Planning Board Minutes - June 2, 2015

The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of June 2, 2015. Interested parties may request an audio recording of the meeting from the Board Secretary for a fee.

Call to Order & Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act: Chairman Nalbantian called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. The following members were present: Mayor Aronsohn, Ms. Bigos, Chairman Nalbantian, Mr. Joel, Mr. Abdalla, Ms. Altano, Mr. Thurston, Ms. Dockray, and Ms. Peters. Also present were; Katie Razin, Esq., Blais Brancheau, Village Planner, and Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary. Christopher Rutishauser, Village Engineer, Mr. Reilly, and Gail Price, Esq., Board Attorney were absent.

Public Hearing: Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan AH-2, B-3-R, C-R and C Zone Districts – Continuation of Village Planner, Public Comment, and Instructions to the Board. Following is the transcript of this portion of the meeting, prepared by Laura A. Carucci, C.C.R., R.P.R.:

Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board – No one came forward.

Correspondence received by the Board – Mr. Cafarelli said there was none.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: At this time I'd like to ask for members of the public who might have comments on topics that are not currently pending before the Board. So if you have comments on an item that is not multi‑family housing please come forward.

MS. REYNOLDS: Hello.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Hello.

MS. REYNOLDS: Lorraine Reynolds, 550 Wyndemere Avenue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

MS. REYNOLDS: Okay. My comment tonight is regarding the North Walnut Street Redevelopment Plan and how the 2014 version came to be. I go to many of the Planning Board meetings and feel that I'm up on things but when I read the 2014 North Walnut Street Redevelopment Plan I was very surprised that the Planning Board would recommend some of the things that are in it. I went back and locked at the minutes of all the meetings and listened to all the tapes where it was discussed. It was discussed at the Planning Board on February 18th and March 18th, of 2014. At the March 18th, meeting Blais told the Planning Board that their role was to make comments now, make comments when it comes back to the Board in an ordinance form, and then back at site plan approval before the Planning Board.

At the end of the March 18th, 2014 meeting, Blais was charged to make a draft based on the Planning Board comments to present to the Council on April 2, 2014.

Blais went to the April 2, 2014 council meeting and presented them with the Planning Board's recommendations concerning the redevelopment plan. Many members the Planning Board had expressed concern on the 60‑foot height of the parking deck and any building integrated into the parking deck. This was not mentioned at all to the Council. Many members the Planning Board expressed concern that this was got a good location for assisted living. When 5his was brought up at the Planning Board, Blais told the Planning Board that "smaller scale assisted living senior housing projects in a downtown area can be an attractive thing". In the Ordinance assisted living residential healthcare facilities is now listed as a recommended use and says nothing of the Planning Board's concerns or that Blais stated a "smaller scale can be attractive."

Ridgewood now has a five story, 98‑unit per acre assisted living facility proposal in front of them. I don't think this is what the Planning Board wanted to allow. Recommendations from the Planning Board, according to Blais, also included minimum floor area for dwelling and eliminated it for assisted living residential healthcare facilities and maximum density eliminated for assisted living residential healthcare facilities. According to the tapes the elimination of these two items was not discussed at the Planning Board meetings. Blais did discuss these two item and the word "amend" was mentioned when it came to these two item, but it was never discussed that they would be eliminated.

Is Blais allowed to put things in that were not discussed? That's the question I have. Also the Board Members were expressing concern about certain things, Blais said to them the Board's role is to make comments now, when it comes back as an ordinance make comments then, and then back at site plan approval.

The 2014 Redevelopment Plan states that development by government entities should be exempt from formal site plan approval requirements. This means it's not going to come back to the Planning Board. At least that's what I gather.

So why would was the Planning told ‑‑ Planning Board told it would come back to them at site plan approval. Okay.

So the ordinance was created, it's number 3411 and it was presented to the Council on April 9, 2014. It was then send to the Planning Board for review on April 30th. The same concerns were again expressed about the 60‑foot height and assisted living not being appropriate for the area. Several members said they would like to see a red line of the changes being made so that they could compare the 2007 to the 2009 plan. Blais said he could do it, but not at that ‑‑ that night. Then Gail Price interjected and said that the ordinance was at the Planning Board just as a courtesy review and it was really in the hands of the Council. So it almost didn't ‑‑ I don't know why it came back to the Planning Board.

Blais then told the Planning Board any substantive changes had been discussed with the Board already. And I'm not sure I agree with that.

The ordinance was adopted by Council on May 14th, 2014. I feel like the Planning Board members did not have their input listened to or their thoughts expressed in the ordinance that was created.

So now we can have applications for this redevelopment site that does not come back to the Planning Board for site plan approval, nor do they have to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission. I feel like there are no checks and balances at all and the ordinance does not express the intentions of the Planning Board members that were on the Board at that time.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Lorraine.

Again, this is for comments on issues that are not currently pending before the Board. So it can't reflect multi‑family housing.

MR. McCOOE: Correct. I'm Sean McCooe ‑‑

THE COURT REPORTER: I'm sorry. Your name is what?

MR. McCOOE: Sean S‑e‑a‑n McCooe M‑c C‑o‑o‑e, 66 Walthery Avenue, Ridgewood.

I have a question as to whether or not the Planning Board is involved with the Verizon Wireless or any other wireless permissions to enhance services to our community? And if not, if not a part of your business then I'll talk to something else ‑‑ rather to someone else.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I'm not sure we have anything before us right now. Anything on the Planning Board? Blais, are you aware of anything?

MR. BRANCHEAU: There are a number of applications before the Board of Adjustment right now not the Planning Board, but I'm not sure ‑‑ are you talking about cellular telecommunications or?

MR. McCOOE: The Verizon wireless services, yes.

MR. BRANCHEAU: The Verizon wireless, the like monopoles and things like that or ‑‑

MR. McCOOE: The lack of service in four of the school buildings in Ridgewood and the lack of service in certain areas ‑‑

MR. BRANCHEAU: No, that would probably be Board of Ed courtesy review.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, we ‑‑ we had a courtesy review with the Board of Ed at the last meeting.

MR. BRANCHEAU: There was ‑‑ there was a courtesy meeting review that was put before the Board. I'm not sure it was ever...

MS. DOCKRAY: We didn't hear it.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: They didn't show up, actually, that's right.

MS. PETERS: They didn't show up.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: They didn't show up.

MR. McCOOE: Well, that ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: AND that was basically, those were specific and kind of on school property to enhance the service for the school.

MR. McCOOE: Right. IS that a part of YOUR ‑‑ your overview or not?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: The Board of Ed will come to us for a courtesy review.

MR. McCOOE: Okay. So as long as they're coming for a courtesy overview or a review that you guys have not had because they haven't come to you, the fact of the matter is that Ridgewood has a 911 service for the schools for when the schools have an incident like they did last week at GB, but in fact because of Verizon Wireless' lack of service, lack of wireless service in the schools, at least Travell, BF, Willard and Somerville, there is no ability to access those ‑‑ that service because over 80 percent of the people have Verizon Wireless as does the Board of Ed for all their administrators who number 35 to 40. So in the absence of power in the building as there been a number times there is no ability to ‑‑ for the people who are the administrators or the people who are teachers in the classrooms to access this 911 service, nor to access the police, because the buildings do not afford them access to wireless service. This is a complete black spot, it's not a question of being poor, it's certainly not a question of being excellent. It's a question of being known.

So I, as a citizen; I as a father of a child at BF; as a spouse of a worker at BF; as someone who's in BF, I feel threatened every day by the lack of service and the fact that after $5 million spent last year by Verizon Wireless on upgrades in all their services and marketing that not $1.00 came to Ridgewood. And we are not on the plan for 2015. We are not on the plan for 2016. The chief ward says, well, we're going to try to work around this. But I know that we're about the lose our ‑‑ we ‑‑ on June 30th we're going to lose Ryan who is the head of IT for the Board of Ed. So a lot of knowledge is going to disappear and a lot of the continuity will disappear as well. And that ‑‑ I have been told it's been eight years, ten years in planning and we're still at a black hole. And I mean very concerned. And I am concerned that ‑‑ that public safety is jeopardized every day. And if one looks the last week, at GW we shut down and some of the incidents that can occur. I'm concerned every day that my family has to go into that school, that they are trapped. I know that not a fact, the principal has to go outside of the building in order to make a phone call. And in a lockdown, what are they supposed to do go into harms way?

So if someone would ‑‑ because you have the final budget approval if there's a non‑budget passed. I am assuming that there's some leeway that you folks have in reviewing this.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I believe this is all the Board of Education, however, I will.

MR. BRANCHEAU: They're coming back.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: They're scheduled to come back it sounds like they're trying to address it.

MR. BRANCHEAU: Well, before they ‑‑ by law, before they spend money on any cellular equipment they must get a ‑‑ come before us, present what they want to do, and get our advice as to any changes we would make or whatever regarding. We had that scheduled they did not show up so they ‑‑ but that doesn't relieve them of their obligation to get our advice that the Board might wish to give on that.

So we can follow up with that and find out if they intend to come back or what their intentions are regarding that. But...

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So we will follow up on that. So, the application is ‑‑ ‑

MR. McCOOE: Yeah, I'm not sure what the application is.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: They came to us for a courtesy review.

MR. McCOOE: Right.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's ‑‑

MR. BRANCHEAU: It's not formal approval.

MR. McCOOE: Right.

MR. BRANCHEAU: It's more of a communication thing where the left hand of the government is talking to the right hand of the government.

MR. McCOOE: I understand, but I ‑‑ I do know that prior had ‑‑ there was a one ‑‑ because of the new Google one‑to‑one services that's put into the high school system, the neighbors were complaining about a draw down on power and so they're trying to put it into the building at the high school so that there's no draw down on the power by the neighbors, that's ‑‑ that's ‑‑ that's a sort of different kind of issue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We'll take ‑‑ we'll take your comments and remarks ‑‑

We'll take I appreciate it.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And we'll share that with the Board of Ed.

Thank you very much.

MR. McCOOE: I appreciate that.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And keep an eye on the agenda.

MR. BRANCHEAU: Yes, watch the agenda so you don't ‑‑ if it comes back you don't ‑‑ you should see it on the website or on the bulletin board.

MR. McCOOE: I love watching that easy to follow the website. Thank you.

MS. DOCKRAY: Blais ‑‑  

MR. BRANCHEAU: I'll convey that as well.

MS. DOCKRAY: I ‑‑ I am 99 percent sure that our review only was with regard to Ridgewood high school, that's it. And not any of the other schools.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well, we'll convey the broader comments. It sounded to be like the Board ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: I just fear it's ‑‑ what band does the Ridgewood police department operate on? Can they not provide an appropriate phone in the school?

MS. PETERS: He doesn't know.

