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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