidt, Jeanne Johnson, Ada Yung, Nina Milanos and our speaker, Jason Gleason.

 

May 12, 2022 Minutes were approved unanimously.

 

Liaison updates (Village Council, Chamber, Guild, CSAC)               

 

Village Council update (Pam) and Membership

 

  • New member is Glen Carlough, who owns Steel Wheel Tavern (for 6 years. Also lives in town).

 

  • New attendance policy at board/committee mtgs. If you miss 3 in a row, or 25% in a year, that’s an issue.  There are many skilled people in town who want to volunteer – if a space opens, make it available. This is not meant to be retributive.

 

  • Grab and Go:
    • The Police Dept is proposing to have shared loading zones. From 6AM to 4PM on weekdays for trucks/deliveries/Uber Eats/etc. Expand existing loading zones and add new ones (i.e. end of Chestnut toward Franklin; on Franklin by dim sum place; on Oak Street; etc.).
    • After 4PM, switch over to 15-min parking. Up to Village Council to decide between 15-min meters (using quarters – no kiosks) and grab/go. (VC is leaning toward the former). Coming back to VC on June 22 after RWPD reworks the proposal.
    • Chief: meters are very hard to find/maintain/collect from. If a kiosk won’t take quarters, call and let the Village know at 201-316-6359. Rich Tarleton.

 

  • Town Garage (on Franklin): The Village is negotiating with the owner to try to purchase property and has not yet filed a condemnation complaint. Council has authorized the Village’s licensed soil remediation professional (interface with NJ Dept. of Env’l Protection) to investigate the contaminants in the ground and to provide VC with a report.

 

  • Parking 24/7/365: 6 spots in Cottage Street lot and 6 in garage can be rented to CBD and Village residents. (2 in garage are rented already).

 

  • Hudson Street Garage wayfinding signs: Proposal for larger signs at last VC work session. Drafts of what they would look like, to come.

 

  • New smaller garbage truck was purchased to get through streets better and serve apartment buildings.

 

  • 22 new trees planted on East Ridgewood Avenue between Maple Avenue and Cottage Place. Mulched all of them 2 weeks ago – and some mulch washed away during the recent storm. The Village purchased a trailer with 500-gallon tank to water trees in town.

 

  • Project Pride: Project Pride volunteers planted many flower pots in town. Councilwoman Lorraine Reynolds is the VC liaison. Did a great job organizing it, planting, etc. (Pam’s are outside the Post Office). New clamshell planters on lamp-posts in Van Neste Square – very pretty and elegant.

 

  • New Pride Committee constituted for LGBTQ+. The community celebration this month (June is Pride Month) on June 11 from 1 to 2PM at Van Neste. Thanks to Paul Vagianos for all of his work.

 

  • Tom Hillman is retiring and Hillman Electric is likely to close.
    • Nice tribute to him at Chamber meeting yesterday. 112 years in business in Ridgewood. Tom owns the building and will lease it out – remaining an active landlord in town.
    • Committee likes the idea of approaching Home Hardware in Waldwick about opening an annex in that spot. Everyone misses having a hardware store in town.
    •  
  • Interactive parking map – Pam gave CBDAC’s recommendations to improve the map to Village Manager and hopes she will entertain them.

 

  • Also working on pedestrian underpass, talking to Chris Rutishauser. Jeanne suggestion on artwork, murals. Could a mural go on the side of Hillman building on Walnut Street? Collaboration with Arts Council on mural? Jeanne: downtown Ridgewood should be the arts center of Bergen County.

 

Chamber of Commerce Update (Phil): Chamber meeting involved swearing in of directors. Light agenda other than that and honoring Tom Hillman.

 

Ridgewood Guild Update (Trish): Music in the Night started. Musicians are drawing people from other towns when they perform. Looking for more musicians – don’t have to live in Ridgewood. Music festival was a big success – hope to repeat it every year. Many activities on tap. Trish will send activities to Pam/Committee in advance. Let Guild know about any ideas – Movies in the Park start next week.