MS. DOCKRAY: He doesn't know either?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MS. DOCKRAY: I doubt that they operate on a Verizon cellular band that we use for our phones so ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We'll look into this.

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ it might be another carrier.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: When we get that, we'll follow up on that.

MR. McCOOE: Charles.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think Wendy is correct the application didn't have specific information.

Ma'am, please state your name, spell your name, provide your address.

MS. RINGEL: Hello, Marcia Ringel, R‑i‑n‑g‑e‑l, 250 Ferris Place, Ridgewood.

I just wanted to follow up on Lorraine Reynolds comments earlier and wondering if the members of the Board who were here last year and had participated in the redevelopment zone discussions feel that their suggestions and thoughts were heard and the Planning Board's position, including maybe some subtle details that could be of importance for the Council to hear accurately and fully represented in documents given to the Council.

And is there any ‑‑ is there any mechanism by which it can be ensured that after you spend all the time listening to everybody and thinking about it and commenting that that doesn't just get boiled down to nothing when it's really going to matter.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I'm going the ask ‑‑ first of all this has history that goes back several years. And, Blais, I am going to ask if you could just very briefly talk about the history of the redevelopment plan and then what aspect of it came to the ‑‑

MS. RINGEL: Do you mind talking into your microphone? I don't think anybody to hear you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you. Thank you for pointing that out.

And you have one aspect specifically came back to the Board in 2014 in a synopsis form.

MR. BRANCHEAU: I'm not remembering all of the details of what came back. I know what came back in part was revisiting the permitted uses in ‑‑ in the district.

Some of the standards in the District. Some of the policies relating to affordable housing were discussed.

But to get into details at this point in time.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That's ‑‑

MR. BRANCHEAU: Obviously if I had time to prepare, believe me, I would have but I'm asking.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Not asking to specific, Blais, just reflect back that the redevelopment plan actually encourages some kind of ‑‑

MR. BRANCHEAU: Well, the original plan was adopted in, I think, 2007. And this was an amendment of the plan to try to tweak some of the items in the plan that were no longer either appropriate or current, as well as modify some of the ‑‑ like I said, the uses. And some of the standards in the zone.

Beyond that I would have to go back over the file and check on specific items that were addressed.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: I actually would like to ask Blais a question on that note.

Blais the absence of any density numbers in that particular plan, could you just elaborate on that?

MR. BRANCHEAU: There was an absence of density numbers for assisted living.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Correct.

MR. BRANCHEAU: Not for ‑‑

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: No, no, no, I stand corrected. I know the density numbers were 12‑units per acre for the regular uses for assisted living was an absence of any density numbers, could you elaborate on that?

MR. BRANCHEAU: The ‑‑ the reason for the lack of density, and I thought we talked about this, but was the fact that assisted living does not need the same amount of parking. The units are much smaller than typical housing units. And the occupancy is usually much less than for regular housing units.

In other words, the number of people per unit is a lot less. It's not really a comparable number density when you're talking about density for regular housing, it's not really comparable between assisted living and typical housing, and that's why there wasn't a density figure.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: And so there's no way to craft a number into that?

MR. BRANCHEAU: I suppose one could craft a number into it. But there wasn't.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay. Thank you.

MS. DOCKRAY: I would like to answer your question about how I felt. I guess it was a couple of months ago I asked Blais to re‑send me the memo that went from the Planning Board to the Council because I couldn't recall if I had ever read it and maybe I had, but I couldn't recall because we get a lot of paper. And I was upset because while he had done a ‑‑ you know, an accurate job of describing the points we discussed. He ‑‑ the memo said with regard to the height, "some members felt" and with regard to some of the other issues "some members felt" and I wasn't sure that some members feeling fully captured our opinions.

And part of it might have been we were only asked to express opinions. We weren't asked to vote. We weren't asked to come to a consensus on this. So it just some people said this and some people said that. And that's what went. Maybe with a different format the memo would have said something different. That's all I have to say. But I did go back and I read it. And, you know, in terms of my own opinions I wish it had had been stronger.

That's all I have to say.

MS. RINGEL: Well, I'm just wondering whether there might be some mechanism to build in possibly for the future, you know, the way the Supreme Court might write one decision and there might may be a dissenting opinion or ‑‑ that the Planning Board has now read this memo and, you know, the following Planning Board members had these comments to make and append that so that it just doesn't get boiled down to the point where it doesn't sound like any opinions were had at all.

MS. PETERS: I completely agree with you. And I feel that that's an accurate representation.

I know Ms. Reynolds did speak about dissenting members. And I was one of those persons from the very beginning that had expressed that I didn't feel this was appropriate use for the area. And we had some discussion, I know here amongst the members here on this side of the Board, during these meetings. And I feel none of that was represented to the Council as far as I can see. So I think that's a very good suggestion.

MR. BRANCHEAU: I would like to comment, this is not a hearing on this so I'm not going to go at length and obviously ‑‑ but I distinctly remember being asked about the letter because it didn't have different opinions in it. And my response to that letter is that this Board or whether it was before the Council was that I tried to represent both sides because there were often more than one side on an issue. But since the Board did not vote on majority or whatever it was, and since even if it had, and it wanted the minority opinion to be represented as well, I gave both. That's why the letter said "some members felt this". I didn't say majority. I didn't say minority. I just said some members felt this way, some did not, which I felt was representative of the entire board in that there was a difference of opinion. But I was distinctly asked about that. And that's how I responded. If the Board had taken a vote, I could have been more specific in my comments to say that six members felt this way and three felt that or whatever it was. But it was an advisory comment not a formal decision of this board, which it didn't have the authority to make. And that's why it was worded the way it was. It was not in any intent to misled or under‑represent anyone's opinions.

MS. RINGEL: For the sake of completeness, especially if there was no vote, even one individual member's opinion might be very powerful as sufficient to sway somebody who is going to vote down the line such as a Council Member. And, you know, you spent so much time analyzing these things and thinking about them, that it doesn't really matter how many people said it, if it's a really good point it should be made.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Ms. Ringel.

MR. RINGEL: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Gail?

MS. PRICE: Yes. Let me add just to Blais' point this is ‑‑ we're starting to get off into ‑‑ beyond a gray territory. This is not a hearing and we're beyond the scope of just general public comment. That said I think it would be more appropriate to allow, since there have been statements made just this evening without the benefit of the Board certainly having records before them about the numbers of board members who have taken action one way or the other.

They were statements that the majority of board members did something or didn't do something. I think it would be beneficial for the Board to have the minutes available to them before them and certainly for Mr. Brancheau to have those minutes before him, certainly Board Members certainly have their recollection, but it was an advisory matter and the tapes are always available by the Council to review any kind of action such as this. I'm not saying that that's a replacement, but just as there's courtesy review on the Board of Ed, you know, there is a polling of the Board and then there's a response. So, you know, it's just ‑‑ hindsight is the question.

So, yes, there are Board Members ‑‑ I remember this because I remember the hearings in '07 which were in very, very detailed and very long and I'm not sure how many people were here in '07 for those, but the ‑‑ the most accurate way to do it would be for the Board, itself, to have the minutes for the transcript from those hearings and then if you want to re‑look at anything and send anything back, you know in more detail, that's up to the Board.

But to act without the benefit of anything in front of you would be arbitrary. Certainly you should be responsive to public comments.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Maybe address this, Blais, and then, Paul, since there seems to be some inquiry about ‑‑

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: We can't hear.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: We can't hear you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ about the process.

What I suggested is that maybe with Blais' assistance we can bring it to an agenda meeting so we can see what the Board's perception is on ‑‑

MR. REYNOLDS: Can I recommend ‑‑ I mean I've looked at all the minutes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please come forward, Lorraine. I'm sorry you have to speak into the microphone.

MR. REYNOLDS: Sorry. I mean in doing this, I read all of the minutes and I also listened to the tapes. And I feel that everybody should listen to the tapes because there's much more in the tapes then there is in the minutes. So...

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Thank you.

MR. REYNOLDS: And since Michael got me the tapes, maybe he could just make copies for everybody.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, isn't that why we have a Council Member open on the Board too.

MS. PRICE: Yes, the liaison.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yeah, so that it creates a flow of information ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Right.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: So if the Council Members are reporting back to the Council what happens here.

MS. PRICE: Correct. That's right.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Are there other comments from the public on matters not pending before the Board?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Why don't we move on.

At that point I'd like to ask members of the Board of there are any committee or professional updates?

MS. DOCKRAY: I actually have one I think by the next Planning Board Meeting you should be receiving a request from Open Space Committee for the Planning Board to consider and adopt their open space plan which they completed in 2010.

Part of the reason for this has to do with the fact that the green people would like to be able submit applications to Sustainable New Jersey for grants but in order to have ‑‑ one of the criteria is to have an up‑to‑date open space plan adopted as part of the Master Plan. And that it should be no longer than ten years old. And, apparently, what we have is 2003 so they have told the members, I believe they told me to do something about that problem and they understand from Blais that the 2010 plan doesn't have an environmental resource inventory which it should, but they still would like the Planning Board to consider it and fully craft a letter, you know, for our next meeting. And, hopefully, then we can take a look at it before that November deadline if that's possible.

So I just want to give you a heads up.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Wendy.

Any others?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Michael, have there been any correspondence received by the Board since the last meeting?

MR. CAFARELLI: No, there hasn't.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So the next item we have is the public hearing, Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan, AH‑2, B‑3‑R, C‑R and C Zone Districts.

Before we begin, I just want to mention we have cameras here and I want to thank those who are here operating them for us tonight, and Michael and Blais for helping to coordinate this. In case there's an overflow of people, this room has the capacity of about 100 people total. And if we go beyond that, we will ask people who are making public comment, for example, to view this room ‑‑ what room is it in, Michael?

MR. CAFARELLI: Senior Center.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: In the Senior Center downstairs on the ground floor.

At this time, we've got roughly half capacity, so it might be fine the way it is. We will proceed accordingly.

So why don't we begin. On April 21st, Blais reviewed the Board's potential modification to the original Amendment dated December 2013 that addressed and balanced some of the concerns expressed by this Board and the public during these hearings.

The Board then voted to bring that modified April 21st Amendment to public hearing which commenced on May the 5th. And when Blais gave his testimony regarding the modified Amendment and the public, interested party, counsel ‑‑ interested parties, counsel was afforded an opportunity to question or cross‑examine Blais regarding his testimony.

So, tonight, with no additional testimony scheduled, we will open for public comment.

Next will be closing remarks from counsel and supplemental instructions from the Board's counsel so the Board can deliberate and take action on the matter.

I ‑‑ I pointed out that there may be open questions. Blais, are there any open elements from ‑‑ for you from the previous meetings?

MR. BRANCHEAU: No, there was none.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Great. So given that, why don't we move into the public comment.

