20210318 - CBDAC Minutes

Central Business District Advisory Committee  (CBDAC)

Minutes

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Zoom Call: 8:30 – 10:00am

Attendees:  Jordan Kaufman, Pam Perron, Anastasia Bamberg, Phil Davis, Max Viola, Jacqueline Luthcke, Chris Rutishauser, William Gilsenan, Michael Pickholz, Steve Aspero, Jeanne Johnson, Paul Vagianos, Stacey Tsapatsaris, Kathryn Schmidt

 

Landlord forum

  • Quarterly meeting to discuss issues. Still trying to schedule.
  • Jordan, Bill and Stacey working on it. Need help publicizing.
  • Need to get input from landlords about SID. How will it be different from other organizations/efforts going on?
  • Invite should stress that the last landlord gathering was successful in resolving issues.

 

Building dept vacancies

  • The Building department is filling two vacancies.
  • Landlords offer a period of  free rent for new tenants to build out/renovate their spaces. In the past, if plan review took 90-100 days, the entire “free rent” period was taken up by plan review. These issues have been resolved.
  • Tom was a great building inspector--would give partial review of permits, which allowed work to begin. This was a game changer.
  • It’s important that the new building head is sensitive to the needs of CBD to get permits approved quickly.

 

SID

  • Jordan mentioned that the SID has important benefits to Summit:  1) people donating their estates to the community foundation and 2) an employee that recruits businesses to the town.
  • Katherine mentioned that a SID would not duplicate existing work of the Chamber/Guild. She is  working on a position paper that will be circulated prior to the next meeting.
  • Michael mentioned that the SID could provide grants/money that other entities could not.

 

Transit Village

  • Transit Village Transportation Trust Fund increased funding to Transit Village.
  • Program awards $1 M grants for traditional walking, biking, or transit ridership within ½ mile from the transit facility. Only those designated as a transit village can apply.
  • Only 33 out of 560 municipalities in NJ have been designated transit village status, and only 6 received grants.
  • Qualifications--Demonstrate a commitment to revitalizing the area around transit to mixed use (more than one use per building.) Application process is onerous. Need town planning department and council involved. Council must adopt a resolution.
  • For grant money to be received in 2021, application must be in by July 1. Process will be long. Jeanne said we could re-use materials from previous grants.
  • First we need to get the resolution done. Pam will send a draft ordinance to Steve so he can draw up. Jeanne, Pam and Steve will be on a subcommittee.

 

 

Bus route

  • The bus station building is historic and the town owns it.
  • Maneuvering on Ridgewood Avenue has always been tight. Cars are more of a safety/crash issue than busses.
  • NJ Transit would like to get the busses off Ridgewood Ave. They would prefer routing on Franklin Ave and with a bus stop at the train station.
  • Previous concern about the change was around lack of parking at the train station.
  • This might be a good time to revisit the discussion--see if council would be amenable.
  • Taxi stand is vacant. Would not work to route busses through there.
  • Drawings would have to be redone to match the new train station layout. We would probably need additional bus shelters and/or have the station open longer hours. Chris will see if he can resend specs.

 

Welcome back to Ridgewood

  • Decisions about when and how often to open the pedestrian mall are in the works.
  • Probably won’t be every weekend because of staffing issues.
  • Streets department can staff but police department staffing is constrained by factors e.g., they are already required to work every other weekend.
  • Suggestion to do either first weekend and first and the second weekend.

 

Other

  • Congrats to Max V for becoming the president of the Guild.
  • Purchase order for garage elevator has been submitted. Engineering fix for the water issue has been discussed.
  • VOR will get 2.5M from the federal relief package.
  • Council would like CBDAC input on vacant storefront legislation. Let’s discuss at the next meeting. Look at materials that Pam emailed. This also will be a topic for the landlord meeting.
  • Minutes for Feb 15 and March 4 approved.
  • At the 3/24 VC meeting, Chris will present the pilot plan for the Bollard Program with Park West. Other restaurants are interested.

 

Current Membership (13 Participants)

Village Liaison – Pamela Perron

Representative from Chamber of Commerce – Philip Davis

Representative from Ridgewood Guild – Max Viola

3 Business Owners – Gary Kolesaire, William Gilsenan, Michael Velicu

5 Residents – Rob Descalzo, Jordan Kaufman, Michael Pickholz, Anastasia Bamberg, Steve Aspero

Chief of Police – Jacqueline Luthcke

Village Engineer – Chris Rutishauser

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