 

Citizen Safety Advisory Committee (Anastasia): Trying to get banners up. Lots of roadblocks. Village is paying for it. Franklin Avenue still slated to be repaved sometime this summer. Improvements are still in the County’s hands. Chris R. is working with them but it is going very slowly. Yes, will pave it, but no safety improvements.

 

Remarks by Montclair Center Business Improvement District                                     Executive Director, Jason Gleason

 

Jordan K. intro: Montclair downtown is a big attraction when people look to leave NYC. Ridgewood benefits from a similar dynamic. What are their challenges, solutions, etc. to developing their dynamic downtown? What should towns like ours be thinking about moving forward? What do you like about Ridgewood? What are we missing?

 

Jason G. remarks

 

  • BID is a special improvement district! There are many different, weird kinds of classifications. Most are BIDs but all live under this SID structure – NJ state enabling doc. Montclair ordinance refers to the BID as a SID. The distinction is “philosophical.”

 

  • Ridgewood CBD is everything that many BIDs around country aspire to be as a main street. Historic, great storefronts, retail mix, clean, plantings, well lit. “Anywhere, USA” qualities. Idea of Main Street model – built on that quaint, Disney idea. Ridgewood has those qualities.

 

  • Montclair was where we are now about a decade ago; half of owners around forever; other half were pro-development. Redid the train station, put up apartments, and away they went. It was a heated debate then and still is today.

 

  • Jason thinks Montclair is unique in that it has 7 business districts (not all formal BIDs). Upper Montclair, Walnut Street, Watchung, South End, Frog Hollow. Montclair diversity stats: about 32% Black; 15% Hispanic; rest White – just in downtown area.

 

  • Jason is hoping to draw 15K people to their first Pride Festival. Montclair did a large mural project in 2019. Chose a theme (“Love Montclair” – not controversial), had a jury taken from art figures in town/residents, conscious of how diverse the town is.

 

  • Outline of how the Montclair BID works: first, what is a BID? State has an enabling doc for a SID. Allows town to designate an area “in need” or in want (fairly gray) of a special improvement district.
    • Once designated through a “majority vote/consent” of property owners, those properties that are purely commercial or mixed-use (can include residential), are subject to a SID tax assessment above their property tax at a rate that’s either set or variable, based on if the BID sets the budget, per year.
    • Council each year passes an ordinance to approve the assessment and budget. Pays Montclair BID quarterly. BID does grant writing & some fundraising out of its office.

 

  • BID history 20 years ago, Montclair’s vacancy rate was a 20%+. “Broken window syndrome.” Get streets well lit. Work with town to get PSEG contracts in line. Ambassador on street to clean litter. Greening efforts. (Ridgewood is already there on many of these items.) Now, the BID is focused on lots more.

 

  • What does the BID do with their budget?
    • Initial budget was $250K. This year’s budget is $1M+.
    • From a staff of 2 to a staff of 9. ED; Deputy Exec. Dir.; admin assistant; community liaison; events director.
    • Ambassador staff of 5 – on street, cleaning litter, greening efforts (watering/weeding too), banner program, shoveling/salting, holiday lights, sidewalk sweeping. “Hard core maintenance.”
    • The BID office staff work with the town. Parking management. “Business-friendly solutions.”

 

  • Resources: Main Street USA, Main Street NJ, NJ Business Action, International Downtown Association – main resources for trainings, conferences, etc. They go and learn best practices. Bring it back and work with their council on ordinances, parking/sanitation solutions, forward-thinking because others similar to us are doing it/dealing with same issues as us.

 

  • Marketing. The BID does “a ton.” Social media. They work with an outside marketing group called Red Root (from Montclair) creating content, calendars, etc. Promote 300+ of their 500 businesses (“on-the-ground” storefronts). Teach classes 2x/month – partnership with library, adult school, – to business owners about best practices. How to work on your storefront? Use Quickbooks? Risk assessment? Find capital (grants, loans, etc.).

 

  • Incubator programs – arts and small biz/entrepreneurs. Helps foster future tenants. They use software to do void analysis – what are the best businesses to come into their environment.

 

  • Events – art walk, meet/greets, holidays, small business Saturday, sponsorship events partnering with Jazz Festival, Film Festival, etc.