So, is there a motion from the Board to open for public comment?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Motion to open to public comment.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Is there a second, please?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Susan.

All in favor?

(Whereupon, all Board Members respond in the affirmative.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Anybody opposed?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. At this time, I'd like to ask members of the public who wish to comment on high density multi‑family housing to come forward.

I'm going to read instructions ‑‑ before you come, I'm going to read my instruction as I always do, so please pay attention carefully as there are some details in here that would make the process a lot easier.

As has the Board has done in previous hearings, each speaker will be given three minutes to speak. The three minutes will begin following the administration of the oath which will be administered by the Court Reporter.

Please begin by stating and spelling your full name and providing your address. After being sworn in, you may read a written statement into the record so long as it does not exceed the allowable three minutes.

At the conclusion of your time, please promptly finish your statement and return to your seat.

If you choose, you may, at that time, provide a written copy of your statement to Michael, the Board secretary for inclusion in the file, and also the Court Reporter which may assist her with transcriptions, if, and only if, the statement was read word for word. It has to be exactly what was read.

At that point, I'll call the next individual's name in sequence. We will proceed in this matter until we have heard everyone who wishes to comment.

We will hear each speaker who wishes to make comment only once in order to give everyone a chance. Three minutes is customary and the amount of time for comments that have been consistent with the time allotted during this hearing, Valley Hospital hearings and also Council hearings. Since CBR is considered to be represented by counsel, those of you who are named as part of CBR may proceed with their three minutes. However, this will be when CBR attorney, Mr. Weiner, calls on you at the appropriate time. Gail, are we going to follow with that?

MS. PRICE: Well, we'll see if there's any comment.

MR. WEINER: There may be.

MS. PRICE: Okay.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: The public comment period is also not a time to make formal presentations to the Board, as that opportunity has already been provided by the Board throughout the board hearing process. As has been the Board's practice, we kindly ask that no one applauds, comments or interrupts the speaker at the podium whether you agree or disagree with their statements. Please respect this rule in consideration of order and also out of respect to the speaker since this is their allotted time to comment. In addition, we ask that everyone respect the time limits and promptly end their statements when indicated their time is up. This will allow all persons to be heard. Michael, if you can keep time and just say "30 seconds" when we get close to the end of time. So, if you hear him say "30 seconds," that will give you an advance warning to wrap up. Please be aware that the Board has the right to limit repetitive and irrelevant statements and we anticipate not needing to cut short any speaker, provided that this established procedure is followed.

Now is also a good time for me to point out one easily misunderstood procedural aspect of these hearings. Since the Planning Board public hearing process has procedures which are akin to those used in a court of law, interested party attorneys or the Planning Board attorney may interject with an objection/assertion at any time, including during this public comments period.

Please know that such objection/assertions should not to be perceived by the public as being disrespectful or rude, but rather a necessary procedure for allowing attorneys to promptly note objections to the record. It may also be necessary to rule on points of order and I ask that you be patient in the event that occurs. Okay. I think we're ready to begin, so why don't we come up with the first person. If you can form a line behind this gentlemen, three people, four people at time.

MR. VANDENBOSCH: Hi, Scott Vandenbosch.

THE COURT REPORTER: Sir, can you please raise your right hand?

MR. VANDENBOSCH: Yes.

THE COURT REPORTER: Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give in this proceeding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. VANDENBOSCH: I do.

S C O T T V A N D E N B O S C H, 302 Stevens Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows: THE COURT REPORTER:   State your name, spell your name and give your address please. MR. VANDENBOSCH: Scott Vandenbosch, last name is spelled V‑A‑N‑D‑E‑N‑B‑O‑S‑C‑H at 302 Stevens Avenue, Ridgewood.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Scott, before you begin, and everyone, please be reminded that this public comment period is specific to the amended amendment.

It was what Blais testified, the Amendment that has been posted and the questions that have come, not the broader process that we went through prior to this hearing.

MR. VANDENBOSCH: I look at finance. There's a lot of things I look at as far as the risk assessment. I look at the upside, the downside, and the likely occurrence.

And despite the modifications, I still see the downside as significant. I see the impact on our schools as a negative, which are some ‑‑ which is the reason why a lot of people live in Ridgewood. And even if you have kids in school or not, your property values are very significantly impacted by our schools. Blais has mentioned higher class sizes, redistricting which are not going to be popular topics with anyone. We risk the loss of our town's identity; tough to get that back. More traffic congestion, strains our infrastructure, and could also lead to existing expenses for other towns covering that infrastructure. And many of these problems are very long term, if not permanent, as this development will likely be very long lasting, you know, outlive many of us in the town today. So then I look at upside, you know, there's speculation that maybe, just maybe, this would revitalize downtown which is somehow able to offset the secular trends that retail unfortunately faces.

And even if they are positive, they may be very fleet. So we have very permanent, long lasting downside and we have a very fleet upside, if at all. The benefits are likely to occur heavily to the developers. So I look at that and this is ‑‑ to me, it's very bad for the people of Ridgewood. We get very little, if any, upside and we get all the downside. I mean, to me, it's like making a bet where if you're right, you win ten cents ‑‑ 10 percent of your money. If you're wrong you lose 100 percent. So, I would view this as a bad bet and encourage the community not to make it.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Vandenbosch.

MS. McCARTHY: Hello, Gail McCarthy, G‑A‑I‑L, McCarthy, M‑C‑C‑A‑R‑T‑H‑Y, 153 Hope Street.

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand.

Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MS. McCARTHY: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

G A I L M C C A R T H Y, 153 Hope Street, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. McCARTHY: Okay. I'm just going to read: Last night, Citizen For a Better Ridgewood posted a last minute petition, Monday, June 1st, asking all concerned ‑‑ any concerned residents to make their voices against the excessive densities contained in the high density housing amendment currently before the Village Planning Board. This was designed as a one‑day petition and the goal was set at 100 signatures. I stand before you right now and the signatures are up to 1,050.

MR. WELLS: Object; not relevant, no basis.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Continue.

MS. McCARTHY: Thank you.

This has ‑‑ over 1,000 residents have signed or commented ‑‑ and/or commented in 24 hours.

The comments are very poignant and telling. Ridgewood residents don't want this.

For the most part, they are open to new apartments, but at a much lower density than the Board is now considering. Their communal voices cannot and should not be ignored by the Planning Board. I have here a document listing over 200 residents who choose to lend thoughtful and insightful comments about altering the Master Plan. And I can submit that if you'd like or the petition is still online, and anyone can see the comments, if people choose to comment. There were another 800 residents who signed the petition to vote ‑‑ asking you to vote no to 35 units per acre, but choose not to comment.

We encourage you to read these comments and listen to the thousand plus Ridgewood residents who do not support 35 units per acre. And we have also e‑mailed a link for all of you to take a look at it.

Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTAIN: Thank you, Ms. McCarthy.

MS. PRICE: Let me just address this issue of the petition at the outset and be the bad guy here.

Petitions are not acceptable into the record as evidence in these type of proceedings. There's a strict rule of evidence that applies here. Petitions are considered hearsay unless every single person who has signed the petition is available and present for cross‑examination and to attest to their signature and validity of their signature. The document is not admissible. This is not my rule. It is the law of the State of New Jersey. It will not be accepted in evidence as to this proceeding. It will taint the record despite the efforts of you and others. And it will taint whatever outcome the Board chooses to make in its decision.

MS. McCARTHY: Okay. It was my ‑‑

MS. PRICE: One way or the other ‑‑

MS. McCARTHY: Go ahead.

So it was my understanding ‑‑

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ the other.

MS. McCARTHY: Go ahead.

MS. PRICE: So ‑‑

MS. McCARTHY: It was my understanding that I'm not giving testimony. I'm just stating the will of the people and the people that I've spoken with and myself.

MS. PRICE: But the will of those people can't be stated because you don't represent the will of the number of people that you're saying.

MS. McCARTHY: Yes.

MS. PRICE: We don't know if they live in Ridgewood. We don't know where they live. We don't know who they are.

And the people, the other attorneys who are here, can't cross‑examine them. Members of the Board can't cross‑examine them.

MS. McCARTHY: Okay.

MS. PRICE: So we can accept for the record, the correspondence record ‑‑

MS. McCARTHY: Okay.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ something that will just be kept in the file.

But it will not be admitted into evidence. And I'm instructing the Board that this cannot be considered an evidential for the record because it will taint these proceedings.

And this is typical. We've done this in other proceedings.This is not out of the ordinary, and ‑‑

MS. McCARTHY: It's a form of community outreach that we haven't seen ‑‑

MS. PRICE: I understand.

MS. McCARTHY: ‑‑ so that's why we did it.

MS. PRICE: I understand. That's why I said I'm the bad guy, but it's the law.

MS. McCARTHY: Okay. All right.  

MS. PRICE: So I'm protecting everyone's ‑‑

MS. McCARTHY: Okay.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ interest in this.

MS. McCARTHY: Okay. Understood. So, just as a resident of Ridgewood, I signed this petition and ‑‑

MS. PRICE: And you're entitled to.

MS. McCARTHY: And I'm representing myself.

MS. PRICE: That's fine. You're absolutely entitled to do that.

MS. McCARTHY: Thank you very much.

MS. PETERS: So you're saying you're not in support of the 35 units per acre ‑‑

MS. McCARTHY: Correct.

MS. PETERS: ‑‑ what are you in support of?

MS. McCARTHY: Okay. That's a good question. We are ‑‑ I, Gail McCarthy ‑‑ and I can't speak for my husband either ‑‑ we believe no more than 24 is what we would like to see.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you. Ms. McCarthy.

I just also would like to add to Gail's comment that the number of people who come in to support or not support anything that's before us is not material, you know, we're not here to make decisions based on popularity.

MS. McCARTHY: Understood. Understood. Thank you very much.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

Good evening. Please state your name and spell it, and provide your address.

MR. WATSON: Drew Watson, D‑R‑E‑W, W‑A‑T‑S‑O‑N, 300 Highland Avenue.

THE COURT REPORTER: Sir, please raise your right hand.

Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. WATSON: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

D R E W W A T S O N, 300 Highland Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. WATSON: I think the current proposal needs more study. And so I would suggest that if not voting no, at least be tabled until greater study can be given to the various alternatives which my wife and I have been residents here for 34 years. And her parents moved here in the 1940s to raise a family. So we do have a history here.

My main concern continues to be the visual impact of these large buildings on the charm and character of the Village. The developers proposed renderings of buildings which could be built under their initial proposal. Under the initial proposal. And I found that when I looked at these, my conclusion was that these buildings would not fit into Ridgewood. So what would fit into Ridgewood?

