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
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
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.
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.
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