 

  • It can be whatever you want.  Point is that you can have a BID that focuses on just marketing your district; tourism marketing; promoting events. They have time to do this because it’s not volunteer-driven. They are supported by their partners – the property owners/stakeholders – and business owners.

 

  • Cost:  $1M in assessed property in Montclair pays $2100/year for the BID. (Roughly 0.21%).
    • Break it down by month – can you get somebody to sweep sidewalk/wash your windows for that price, for the year? It is an easy answer.
    • They got $867K in grant money from NJ – gave $500K back to 146 businesses in rent support during COVID.

 

  • Interaction between BID and local government:
    • Once the BID is established, with a boundary, and it’s in place, part of the NJ enabling doc says it needs a DMC (District Management Corporation) that must be a separate 501(c)(3) to manage it (non-profit corp.) that’s separate, private, and not controlled by the township at all.
    • This is generally good – they work a lot, hand in hand, with the town. Becomes cumbersome/frustrating when not seeing eye-to-eye on things.
    • Only real oversight that town has is that it passes the BID’s budget every year. Town can tell BID not to paint a street entirely red, for example – but technically the BID COULD do it, although it is not in their best interest.
    • You want to work with the town, the Council. Play nicely together.

 

  • Montclair BID Board composition: seven property owners, 7 business owners, and seven at-large (three purely at-large, 2 town council members appointed by mayor, 1 non-profit in BID, 1 resident of BID).

 

  • “Proactively recruit” new businesses into the BID? Software helpful, once you are up and running as a BID. Does the business owner want or need help? Having a relationship with the owners first is paramount. Void analysis – “this type of business would do well here.” Work with brokers; take it back to the owner.

 

  • Enabling legislation. NJSA 40:56-65 et seq. The town does not cede jurisdiction to the BID to do whatever it wants. “The State encourage[es] towns and BIDs to have the most flexible relationship together within the confines of the law.” Create events, shut streets, be as proactive as possible/as lenient as possible to work together and create a great space.  

 

  • South Park Street improvement project – cobblestone streets, wide sidewalks, bollards to shut street down, trees. $10.5M project. Montclair could only get 4% financing, but the BID was able to get 0% financing. So the BID got the loan and the town paid it back.

 

  • Longevity of Montclair BID? Many towns have let theirs lapse. Jason thinks it’s because they’ve just done a good job! They’ve helped raise property values, maintained clean streets, happy business owners/property owners, great community events/communicators.

 

  • Ideal background for a BID Executive Director? Thick skin! Ability to deal with a difficult work/life balance. Great communicator. Leadership skills. Background in business or property ownership is key. Jason ran a business in Montclair for 8 years (restaurant).

 

  • Ideas: safety banners? Montclair has them too. Division of Highway & Safety has grant money. BID purchasing hardware; local PD is purchasing the banners.

 

  • CBDAC is very similar to BID Board of Directors! Difference is annual budget and professional staff.

 

  • E-commerce.  From 8 to 40% of Montclair businesses downtown have e-commerce capability from pre- to post-COVID!
    • $120K in grant funding went to partnerships with companies like Beyond Main that went around and helped retailers get on it (46 businesses). Helped set them up with e-commerce presence on Shopify, etc. Teaching online savvy, education, etc. Paramount.

 

  • Jason is open to follow up questions via email. Jordan would like a long-term relationship of information exchanging. Everyone agrees that there is no geographic rivalry between Ridgewood and Montclair! “Long-term constructive collaborative relationship” is in both towns’ best interests. Jason can share their BID by-laws too, if we want them.