Well, I suggest that the Board ask for additional renovations under the following three scenarios: First, a density of 20, 23 for affordable rentals, and maximum floor area of under 100 percent. These numbers are consistent with the average density and floor area ratios in Blais' October 2014 report. Another set of criteria would be a density of 25, 29 for affordable housing, and a maximum floor area ratio of 110 percent. Another batch of renderings could be done using the criteria in Blais' April 2015 report. These renderings need not to be as elaborate as the developers did initially, but they should give the Board and the public a good sense of whether the buildings will fit into Ridgewood or will likely hurt the charm of the Village. I don't see how a final decision can be reasonably made until a comprehensive and detailed analysis of these scenarios has been done.To date I don't think that's been done.

I've looked at the responses that Blais made to the questions that ‑‑

MR. CAFARELLI: Thirty seconds. Thirty seconds.

MR. WATSON: ‑‑ and from that, I conclude that more study needs to be done so there can be more adequate answers.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Watson.

MR. MATTESSICH: Good evening, Kevin Mattessich, M‑A‑T‑T‑E‑S‑S‑I‑C‑H. Proud Ridgewood resident for the last half a century or so. Currently reside at 836 Morningside Road.

You probably recall I think I was one of the first ‑‑

THE COURT REPORTER: Sir. Sir.

MR. MATTESSICH: Pardon? Oh?

THE COURT REPORTER: Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. MATTESSICH: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

K E V I N M A T T E S S I C H, 836 Morningside Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. MATTESSICH: You may recall, I was one of the first speakers to step up to the podium a couple years ago when the topic was sewage that night and I spoke against the proposal at that time. I vowed to keep aGail open mind and I kept an open mind since then.

Listening to the testimony, the various questions that were asked, the objections of the attorneys and the Board's, you know, various comments that I've seen through during that amount of time.I urge you to vote against the amendment as amended. I think it's bad for the Village of Ridgewood for several reasons. Amongst those reasons, the very first topic that I came for was on sewage and what the effect of the additional units was going to be to our sewerage system. here were inadequate answers that night. There were a lot of questions left open in the air. There was talk about leaving the checkbook open at the time to deal with the sewage problem should it be ‑‑ should it be overwhelming as time went on. And that hasn't been addressed since then. We have to bear in mind what we're talking about is spot zoning.

CHAIRMAN CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, thank you. NALBANTIAN: Is the light out? Hit the button.

MR.

MATTESSICH: It's working now?

MR. MATTESSICH: Okay. We have to keep in mind that this is spot zoning. It's nothing other than spot zoning. What's being proposed to the Board is not specific plans. It's artistic renderings. And at the end of the day, what you're going to do is increase from the maximum use now of 12 to whatever the current proposal is, but you're not necessarily approving those buildings. So you have spot zonings. You're looking at another thousand or so millennials at least coming into the proposed buildings.

And then you're going to have further erosion down Prospect. You're going to have further erosion in town, as others come in and make the same plea, the same arguments and say turn my Victorian house on Prospect into a three ‑‑ you know, a three‑family home for the very same reasons that have been given to the Board so far. And I think that's one of the biggest detriments of this proposal.

With that ‑‑ with that increase in millennials, you're going to have the water situation. You'd have another thousand with bathtubs, another thousand in sinks, another thousand ice makers in the current proposals and then who know what more.

Right now, we have water restrictions. No one has given us an adequate answer as to where the additional water's going to come from. Who are you going to take it from in the Village?

In addition, parking, a thousand millennials driving cars to the local businesses and their guests is not adequately prepared ‑‑ addressed in this plan.

So who is it benefiting? That was the question just raised. I haven't been able to figure it out.

MR. CAFARELLI: Thirty seconds, sir.

MR. MATTESSICH: But I ‑‑ what I do know at the end of the day is that for those of us who want to preserve the Village, we've been here a number of years, we have investments in our home.

And if what we're saying is correct and if this is the demise of the Village, what you're going to do at the end of the day is take away our nest eggs. We've built up equity in our homes. We've built up the value of our homes. We've maintained our homes.

And if that value is taken away because we've suddenly become not a village with a nice school system with adequate resources, but something else ‑‑

MR. CAFARELLI: Time's up.

MR. MATTESSICH: ‑‑ at a lesser price, you'll have taken money from our pockets and put it in the hands of the speculators and the profiteers who are looking for this development.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Mattessich.

MS. KOTCH: Hello. Good evening. Linda Kotch, L‑I‑N‑D‑A, K‑O‑T‑C‑H.

THE COURT REPORTER: Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give in this proceeding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MS. KOTCH: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

If you could state your address please?

L I N D A K O T C H, 60 North Hillside Place, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. KOTCH: 60 North Hillside Place.

Good evening. I have a question. I don't know just for the asking how many acres are we talking about here that's going to be potentially developed? How many?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Ma'am, please just make your comment.

MS. KOTCH: Well, it's pertinent to our asking questions as concerned citizens ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: This is not for questions and answers. We had the hearings. Please make your comment.

MS. KOTCH: If you're proposing 35 units per acre, I just was wondering what the math was. Is it 10 acres?

MS. PRICE: It's a little bit more than seven.

MS. KOTCH: A little more than seven. Thank you.

So what is seven times 35.

MS. PRICE: I think the answer at the last hearing, which you might have missed, I think Mr. Brancheau testified that the build‑out number was 256.

MS. KOTCH: Two‑fifty‑six, all right. That's fine, 256.

MS. PRICE: Maximum build out. I think that's the number.

MS. KOTCH: All right. Okay.

And I'm assuming they're going to be at least one bedrooms, maybe two.

So 256 units with maybe two people, that's another 500 people. And if they have a kid, that's 500 more kids in the school, that the school classrooms are at capacity.

The high school has 2500 students, maybe less. So you're talking 500 students which is 20 percent increase in attendance.

Not to mention as the fellow before me mentioned was the municipal services. That's 500 more people that will come to our libraries that we all belong together. That's 500 more people potentially. Our libraries are packed. I can't get a parking spot half the time.

Five hundred more people that would have at least one car, but I don't really know anybody who has only car. Most people have at least two, if not more. So that's 500 more cars, maybe a 1,000.

Not to mention all the sewage, waste pick up, water, EMS services.

I don't think this was that well thought out personally, and maybe this is little off topic, but that strip of ‑‑ that little strip that we go around to go from the east side to the west side where that was perhaps something was done, we got a grant or proposal, and there's a bike lane put in, every single time I drive down there, I'm irritated because it's now one lane instead of two.

Now, we're bicyclists. My husband rides his bike every day to New York City. That's 23 and a half miles in, and 23 and a half miles out. And we go for the gamut. He does that, and I'm basically a basket and a bell. And my kids ride their bikes sometimes, but mostly I drive them to school. It takes me 15 minutes to get to the high school.

MR. CAFARELLI: Thirty seconds.

MS. KOTCH: You put 500 more cars on the road potentially driving their kids, and I must say, I was guilty, I drove my kids to Ridge around the block half the time because they had a project or they forget their lunch or it was raining. We drive.

So when I go through there and I get irritated because I think who was that for? Who was that for? I'm all about services for this town. We ride our bikes. We go under the overpass ‑‑ the pass. That's what it was there for.

MR. CAFARELLI: Time's up.

MS. KOTCH: So, I have to wonder, how much thought was put into this, if I see that.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you very much, Ms. Kotch.

State and spell your name for the record.

MS. CIMINO: Leslie Cimino, L‑E‑S‑L‑I‑E C‑I‑M‑I‑N‑O.

THE COURT REPORTER: And your address, please.

MS. CIMINO: It's 275 Burnside Place.

THE COURT REPORTER: And raise your right hand.

MS. CIMINO: In Ridgewood.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

Raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give in this proceeding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MS. CIMINO: Yes, Ma'am.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

L E S L I E C I M I N O             275 Burnside Place, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having          been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. CIMINO: First of all, I'm going to ask all you nice folks to vote against this number of 35 units.

I feel that we have not done enough of our own complete impact study on the economic and social, but especially the environmental impact of the density that's currently in front of the Board.This number seems arbitrary to me, having lived through ‑‑ with the Council, the flood impact that the stream and all the other things we've gone through. I'm waiting to see what happens with so many more people pouring so much more into our sewerage system and into every other system the Village has and how much ‑‑ how are we going to take care of that many more people in the Village that way.I don't think we've weighed all of our benefits of these projects for the Village as opposed to for the developers. I'm for measured growth, but I don't see how this number of people per space has come about. And I don't feel like it was esearched carefully enough. I feel like we should get an independent consultant, not that Mr. Brancheau is isn't good at what he does. But I feel like there aren't ‑‑ there isn't a voice that says to us: This is the absolute right number because of this, this, this and this factor. And an independent sane voice with no political or financial something to gain would really be of help and there's ‑‑ and there's too much to lose. If we do it now and we do it wrong, generations are going to suffer. And ‑‑ and the whole look and the whole environment of our Village is going to suffer.So I ask you now, don't rush. It's been 10 years on this parking thing or 20 years on this parking thing and ‑‑

MR. CAFARELLI: Thirty seconds.

MS. CIMINO: ‑‑ we still don't have that solved.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you very, Ms. Cimino.

MR. McCOOE: Sean McCooe, 66 Walthery Avenue.

THE COURT REPORTER: I'm sorry. Can you just spell your name again please? And state your address.

MR. McCOOE: S‑E‑A‑N, McCooe, M‑c C‑O‑O‑E, 66 W‑A‑L‑T‑H‑E‑R‑Y Avenue.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you. Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give in this proceeding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. McCOOE: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

S E A N M C C O O E, 66 Walterhy Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having     been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. MCCOOE: I am not sure what the right number of housing density is nor floor ratio. I do know that it's difficult to make money in construction these days. I do know it costs a lot of money to build new housing and I know that it costs a lot to maintain it. I think that obviously effects how many units one needs to have in a certain property.

My father had the distinct displeasure this year of being the first person in Ridgewood to be hit by a car. And he was hit by a car in front of Feeney. And one would say, well, what's the problem? Well, maybe the lighting was poor by PSE&G because they keep calling about the light that's out there. Maybe because the person making the turn is looking over the right spot to the left instead of looking in front of them and seeing my father and striking him and hitting him and causing him now only six month's of disservice for his leg and for his life. So all this is not to say that anything downtown rebuilt is a problem, but there are 835,000 trips per week in Ridgewood. It could be a woman driving her child two blocks and then one trip and back another trip. I mean, it's a lot of trips and it's a lot of things to keep in one's mind. Ridgewood only has 1820 kids in the school right now, in the high school. It used to have, when my sister graduated here in '84, about 560 per class. There's only 417 gradating this year. So we probably changed the usage in these rooms somewhat or maybe we changed the size of these rooms.