 

Next meeting on July 14, 2022 via Zoom

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Current Membership:

     Village Council Liaison – Pamela Perron

     Chamber of Commerce Liaison – Philip Davis

     Ridgewood Guild Liaison – Trish Manzo

     3 Business Owners –  Stacey Tsapatsaris, Glenn Carlough, 1 vacancy

     5 Residents – Stephen Del Percio, Jordan Kaufman (Chairman), Michael Pickholz, Anastasia Bamberg (CSAC liaison), Steve Aspero

     Chief of Police – Jacqueline Luthcke   

     Village Engineer – Chris Rutishauser

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20220512 - CBDAC Minutes

Central Business District Advisory Committee (CBDAC)

 Minutes of May 12, 2022 Zoom Meeting[1]

Members present: Jordan Kaufman, Pamela Perron, Stacey Tsapatsaris, Trish Manzo, Michael Pickholz, Anastasia Bamberg, Police Chief Luthcke, Stephen Del Percio, Philip Davis, Steve Aspero.

Guests present: Paul Vagianos, Kathryn Schmidt, Jeanne Johnson, Sophie Miller, Mahmoud Hamza.

Minutes:  Members present approved the Minutes of the April 14, 2022 meeting.

Village Council Liaison Update: a) Pam advised that Outfront Media has applied to the Zoning Board to erect an electronic billboard on Route 17 by the Tire and Wheel Performance Center.  Discussion followed.  The applicant still needs to get Zoning Board approval for variances before this goes ahead.

           b) -Grab & Go: Village Council formed a subcommittee to try to                              reallocate spaces throughout town.

               -Pedestrian Plaza: Village Council was at an impasse with a 2/2 vote.                  Paul V. had to recuse himself from the vote.  Pedestrian Plaza will                          be held for one weekend only in August.  Our group feels that this                         is a missed opportunity and that the residents supported holding                           more frequent Pedestrian Plazas.  

               -Jeanne’s idea is to present it as a “car free zone,” which might                                    change imaging.

            c) Downtown N.J. webinar “Rethinking the Right of Way” on May 18th

Hudson Parking Garage:  There was a good deal of discussion regarding

              a) merchant parking validation in Hudson Garage.  The kiosk system can allow merchants to prepay for their customers’ parking by giving their clients a code to park for free on their next visit.  The group thought this needed clarification.  Can merchants discount off transactions to pay for parking?

              b) The group consensus is that there is still a lack of knowledge where the garage is located.

               The Village needs to market it more.

               -Welcome to Ridgewood: on site will be posted

Interactive parking map on the Village website: Pam asked for feedback.  Responses: difficult to find on site, “not a lot of important information that is relevant on site.”  Add a QR code to get to the map.  Add to Google.  Further discussion followed on how to get employees off the street and into the garage.  In addition, the group discussed how to support merchants on the West Side because the garage does not impact them.

20 mph speed limit restriction in town.  Chief Luthcke pointed out that speeding is not a significant cause of accidents in town.  Therefore, a lower speed limit will not stop accidents.

Other business:  Jordan would like to invite speakers to the monthly meeting because “great ideas have been generated from other towns.”

Katherine asked for an update on maintenance of the pedestrian tunnel underpass, i.e. painting, ceiling repair, lighting.  The recommendation is to maintain the tunnel on an annual basis.

Steve asked for update on condemnation of Town Garage.  Pam responded that the Village has not filed a condemnation Complaint yet, “they haven’t had a meeting in a while.”

Next meeting:  June 9, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Phil Davis

Approved June 9, 2022

 

[1]   These minutes are topical rather than verbatim.

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20220414 - CBDAC Minutes

Central Business District Advisory Committee (CBDAC)

 Minutes April 14, 2022 Zoom Meeting[1]

Members present: Jordan Kaufman, Michael Pickholz, Trish Manzo, Pam Perron, Stephen DelPercio, Anastasia Bamberg, Jacqueline Luthcke, Stacey Tsapatsaris

Guests present: Paul Vagianos, Kathryn Schmidt, Jeanne Johnson

Minutes: Jordan moved and Steve DP seconded minutes of the March 10 meeting.  All approved.

Membership update: Gary Kolesaire has resigned, so we need an additional person to represent downtown businesses. Please let Pam know if you have any suggestions.  She will circulate the volunteer application form.

 

Council Update: NJ plastic bag ban goes into effect May 4.  Green Ridgewood has been going door-to-door to make sure merchants know this is coming.  Council has discussed an ordinance to require property owners whose storefronts have stood vacant for three months to install an attractive display.