I think that I want to see good looking housing. I want to see appropriate housing. Certainly, no one can say that the Ken Smith property and the garage next to it is a good looking property. No one can say that the garage next to Ben & Jerry's is a good looking property. I think that I'm looking for the right number so that our systems are not overtaxed and our streets, which are made for cars back in the 1890s when our town was mostly horses, the streets haven't really widened that much. So I'm just concerned, in general, about how do we make sure that our properties and our roads and our services are properly sized to match up with whatever new development we bring into this Village.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. McCooe.

MR. KOCH: Robert Koch, 16 North Hillside Place.

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand.

Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. KOCH: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

R O B E R T K O C H, 16 North Hillside Place, Ridgewood, New Jersey,             having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. KOCH: Twelve acres ‑‑ 12 units per acre is perfect. That's what we have in the plan right now. There's been no compelling reason whatsoever to change it. So ‑‑ so I don't see any reason to change the Master Plan at all. The developers are more than welcome to build, right now, 12 units per acre. There's no reason to go higher. Secondly, I'm just dumbfounded by the fact that the Master Plan ‑‑ I feel the ‑‑ the change of the Master Plan, this idea was initiated by corporations that don't reside here. I personally feel that the change in the Master Plan should be initiated only by the collective will of the residents, not three corporations or whatever it is.

Third, for the record, I voted for the ‑‑ I voted for the petition today and voted no. Fourth, I did some quick math here, 35 units per acre times four people per unit, I would say, is 140 residents. So to give you a visual imagine your own property, say you have one acre. Well, we have .8 acre. So 35 times four is 140 people. So imagine on your property you have four people living, you now have 40 neighbors inside your own yard. On top of that yard, you're going to have 140 more toilets, 35 more refrigerators, 35 more washing machines, 35 more dryers, 35 more stoves and ovens, all within the property that you currently have. And, finally, I love this town. I do ride my bike back from New York City. And there's nothing more splendid than riding home on a Friday night with the sunsetting, coming up Prospect, seeing these beautiful signs of the proud parents with there kids graduating from high school: Congratulations Kylie, congratulations, John, Michael. It's great to see that coming in.

And then coming to town and it's a vibrant town. There's kids playing guitar in one corner. There's people walking around joking and everything else. And it's a vibrant town right now as is. For the corporations, the landlords, do have the right to build up to 12 acres. There's no reason to change.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Koch.

MR. GRIFFITH: My name is Jim Griffith, 159 South Irving Street.

THE COURT REPORTER: Can you spell your last name, please.

MR. GRIFFITH: Pardon me?

THE COURT REPORTER: Can you spell your last name, please.

MR. GRIFFITH: G‑R‑I‑F‑F‑I‑T‑H.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. GRIFFITH: Absolutely, yes.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

J I M G R I F F I T H, 159 South Irving Street, Ridgewood, New Jersey,   having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. GRIFFITH: I'm probably going to use a different approach than the last couple of comments you've heard. Look at my hair. I've been around a while, 80 years old. Moved here 50 years ago. So far, the town has gotten 35 years of volunteer service out of me. That's in addition to 15 years of coaching, 20 years with Habitat For Humanity, the church, the county. A lot of time I have been here. You've heard the terminology, "Our town." It's important that "our town" that you've heard mentioned so much before also applies to me, and I helped make this town what it is. So when they're talking about that, "our town", I feel as though they're taking advantage of what I've given to this town to make it what it is. So based on that, I don't want to be deprived of some of the things that are coming before this town that can enhance people of my age, my retirement group, and all of the professionals associated with it. I'm also a member of the Hobbyists. The Hobbyists right now is about 50 percent Ridgewoodites, but when I first started, it was 80 percent Ridgewoodites. They don't live in Ridgewood anymore. And they've told me it's because Ridgewood doesn't have what they want or need. You have an opportunity now to give my generation something that it needs and it wants. Please show me some respect. I ask you that. Now, I want to tell you a small story. Forty years ago, the Mayor of this town in ‑‑ while I was working a problem on the fields, came up to me and he said, "Jimmy, pay attention. Don't think we're doing a good job. We're not."

MR. CAFARELLI: Thirty second.

MR. GRIFFITH: The founding fathers got it right. The only thing we have to do is keep it current and up‑to‑date. What you're proposing ‑‑ what's being proposed by the developers right now is a big dose of that. So I am for what the developers are asking for. I'm for it because it's going to protect us from box stores and other things we don't want here, and as well, it's going to take into consideration ‑‑

MR. CAFARELLI: Time's up.

MR. GRIFFITH: ‑‑ my needs and desires.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Griffith, thank you very much.

Please state your name, spell your name.

MR. FELDSOTT: Yes, Edward Feldsott, F‑E‑L‑D‑S‑O‑T‑T.

THE COURT REPORTER: And your address, please?

MR. FELDSOTT: 67 Heights Road.

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand.

Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. FELDSOTT: The whole truth.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

E D W A R D F E L D S O T T, 67 Heights Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having

been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. FELDSOTT: So, I moved to this town 20 years ago. I have a business up in Mahwah. And I was looking for a really nice town to move to. And I looked at all the towns surrounding Ridgewood and Wyckoff, Allendale, Saddle River, Franklin Lakes. And I fell in love with Ridgewood because of the character of the town. And my concern is ‑‑ and I think a lot of residents' concern is that the group of people sitting in front of me are going to be destroy the character of the town that we love. You know, I did not sign up to move to a Hackensack or Teaneck or any town that has high density housing. I chose Ridgewood because of the character of the town, and I do respect older people. My father's 100 years old. Certainly, you know, people who've lived here for many years deserve to live in Ridgewood. I don't think anyone who's against this proposal is against older generations living in Ridgewood, but I don't think this is the right move for this town. You're going to destroy the character, and you're going to have to live with that.

Thank you. That's it.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Feldsott.

MS. REYNOLDS: Hi. Lorraine Reynolds, L‑O‑R‑R‑A‑I‑N‑E, R‑E‑Y‑N‑O‑L‑D‑S, 550 Windemere Avenue.

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MS. REYNOLDS: Yes, I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

L O R R A I N E R E Y N O L D S, 550 Windemere Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. REYNOLDS: I wasn't going to speak, but I have to comment on Mr. Griffith. I agree that the older people in this town are looking for something. I don't think this is it. Just in my neighborhood alone in the last year, four either older couples or individual older persons ‑‑ one moved to Washington Township. They bought a townhouse. They were looking for a Townhouse. They wanted to stay in Ridgewood. They couldn't find anything in Ridgewood that was suitable.

Another one is buying a townhouse in Wyckoff that specifically, is a one‑story townhouse. I would consider it a condo, but she keeps calling it a townhouse. There was only ‑‑ she was specifically looking for something with no stairs. Her husband's getting older, having trouble with stairs and they bought that in Mahwah. Another one wanted to downsize to a house, but their taxes ‑‑ the taxes in Ridgewood were to expensive, so they went to Upper Saddle River.

And then the last one is still looking currently right now, but they ‑‑ they say there's nothing in Ridgewood for them. They're really looking for either a condo or a townhouse. They want to own. They do not want to rent. I have not spoken to any older person ‑‑ I'm sure there are some, but in my experience, everyone says pay $3,000.00 a month to rent? I don't want to throw my money away. I want to retire, enjoy my life. I want to downsize, buy some ‑‑ sell my big house, make the profit, take half of that, buy something, and enjoy the rest of my life. I don't want to rent. I don't want an apartment. I want a townhouse or a condo.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you very much, Ms. Reynolds.

Anyone else have comments?

MS. PRICE: Michael, can you just check the cord on the microphone again because it doesn't seem to be working.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, before you begin, Ma'am, is there a way of knowing if there are people downstairs?

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Yes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Oh, actually, that's right. They're watching. If there are people downstairs who intend to comment, please come on up. There is room for you, so please come up. If there are others who intend to comment please come forward and proceed.

Ma'am, please state your name, spell your name and provide your address.

MS. JUNGER: Sure. Amy Junger, J‑U‑N‑G‑E‑R. My address is 84 Ridge Road.

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand.

Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give in this proceeding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MS. JUNGER: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

A M Y J U N G E R,             84 Ridge Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. JUNGER: So, I'm not going to open with how old I am, and I haven't prepared anything.

But I thought you asked a really smart question. There's a lot of us saying vote no, vote no, but what are we for? And it's really hard to say. And I think it's really hard to say because we haven't been presented with options, right, with an analysis that said ‑‑ would say, this is the right number, which probably doesn't exist or and for this option, here are the trade‑offs; for this option here are the trade‑offs, so that we can make an informed decision and have a point of view. But we're all tired of this, right? I mean I'm tired of coming here and talking and shaking. But I think we need to do something, right? We're all tired of doing this. I think when we look at the number is 12 today, but the average is 18 to 24, the average is higher than the number that we're permitted, right?

So if we're going to go with 35, does that mean it's going to end up being 50? It just doesn't make sense. You can't make an informed decision based on an analysis, we should at least do a gut check on if what the existing numbers are today, if they're 18 to 24, isn't that a more sensible increase to start with than going as high as 35?

That's all.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Ms. Junger.

Are there other members of the public who want to make comment?

MR. NEGRYCZ: I do.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please come forward.

MR. NEGRYCZ: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please state your name, spell your name and provide your address.

MR. NEGRYCZ: Certainly. Oh, that thing's broke? It appears that way, yes.

Hello, my name is Gary Negrycz, N‑E‑G‑R‑Y‑C‑Z, 501 Dorchester Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey.

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand.

MR. NEGRYCZ: Pardon?

THE COURT REPORTER: Please raise your right hand to be ‑‑

MR. NEGRYCZ: Oh, sure.

THE COURT REPORTER: Do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give in this proceeding is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

MR. NEGRYCZ: I do.

THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.

G A R Y N E G R Y C Z, 502 Dorchester Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MR. NEGRYCZ: We've chatted a lot. I've been listening to this and watching it on tv. Here's some interesting thoughts. I don't count units. I count beds; 252 units is 500 beds. A bed holds two people. So I take one bed in an apartment, a man and a woman there. And I take the other bed and I put two kids in it. That's 500 kids; 500 kids fills a school. If I was wanting to get a good education for my kids and I didn't have 20 percent down to buy a $600,000.00 average house in Ridgewood, you know what, the down payment kills me, not the rent. So I rent. And I come to Ridgewood. I get a first class education and I bail. But you know what, a school costs you 300 bucks a foot. A school for 500 kids costs you nine ‑‑ it takes 90,000 feet; that's $27 million. Do it for a middle school, a starter school, and a high school because your high school right now, I've got kids in that school. You can't walk through it. If I bought an outside fire inspector in, they'd shut you down. It's a deathtrap if there was a fire. But you know what, we'll build a new one. Now, when you get a bond for $100 million, 15 percent goes to the bond, so add that to the number. Then pay five percent for 30 years. You're looking at $300 million. You're looking at $1500.00 bucks a year for every man jack in town. So a developer can make money. They're building everywhere. They cited a 2006 Rutgers survey. The people living in apartments don't have kids, but guess what, we had a crash in 2008. The home ownership went from 72 percent to 62 percent, where it's been historically for generations. You know what that means? That 10 percent's got to go somewhere because they got kids. Oh, yeah. We're only going to have one car.