No left turns into: NOMA; Intersection of Maple & Ridgewood; and Mavis Tire.

Grab and Go extended to May 31st until determination (must pay additional month). Vote for Municipal Budget on April 27th.

 

Chamber of Commerce update: Bergen County Division of Economic Development gave a presentation to the Chamber Directors yesterday regarding “Size Up,” a tool to help small businesses make better decisions based on customized data analysis. This is a free service provided by students from Bergen Community College. Easter in the Park is April 16.

 

Ridgewood Guild update: The International Film Festival begins at the Library on April 24.  Warner Bowtie Cinema Red Carpet (6pm) and Film showings (7pm) will be on 4/27 and 28, with Constantine Maroulis as the celebrity guest. The after party at Bareburger starts at 10:30.  Music in the Park will start on May 31 (every Friday) and Movies in the Night at Van Neste Square on Wednesday nights. 

 

Citizens Safety Advisory Committee (CSAC) update: CSAC has been discussing a 20 mph speed limit in the CBD.  CSAC made its presentation of safety banners to the Council.  The Village will cover the cost.  The banners will be hung soon.  The County decided to repave Franklin and Godwin Ave. this year without making the safety improvements (bump-outs and traffic signal up-grades).  Jeanne thought the Village might have received grant money for safety improvements. Pam will check with the Village Engineer.  Chief Luthcke pointed out that vibration can harm infrastructure underneath a roadway, so paving can actually cause some issues. 

 

20 mph discussion:  A member stated that changing the speed limit would not matter because one can’t drive faster than that anyway.  Other factors may control speed better.  Anastasia mentioned that distracted driving is a factor.  Chief Luthcke observed that people do not perceive speed accurately, so we should not conclude that drivers are actually speeding in town.  Steve DP felt that bump-outs would be a better solution.  Trish suggested flashing lights; however, Chief Luthcke said people who live in town would probably complain.  She will get back to us at the next meeting to let us know where the dangerous spots are.

 

Vacant storefront displays discussion: Since there was no draft to review, this discussion was limited.

 

Pedestrian Plaza discussion: The Mayor would like to go back to normal.  The pedestrian plaza might only be once a month or less.  Welcome to Ridgewood appears to be at an impasse.  Stacey suggested rotating where the street closures happen every weekend.  Pam pointed out that the Village spent $40,000 for barricades last year so that Ridgewood would have them for future events like the pedestrian plaza. 

     This led into a discussion of Grab & Go parking.  Stacey said Pazzazed shop owner Mitch likes the Grab & Go spot near his business because customers can run in to buy a gift.  The members felt that Grab & Go is important for the residents, restaurants and retailers (UPS, shoe repair); therefore, it should continue.  Kathryn raised the idea of 30-minute parking, although the group reached no consensus on that point.  What should CBDAC do?  Pam read the CBDAC bylaws.  Members agreed to advise Council in writing, as it did regarding the dining corrals.  Pam will ask Steve Aspero if he would like to draft a letter advising the Council of the committee’s assessment of G&G’s value.  The committee agreed to write a separate letter recommending continuation of the pedestrian plaza more frequently than once a month. 

 

The next meeting will be May 12, 2022 via Zoom.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Pamela Perron

Approved May 12, 2022

 

[1]   These minutes are topical rather than verbatim.

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20220310 - CBDAC Minutes

CBDAC Minutes – March 10th 2022

Attendees: Pamela Perron, Phil Davis, Trish Manzo, Stacey Tsapatsaris, Stephen DelPercio, Jordan Kaufman, Michael Pickholz, Anastasia Bamberg, Steve Aspero, and Chief Jacqueline Luthcke.