MR. CAFARELLI: Thirty seconds.

MR. NEGRYCZ: Give me a break. I see three. I drive around this town every day. So, where are we going to put the cars? What are we going to do with the kids? And who's going to pay for the schools? The developers say we're only going to get 15 kids. You know what, tell them to put their money up. It costs us 25 grand a year for a kid, 25 grand for every kid over the 12 you promised me. They're not going to do it.

MR. CAFARELLI: Times up.

MR. NEGRYCZ: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Nagrycz.

Are there other members of the public who wish to comment?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Last call, anyone else?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: If not, is there a motion to close the public comment portion?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Motion to close public comment.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Is there a second, please?

MR. THURSTON: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: All in favor?

(Whereupon, all Board Members respond in the affirmative.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Anybody opposed?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay, great.

Why don't we continue, at this point, with closing remarks from the interested parties.

Mr. Weiner?

While you're standing up, I just want to make a comment. The Board ‑‑ one of the last few people who spoke, Michele commented suggesting that maybe we should make a statement that we covered this point. We've been doing this a long time. There is a lot of material that addresses many of the points in different ways on these topics. So I encourage people who have, take a look at some of that information.

Thank you.

MR. WEINER: It's not often that I get a chance to do this twice, so in consideration of all of us, I'm not going to go over anything I went over before. And I'm going to try to stick to a couple of main points that I think are of importance. I'm struck by the fact that how civic minded the public is about this. I do a lot of work often representing objectors and more times than not, people are there complaining because it's going to having an impact on their house or it's going to affect them personally. Even in the hospital, the Valley Hospital matter that you had, a lot of the people were there because they were going to be impacted themselves because they lived in the area.

Almost all the comments here are very general. People have a great sense of the community here, and their comments come from a place other than the not‑in‑my‑back‑yard kind of a thing. It comes from a place of they love the community, they feel comfortable here, and they are terrified that something's going to come in that's going to destroy that and materially affect how they feel about the town they live in. And I think the Board's probably sensitive to that, and I know that you've heard a lot about it. But I bring it up only to remind everyone here that this isn't so much about numbers in one sense. It's about what are we doing here and why are we doing it.

How do we get to where we are and what number are we going to pick? And I think that a lot of our concern from Citizens For a Better Ridgewood is the somewhat arbitrary way that we're dealing with an Amendment. One of the people mentioned, you know, as the developers come in they ask for more and then we cut them back and everybody feels good, even though they knew that was going to happen, they really wanted that number. But really, it's not about the developers being bad guys. I agree with Blais. Residential property's not a bad thing. It shouldn't be. We don't think it's a bad thing. The question here is: How are we going to get to the number that we need to get to and why and what are we basing it on? And some of the questions I asked Blais at the last meeting, it became clear to me that certain lower numbers were discarded for reasons that I found to be questionable. And I'm not really criticizing Blais. He only worked with what he had. Nobody came in here from this side (indicating), the people that filed these applications and said to you, "Look, I need to have a building that's this size to make it economically viable". So you don't have that information. So, we're picking a number 35. Well, we know Blais feels that that works. I don't really know if it works and to what extent.

And frankly, the real question here, it seems to me, is what's the difference between 35 and perhaps 24, that seems to be a common number that's been brought up. What's the difference to the town on the positive side? And what's the difference on the negative side? Because that's kind of what you've been ‑‑ people are asking you to take a look at. They don't want the ‑‑ the people that have spoken tonight and a number of them, obviously, out in the public there. A lot of people feel 35 is too high.

Well, certainly we know with the traffic situation in Ridgewood, every extra unit is a problem, at least certainly now. Maybe not 20 years down the road, they fix the traffic problems or 10 years or whatever it is. But right now we know that that creates negative problems. So every extra unit, every extra people, every extra car creates a traffic problem, creates a parking problem; that's definite. We know that more units is worse for parking. We also know that more units has some impact on the schools. Now, I'm not going to back over that. We can all sit and argue about it. I understand here in one your schools, you have to bus kids to another district. There's problem there. So every extra kid is another problem for the school. We know those are negatives. It's up to you to weigh that, and you have, I think, a sense of what that is.

But what are the positives of the extra units? How much better is 35 than 24? We think multifamily housing's a good thing for Ridgewood. We really do. I mean that may not be everybody's view out here, and I certainly respect the public who don't want any multi‑family housing. But I think that the Board and the record has made a case that there are positives of having some multi‑family, but how much? Well, why is 24 rejected? Let's take a look at what Blais said. There were two reasons. Well, basically there's two reasons. And this is what he relied on because he said he didn't have anything else. Well, one reason was that in 2009, there was a move to change the Brogan site to multi‑family housing, I guess 25 a unit (sic) and the ‑‑ and the owner objected it. Well, okay, 2009, right after the market crashed, I don't know why the owner rejected. Maybe he wanted 75 an acre. But the fact that an owner says, I don't want 25, that's not a basis to determine that there's not a market out there and that people won't build that. I think if anybody here reads the newspapers, HoHoKus they're building, you know, you can read it yourself. Many places in New Jersey are building far less density where developers are coming into town centers and are asking and are happy to build much less than 35. So that was one number one. The other one was it was ‑‑ Blais cited, we have an R‑7 zone and it's 22 an acre. Nobody's built there.

But the lot ‑‑ the basic lot that he's talking about is the tennis club with the office building in front by the railroad tracks near the underpass, out somewhere from the town center. Well, we took the West Bergen Health Center out because it wasn't likely to be developed for townhouses, yet we're going to use this which is also an existing successful commercial site, and use that as the benchmark for determining that no housing is built there? We don't even know here whether or not 12 a unit (sic) would have generated some housing if you had removed the requirement of commercial on the first floor as it exists now.

So what I'm suggesting and what we feel is that there really ‑‑ the Board has to look at what's in the record to determine ‑‑ to support 35 a unit (sic) ‑‑ I mean 35 an acre. I'm sorry. I don't know what that is. I don't ‑‑ you know, Blais had mentioned last time that density has to be economically feasible, but you don't have any facts to support 35 or 24 or one more than the other. I mean Blais did his best to try to take a guess that 35 would work, and that probably will. But we don't know that a lower number wouldn't work that would have less impact. And that's the problem.

You have to take ‑‑ okay, there's a proposal for 35. There are some positives. Many of them are positives of multi‑family housing in general, not necessarily positives of 35 versus 24, for example. We don't know what that is. And you have to weigh that against the negatives. So one of the comments earlier tonight made a lot of sense. You weren't presented with, okay, let's take a proposal for 24. Here's how it would look. Here's what the positives are of that, and here's what the negatives are. Even the economic impact on the downtown, did anybody hear one figure about how much that is? Are we talking about it's going to double the business in the downtown, or is it going to be so minimal that you won't even notice it? And for the Board to sit here and say, well, this is going to going help business in downtown without any facts to support that, I think is not an appropriate way for a board to make a determination. You're supposed to base it on the record. And I know everybody here probably has a sense of what they feel comfortable with, and that's okay. We're all human beings. We've spent a year‑and‑a‑half going through this. But, that's not the basis for a board decision. The board decision is, okay, 35 is good, here's why, it's going to create these positive things. Not some vague idea that it may make business better, because it may not. Who knows? Maybe it will be di minimus. Maybe all the people go to New York and are going to shop there and don't want to go out. I don't know. But that's the kind of information that should have been here. And if you had information, say, okay, let's say if you did 24, it's going to create X percent of economic impact positively for the town, and 35 is going to have a different number. Then you could evaluate. Well, it's maybe two percent for 24. And it's going to be 40 percent for 35. You could say, okay, that's a big number. That's a big important thing. I can ‑‑ I can get my arms around that and that maybe does offset some of the bad traffic and the schools and the parking and all the other issues.

But I firmly believe, one of two things. Well, at least this thing: That 35 is unsupported in this record because the developers failed to provide you with any specific economic data as to what will work.

So with that in mind, the fact that you really don't have the kind of information to balance one against the other or balance the good and the bad of 24 units versus the good and the bad of 30 units or the good and bad of 35 units, that you have an option to ‑‑ to look at. And the option is to go with a lower, more conservative number for a couple of reasons. Number one, 24 units is basically what you have now and you know it works. There will be more traffic. There will be more parking. And there will be more impact on the schools, but at least it's consistent with what's here and what the public is asking you to do. It's consistent with that. Secondly, if that doesn't work, after you eliminate the first floor commercial and you put the regulations in place, I know the Board's only making a recommendation, but in the Master Plan Amendment it's not making an ordinance decision. But if you put that in place and it's two years, three years, nobody's building anything, you can always come back and say, you know, we tried it at 24. It didn't work. We really want the multi‑family housing. Let's bump it up a few units and see if that encourages somebody. On the other hand, maybe you don't get it built and then you have the best of both worlds. You get the kind of housing you want, you get it at a number the public's comfortable with, and it has less impact on everything else than the higher number would be.

To me, that's conservative smart thinking. If you go with 35 and you build 35 and it turns out that it's not good, you're done. You already blew it. So why blow it? Why take the chance? Why take the risk on a sketchy record as to which one will work, which one's economically feasible.

One other point I want to raise and it really hasn't been talked about, and it's just an option for whatever number you pick, one of the things that's important here is parking. We argue that even at these lower numbers, we don't think all of these ‑‑ all of these spots can meet the RSIS. And there are other conditions that Blais has put in here. I strongly recommend that the Board look at some of these and look at them as conditions so that if somebody doesn't want to do it, they've got to go for a conditional use variance. Parking, for example, the RSIS, it's a di minimus waiver. I'm sure you've had those. You know what the standard is. Conditional use variance is much tougher. And if you think that parking, for whatever size you have, is something that could be a problem, you might want to make this a conditional use and put a ‑‑ list a number of conditions that if they don't meet them, they've got to go to the Zoning Board and prove a fairly substantial variance, that will protect whatever size you put in here, to ensure that it's not going to be one these ‑‑ and I know it's this Board, but sometimes, you know, you have a new project and, well, the traffic guy comes in says, well, it'll be okay. It'll be okay. We've all been through those shopping centers were it was going to be okay and you can't get a parking space. And they're parked all over because the engineers told you something which really didn't pan out. So that's just a separate ‑‑ separate item you might want to consider for whatever you do.