Guests: Jeanne Johnson and Paul Vagianos

  1. Plastic Bag Ban
    1. As of November 2021, plastic straws are no longer provided unless requested by patron.
    2. Carryout plastic bags with handles will be banned. Will also cover containers used for food delivery.
    3. Plastic used by dry cleaners to protect hung clothing are exempt from ban.
    4. Comprehensive website will be referenced through VOR website.
    5. Green Ridgewood will be going door to door to Merchants to educate. Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce and Ridgewood Guild will be given the opportunity to spread the word as well.
    6. Daffodil / Earth Day will also be an opportunity to inform the general public.
  2. Approval of Minutes
    1. Approved Minutes of January 13, 2022
    2. Approved Minutes of February 10, 2022
  3. Minute Taking
    1. Minute takers reiterated and confirmed for future scheduled meetings as circulated by Pam Perron under previous separate cover.
  4. Village Council Update by Pam Perron
    1. New Zoning Map with affordable housing overlay now available
    2. Parking Permits: 24 x 7 x 365 Parking Permits for VOR Residents
      1. Locations: Available at Hudson Garage 3rd floor and Cottage Street Lot    
      2. Cost: ~$1,600/yr at Garage [actually $1,625/yr]; $1,300/yr at Cottage Street
    3. Commercial use of power tools and manual tools is only allowed during the following hours:
      1. Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm
      2. Sat: 9am-1pm
      3. Sun and federal holidays: Prohibited   
    4. Commercial Dumpsters will require a Village permit
      1. Parking Spaces must be paid to reserve spaces for the dumpster
      2. Area surrounding the dumpster must be cleaned daily
  5. Dining Corrals
    1. Over 1,900 electronic signatures collected for petition favoring outdoor dining corrals within CBD.
    2. Many residents showed up and took the podium in favor of dining corrals. No retailers voiced an opinion.
    3. Majority of Council felt that the dining corrals were a temporary measureduring Covid and that restaurants were not promised it would continue to perpetuity. Several retailers are objecting to the continuance of dining corrals. Apricot Lane was brought up as example of a retailer who feels the Park West corral makes parking difficult, yet they were not aware of the neighboring conveniently available parking lots.
    4. Safety: With the exception of one accident on Broad street, which cannot be confirmed as being linked to the dining corral, there have been none.  
    5. Effective March 31, 2022, the dining corral authorization will expire and the barriers will have to be removed.
      1. CBDAC attendees unanimously agreed that Corrals should continue until at least October 2022.
      2. Merchants have been paying for the reserved parking spaces during the winter when they didn’t use them. It would be counter-intuitive to remove the corrals now with better weather ahead and extended outdoor seating expected by all.
    6. Summit-Montclair-Ridgewood considered strong towns
      1. What are other strong towns doing?
    7. Action Item: CBDAC, RCofC, and RG can assist in providing retailers access to a map of all parking options.
    8. Action Item: Letter to the Council to be drafted and signed by CBDAC members. Short on words, heavy on content.
  6. Tunnel Committee
    1. CBDAC subcommittee headed up by Stephen DelPercio
    2. Pam Perron sent questions to Chris Rutishauser and will follow-up on March 21st call. 
    3. Safety: Chief Luthcke reported no incidents other than urination and pedestrian hit by bicyclist
    4. Next Steps: Recommendations in April
  7. AC Outlet access for Musicians
    1. Often bands blow out circuits.
    2. Action item: Ask for map of outlets from Chris Rutishauser
  8. Parking Garage – Increase utilization
    1. Creative solutions that can be employed by Merchants
      1. ENVY – placed signage at storefront window advertising parking available at Hudson Street Garage.
      2. Validation and payment of Hudson Street Parking by merchants
      3. Merchants should “advertise” where to park and highlight Hudson Garage
    2. VOR Website: Provide map and more clarity regarding parking.
    3. Wayfinding: Post new signs at top of Broad and Passaic streets
  9. Upgrade of light poles
    1. PSEG owned and low priority
  10. Upcoming Events
    1. Oscar Night at Park West Tavern Loft on March 25th hosted by the Ridgewood Guild. $65pp with 2hr open bar
    2. Daffodil / Earth Day: April 10th from 11am to 2pm
    3. Easter in the Park: April 16th complete with Easter Bonnet Parade

 

Minutes Submitted by Stacey V Tsapatsaris

Approved April 14, 2022

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20220210 - CBDAC Minutes

Central Business District Advisory Committee  (CBDAC)

 Minutes 2.10.2022 Zoom Meeting

Members present: Jordan Kaufman, Michael Pickholz,  Trish Manzo, Pam Perron, Stephen DelPercio, Anastasia Bamberg, Jacqueline Luthcke

Guests present: Paul Vagianos, Kathryn Schmidt, Jeanne Johnson

Membership update:

Village Council appointed Jordan, Steve Aspero and Trish Manzo through June 30, 2023.  Pam has been appointed as Council liaison for 1 year. Bill Gilsenan has resigned, so we need an additional person to represent downtown businesses. Please let Pam know if you have any suggestions.