In closing, I'd say what I said to you last time, you kind of have the public's love for this town in your hands. And I know you ‑‑ and it's not to suggest that you don't have an equally strong feeling about Ridgewood. But here, you've heard from a lot of the public. You know there's strong feelings out there for a certain size. You can ‑‑ you can do what you need to do to move forward, get multi‑family housing as a permitted use here, put it at a reasonable number, double what it is now, and see if it works. And if it works, great. And if it doesn't, you can easily come back later and modify that. The Council could do that without having to go through a long Master Plan process.

I personally think that 24 has a reason because it's consistent with what you have now. And it's not a big risk for you. And I suggest that in this case, with as much as public feeling, civic public feeling, from as many people as you've heard from all the time, that you don't take a risk with the town that they love. Do something sensible. Move forward. Allow people to build something a little different than what's built before, but at the same time, protect the town against a risky decision based upon a marginal record with not the kind of information you need, to pick an arbitrary number of 35 because it works, because somebody will build it.

I thank for you for your time.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTAIN: Thank you, Mr. Weiner.

Mr. Bruinooge?

MR. BRUINOOGE: Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the Board, my client and I thank you for your patience, for your listening over these two to almost three years. As we said, we had an opportunity a few months ago, we believe the record is accurate, thorough, and complete, particularly as it relates to the B‑3‑R zone. I've provided you with a rather extension writing that cites to the transcripts, cites to the proofs, and provides you with all the necessary reasons to vote affirmatively with the Amendment. And I believe inherent in that is the ability to vote and appropriate reasons to vote for the amended amendment. I would suggest to you ‑‑ and I don't normally quote Franklin Roosevelt, but listening to all the fear that has been gendered up tonight, you have nothing to fear, but fear itself. Don't buy into the fear argument. You've worked long. You've worked hard. You're careful. You're concerned. You're citizens who understand and appreciate the seriousness of the policy decision you have to make.

My client and I thank you, and we hope that you'll vote appropriately.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Bruinooge.

Mr. Wells, will you be speaking independently or for both?

MR. WELLS: I will not. I'll speak for both clients at the same time. And I will also be fairly brief, but not as brief, and probably not as eloquent as Mr. Bruinooge.

It was back in February that I closed the first time, and I reviewed for the Board, I think a dozen questions that had been raised and tried to explain how they've all been answered, and they have been answered. And I would say we're where we were then, but improved because of your input and because of Mr. Bruinooge's amendment that wasn't necessarily exactly what the developers thought was the best approach, but it works. But in hearing the testimony and the concerns this evening and the last few meetings, I just to make a couple comments, two legal and then just a kind of closing comment. The first legal comment is: Members of the public, some of whom have been here for a lot of the hearings, some who were not can be excused for getting facts wrong, but counsel shouldn't be. And you were here for the same hearings and heard the same facts. And I think it's important that you understand ‑‑ and I agree completely with Ira's suggestion that you can't just pull numbers from the air. And it needs to be on the record. Well, the number that's from the air is 24. It's just pick a number. There's nothing, nothing in the record that supports that number and if somebody felt that was the right number, they certainly could have presented evidence or testimony to that regard. In terms of numbers, the density of 40 units per acre was extensively testified to by developers and planners as to the right number. And the record is rife, literally rife, with the testimony supporting that number, being sensible and workable. And also, the number, and this is the part that Mr. Weiner wants to forget, that works economically. And the people who want to do this explained to you straight up and straightforwardly that they are profit‑making institutions in order to provide the quality and all of the aspects that they think need to be in the units and that they think you believe and want in your community, that that's basically the number that works. And you can disagree with them if you want to; Mr. Weiner does. But they're the people who do it. And they're the ones who explain to you that that's, you know, what it takes to accomplish that, and those kinds of things.

So that that's the testimony, if you want, the support for that particular number. Mr. Brancheau, independently, and I thought very thoroughly, and I would argue very independently, he doesn't work for us. He works for you. And he works for the Village and has for many, many years, explained and testified extensively as to why he didn't agree with us. He thought the number should be somewhat lower, but it's in the same range, 35 units per acre, although the original amendment went up as high as 50 units per acre, that was considered, although not advocated by the two clients I represent.

So I would tell that you that there is a strong record, again, you could disagree with it or not, for the 35 units per acre. You don't really actually have the ability to just pick a number. You have to have a record in support of the number. And you really only have a couple numbers that are supported. And you don't have the ability to just pick any number you want because opposing counsel likes the number or thinks it's a compromise or a more conservative approach, first legal point. Second legal point, I won't spend a lot of time on it because I told you in the very beginning, and I truly believed it, and I still believe it, that these applications, this use for the Village, is good for the Village on its merits, because this housing will be valuable for the Village for its market units as well. But it has a very definite Mount Laurel component as well. I never felt that that drove the application. I felt that that was a good side benefit for the Village of Ridgewood; that's what I told you four years ago when I first came here. That has changed a little bit. During the time since then, the State administration didn't do very much with affordable housing, and we kept coming back and telling you it was confused. Well, the Supreme Court came down this year and said it's not confused anymore. The New Jersey Constitution is very clear. Communities, municipalities, must provide diverse housing within their borders and some of that housing must be such that it will be affordable for everyone.

They're aiming right at Ridgewood and communities like us, like this community, and that's because they're basically saying that some of the views that were expressed very strongly by some of the residents are wrong. They're unconstitutional. The people who say, I moved here because I like it just the way it is. I like single‑family homes. I don't want that here. I choose this. Our courts have said, uh‑Uh. It doesn't work that way. Everybody gets the right to housing. And we're going to make municipalities do it. So, in essence, if they looked at a process like we've been going through in Ridgewood for the last three or four years, and they say, okay, you've had a group of developers that have identified properties and they've asked to build multi‑family housing with an affordable component, and at the end of that process you say no, you can seek your own counsel on this. But I can tell you because I do this for a living, I guarantee you, I absolutely guarantee you ‑‑ I'm not speaking for my clients ‑‑ that there will be builder remedy lawsuits against the Village of Ridgewood that will ask for and get density far exceeding ‑‑

(Audience Outburst.)

MR. WELLS: ‑‑ far exceeding what has been discussed before this Board. That's the reality.

And if you don't understand that, you need to read the newspapers, you need to seek the advice of your own counsel. We've been in a very reasonable process. My clients do not want to get into any other process, but that's a legal point that you need to understand. The rule has changed somewhat since we began this.

My final comment, It's just that while this one's been tedious, it's been a pleasure. I lived in Ridgewood for many years as some of you know. I feel very strongly about the community. I'm really proud of these projects. I'm really ‑‑ I have an abiding feeling that these ultimately will be built and I'm looking forward to that day.

I think there are so many citizens, I've had many, many people come to me. We didn't, you know, work the crowd or didn't go out and ask a lot of people to come tonight because we think the process needs to come to an end. But a lot of people want to live in these communities. And I'm excited about it. I'm excited about what we've accomplished together. I do want it to come to an end so that we can do the zoning and go on and keep moving on these projects.

But since I had the first word and now I'm having the last word, so I'll thank you for your service and humbly and respectfully ask you to approve this Master Plan Amendment so that we can move forward.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Wells.

That concludes closing comments of counsel.

Before Gail begins, it's 9:25. Why don't we take roughly a ten minute bio break and begin about 9:40, 9:35‑9:40. So please be back in your seats then.

(Whereupon, a brief recess is taken.)    

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats.Thank you very much.

Before we begin, Michael, please call the roll.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Bigos?

MR. BIGOS: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Councilwoman Knudsen?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Present.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Aronsohn?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Nalbantian?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Reilly?

MR. REILLY: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Dockray?

MS. DOCKRAY: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: And Ms. Peters?

MS. PETERS: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Altano?

MS. ALTANO: Here.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Abdalla?

MR. ABDALLA: Here.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Michael.

Before I turn the microphone to Gail, I'm going to ask that each of the members of the Counsel who spoke, if they are still here, if they could just stand up and just identify again the interested parties that you're representing because there were a member of the public who didn't know, who may not have been here in the past. Ira, I think you did identify yourself as ‑‑

MR. WEINER: Yes, Ira Weiner for Citizens for a Better Ridgewood.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Tomas H. Bruinooge. I represent 237 Ridgewood Avenue, LLC.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

MR. WELLS: Thomas Wells, I represent 240 Associates with respect to the property, the former inspection station property. And Garden Homes, It's actually K&K Developers with respect to the Broad Street property.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you all.

Gail?

MS. PRICE: Okay. I want to take care of a couple of housekeeping items before we go into instructions. Michael, I know you and I have spoken but for the purposes of the record, I want to confirm that all Board Members who have been absent have listened to or read the transcripts for the meetings that they have missed and provided you with the required certifications that are necessary for the Municipal Land Use Law for eligibility purposes?

MR. CAFARELLI: Yes, they have.

MS. PRICE: So what that means is that we have a full and eligible Board with nine regular members who will be eligible to vote when a vote is taken, and the two alternates in the event of a regular member is not eligible for any reason. I want to note for the record that we have a series of exhibits that have been received and entered. They include Exhibits B‑1 through B‑18 and those are all board exhibits CBR‑1 and CBR‑2, Chestnut Village Exhibits 1 through 7; Dayton Exhibits 1 through 13; Enclave Exhibits 1 through 5D as in David; and then we have three exhibits identified with the letters R, as in Robert, A as in Apple, 1, 2 and 2A. And those with the Water Company findings; and the Open Space Committee's two documents.

The last Board document which is B‑18 is the most relevant document for tonight's purpose, which is the Amended Amendment dated April 21st, 2015. And that was introduced into the record on May 5th of 2015. I have provided the Board with an initial set of instructions back in March and a supplemental set of instructions. And I'm not going to belabor a lot of the issues, but I want to touch on a few things tonight for the benefit of the public as well as the Board Members and the record, itself. First of all, I want to emphasize that this is a policy decision. The Board is well aware of that. But this is not an ordinance. This is not a site plan decision. This is not anything that has to do with the development regulation that gives rights for a party to come in. Should it be approved, it is only a determination pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law as to what may be deemed appropriate from a policy perspective by the Planning Board. The Planning Board is the only board that the legislature has deemed fit to make such policy determinations in the State of New Jersey. The Governing Body and the Village would be the authority vested with adopting any implemented ordinances in the event a Master Plan Amendment is adopted. Those ordinances would be referred back here for review and recommendation as to consistency with the Master Plan, but that would be this Board's only involvement at that point in time. And if ordinances were adopted and an application for the development were then to be filed, then the application comported with the new ordinance, this Board would then get that application. So there are many steps in this process. We talked about that at the outset of this matter. But to wrap things back up and bring it full circle, I just wanted to make sure we are clear that this is just a policy review. The standard which the Board needs to file is found in Section 28 of the Municipal Land Use Law which authorizes the Board to adopt a Master Plan to guide the use of lands within the town in a manner which protects public health and safety and promotes the general welfare. That's the general language. And the Board has been apprised of that both with regard to this matter and with regard to the Valley Hospital matter. The record, in this matter, constitutes the exhibits that I just referenced, the testimony of all the witnesses that we've heard from, the testimony of the public comment that we heard both initially and again tonight, and the testimony from the Board's experts.