 

Citizens Safety Advisory Committee (CSAC) Updates

Complete Streets

Ridgewood adopted a complete streets resolution in 2011, which states:

 

WHEREAS, the Village Council supports this "Complete Streets” initiative and wishes to reinforce its commitment to creating a comprehensive, integrated, connected street network that safely accommodates all road users of all abilities and disabilities and for all trips; and, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by The Village Council of the Village of Ridgewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, that all public street projects undertaken by the Village shall be designed and constructed as "Complete Streets" whenever it is feasible to do so in order to safely accommodate travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, and motorized vehicles and their passengers, with special priority given to bicyclist and pedestrian safety subject to the following conditions: 1. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities shall not be required where they are prohibited by law. 2. Public transit facilities shall not be required on streets not serving as transit routes and the desirability of transit facilities will be determined on a project specific basis.

 

Pedestrian safety banners

CSAC is proposing to put up 12 banners on light poles that are equipped with banner sleeves in the CBD.  Banners are 20” x 30” – examples can be found on the Be Street Smart NJ website here. They will be printed locally and the cost is approximately $30. They can be customized with local business logos at additional cost.  If businesses would like to sponsor a banner, please reach out to Anastasia. Council would have to adopt a resolution to go forward.  CSAC will be presenting at an upcoming meeting.

 

 

 

Light poles

We’d like to install consistent banner sleeves, and the cost would need to be budgeted for. Lamp Posts belong to PSEG. Pam has asked Chris Rutishauser to inventory which posts are electrified and which have banner sleeves. Pam will ask Chris R. if there are constraints on what can be hung.

 

Historic Preservation Committee Update

HPC is working on that aspect of the Master Plan, which will be presented at the Feb 15 Planning Board meeting.

Ridgewood Commercial Property Owners (RCPO) Update
Heather Mailander and Tony Merlino  attended the meeting. Turnout was smaller than the previous. Owners feel that the building department’s processes, including inspections, are working better and there is not a backlog. Responsiveness has improved. Recommended that we adopt an exclusionary zoning ordinance to specify what kinds of businesses are excluded. This allows more flexibility with emerging types of businesses. We can use models from other towns that have adopted this type of ordinance. Paul will give examples via email to the CBDAC. We will also get the VOR Zoning Officer to comment. There is also an opportunity to reduce the number of zones in the Village. Zones vary within blocks. How can we incentivize landlords to rent their spaces? A SID would help with this if it includes an effort/paid position to help landlords fill spaces.

Village Council Update
Council introduced a noise ordinance on Feb. 9, 2022 that would prohibit commercial entities from using power tools and other noisy tools M-F 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Such noise is entirely prohibited on Sundays and federal holidays.  This would cover the CBD.  Council introduced another new ordinance Feb. 9th that will require dumpster companies to get a Village permit and to pay rent for parking spaces used.  Council accepted the Ridgewood Conservancy for Public Lands’ donation of lighting ($244,000+) in Van Neste Square. The Project Pride flower planting committee is being restructured. Councilwoman Reynolds will spearhead and is looking for volunteers.

Welcome to Ridgewood Committee (pedestrian plaza)
Pam anticipates that the next meeting will be in March. If CBDAC feels that the pedestrian plaza should continue this summer, this committee will need to voice its support. Let’s add it to the next meeting agenda. More than five retail businesses report that the pedestrian plaza negatively impacts their revenues. Discussed ways to get resident input, including surveys and public comment at the Council meetings.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Anastasia Bamberg

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