It does not officially include any of the work sessions, because the public hearings started with B‑1, which was the proposed Master Plan Amendment, which was ‑‑ I have being entered on February 4th, 2014.

As the Chairman noted earlier tonight, the case law is very clear in New Jersey that decisions such as this, and any other decision for that matter made by this Board, is not a matter to be made based upon the number of people who come out either in support of a matter or against a matter. It's not to be construed as a matter of head counting, and rather, the Board is supposed to utilize its knowledge, the case law provisions of the Municipal Land Use Law, and the record that has been established in making a determination as to whether something is appropriate for action.

The issue as to whether a developer has a right to make this request versus the request coming from ‑‑ with someone within the municipality is also not an issue that's before this Board in connection with action on this matter. The ability to request a Master Plan Amendment is inherent and provided for in the Municipal Land Use Law. So anyone can ask for a Master Plan Amendment.

So that issue should not, in any way, guide or become part of the decision by any Board Member in connection with this matter. The issue of spot zoning, we've talked about this at length throughout the proceeding, that ‑‑ and whether action on this Amendment would, in any way, somehow constitute legal precedent that others could then rely upon to someone's detriment. Someone, i.e., the public's detriment or another property owner's detriment.

Once the Board adopts a Master Plan, and I'm not talking about this Master Plan, any Master Plan or any Master Plan Amendment, that speaks volumes of the policy that's determined to be appropriate by the Board. So, when someone would come in with a variance application and go to the Zoning Board to seek approval for a use that is not permitted, they would have an uphill battle to demonstrate why they should be entitled to that use when the Master Plan Amendment specifically was just adopted limiting or addressing how it should be handled. So precedential value is not an issue that should be of concern. That's also the subject matter that's handled by case law and an applicant would need to satisfy both the positive and negative criteria of an application before the Zoning Board so it's not a given. You don't just walk in and get your approval because this Board has adopted a Master Plan Amendment. So not to say that, you know, it's not an issue to be raised, but it's not one that ‑‑ just like zoning by variance is something that should not be considered and that Blais spoke about, you know that you're not supposed to send an applicant to the Zoning Board for large applications; that's contraindicated by zoning in New Jersey. Boards are expected to think forward and anticipate what's appropriate for growth and development in their individual municipalities and limit applications before their zoning boards. You're not supposed to send applicants to zoning boards and say, "Go get a variance for that," because if a variance is too large, too big, the courts are going to reverse that as inappropriate, as an inappropriate grant for application by a variance. Spot zoning is defined as rezoning of property to benefit an owner for a use that is incompatible with surrounding uses and that is not for the purpose of furthering a comprehensive plan.

Blais has testified and you've heard testimony, I believe on the record, and that's for your determination to make, but from a legal analysis, pure legal analysis, the record has testimony from multiple planners that demonstrates the relationship between the Amendment and a comprehensive plan, the interrelationship between these new zones and the CBD.

And I'll get to it, but the relationship with affordable housing.

So, it's easy to throw out the term spot zoning. It's much more ‑‑ it's much more important to zero in and really focus on does it really ‑‑ is that what really constitutes ‑‑ and the analysis is much broader than you need to do and we need to make that analysis with regard to the bigger picture. And the courts have held that just because greater densities have been awarded in connection with applications, that that alone does not constitute spot zoning. I've given you that in the memo and instructions.

I want to talk for a minute on the issues that we've heard about with regard to bedrooms and schools and fiscal impact and children and the CBD. And I'm speaking as your counsel, but I also have lived here since 1983. So I've seen a lot of change. And I've had my kids, I think I've noted this for the record, my kids have gone through the school district, too. Everybody has concerns about the school districts and bedrooms and growth in numbers. I just need the Board to be careful not to be discriminate. Whatever your decision is, whatever your numbers are, whether you approve it or disapprove it, the case law is very clear that you cannot attempt to restrict the number of children in a development based upon bedroom count. And you cannot attempt to restrict the number of children based upon schools based upon ‑‑ in connection with this type of an application because they will be tantamount to an equal protection claim and a constitutional challenge.

That's not to say that you can't consider school impact at all, because school impact is about consideration, a picture of things. Fiscal impact isn't a consideration. But you can't outright deny the matter such as a Master Plan Amendment solely based upon school impact or solely based upon fiscal impact; that would be inappropriate pursuant to the law.

So the case law has said, actually, that ‑‑ I'm going to read this quote:

"The attempt to equate the cost of education to the number of children allowed in a project or a community has no relationship to zoning. The governmental cost must be an official concern, but not to the extent that it determines who shall live in the     municipality." And that was Chancery Division Decision in Molino vs. Mayor and Council of the Borough of Glassboro, and that's been carried forward in other cases. So, there needs to be a careful balance when you exercise your discretion in this matter and you're looking at issues such as bedrooms and size of units and the school children and occupancy, and fiscal impact.

With regard to the issue that I heard this evening of economic viability, we were very careful during the proceeding, I thought, to steer clear of economics because the Board knows from your traditional site plan applications that economics is not an area the Board is supposed to be concerned about. You're not supposed to think about economics, you know, the economics of whether a developer makes money or losses money is not supposed to be your concern as a Planning Board member.

That said, the viability and feasibility of a project has to be a consideration. And to that end, you need to look at the record. And you need to carefully just totally look at the record, make your own independent findings, and see what you remember, what you can find in the record, what is substantiated in the record, and what is not speculative. What do the experts demonstrate was feasible, what's available. And I'm going to tie that in with the affordable housing issue as well.

To that end, what was the public comment testimony, did you hear public comment testimony that demonstrated feasibility and viability because you can weigh factual testimony with expert testimony. And you know it's up to you to decide who you believe, who you find ‑‑ not necessarily who you believe, but who you're going to assign credibility to at the end of the day. Who are you going to assign more weight of the evidence to, weight of the evidence to.

RSIS, this has been a topic throughout the proceedings and parking. I want to stress to the Board, but more so to some of the members of the public who spoke about this tonight, that the State law on RSIS preempts what this Board can do with regard to parking on residential projects to a great extent.

And when the State decided to implement the RSIS standards, it wasn't with regard to just Ridgewood. It was with regard to all municipalities in the State of New Jersey. They said this is the amount of parking that's going to be required for residential development, and it's going to be based upon the bedroom size, and bedrooms in units, and this is what controls. So if Ridgewood says RSIS is required, then it has to be compliant with state law. The state law really is preemptive in that manner. And while there may be an ability on a conditional use variance on a non‑residential development, I'm not so sure that legally on a residential development there's an ability to create a conditional use ordinance that provides this Board with the ability, on a Master Plan review, recommendation on an ordinance, to send an otherwise compliant applicant to the Zoning Board based upon parking because if it's RSIS compliant, I think the RSIS regs trump everything. And right now, the initial Amendment provided that RSIS needed to be complied with, and this current Amendment requires that.

So I'm not sure that there's anything more that this Board can do in terms of the Master Plan Amendment, other than that, because that's the maximum right now that the State allows. You're saying any residential developer that you might approve has to comply with the state law. So that's what this document says. So, I think parking is addressed as it is, as it's written.

MS. DOCKRAY: Gail, can I just ask a question ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ on that because I remember we had a number of discussions over the past few years that even if we included the RSIS requirement, that when a developer came to the Board and said, "I want to provide only X, Y, Z, and here's my traffic study or whatever" that we can grant and say, "That's fine" because you're a transit oriented development or whatever the reason is. And so my question here is: Am I correct on that first?

MS. PRICE: Yes. But let me back ‑‑ that would be at the time of site plan approval.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes, right.

MS. PRICE: But the basis would be the first step of demonstrating the seriousness of RSIS compliance with the inclusion in the Master Plan which is where it is now ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Right.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ because then it would be in ‑‑ the next step would be inclusion in the ordinance. 

MS. DOCKRAY: Correct.

MS. PRICE: And then if and when there was a site plan application, let's say that developer came in and said, "Oh, but I'm only 500 feet from, you know, the train station and I should be able to make a waiver request to go from 2.0 to 1.5." Grant us a di minimus waiver. Then that's the situation that you're talking about.

MS. DOCKRAY: Right.

Now, my question is that Mr. Weiner said that we could strengthen the RSIS requirement and you're saying no. Are you certain about that?

MS. PRICE: I'm saying that I doubt ‑‑ I would like to look at that issue.

MS. DOCKRAY: Would you look at that?

MS. PRICE: But I doubt, Wendy, I would almost bet everything on this that that could be done on a conditional use basis.

You can strengthen the parking requirements on a conditional use basis for nonresidential ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Uh‑huh.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ and set ‑‑ make a conditional use requirement for nonresidential. But, you can't alter something that's preempted by the State. So if the State says, "This is the requirements, and you, Planning Board, are the body that hears the di minimus waiver," you have to at least afford the opportunity to hear that di minimus waiver. You can't say, "We're not hearing it and, in fact, we're going to send it to a different board." Then you're going to be running afoul of the entire intention of the regulation to begin with because the Planning Board would be ignoring the law, because the law is that it would be here ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Right.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ for the site now.

If the site plan wasn't coming here, it might be with the Zoning Board, you know, in any event.

MS. DOCKRAY: Right, right. Okay. Right. I just, I think that ‑‑

MS. PRICE: I don't think for the Master Plan you could do anything more than that.

MS. DOCKRAY: Right. I'm just trying to see if there's any ‑‑ you know, if we now have RSIS requirements, I think those requirements are very, very important. And, you know, as we proceed in it, if there's a way to strengthening them, great. If there's not, then we'll just ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Yes, well, I certainly look at that for an ordinance issue ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ but for the Master Plan, I don't think that there's any way ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ that we can make it stronger than what it is now because right now it's says ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay. I get you.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ you shall comply with the law.

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay. Thank you. Sorry.

MS. PRICE: No, that's okay.

MS. DOCKRAY: I was trying to go back and forth trying to figure out ‑‑

MS. PRICE: That's a good question.

And, similarly, the aesthetics I think we spent time on and that's an issue also that I think, Wendy, you also addressed actually. And that should be also totally open to further definition, with criteria and any ordinance that the policy document, in fact, address.

So now we get to the gorilla in the room, which is affordable housing. As Mr. Wells said on March 10th of this year, things changed in the State of New Jersey and what may not have been as significant an issue became a major issue that is relevant in every community in the State. And it may seem like it's not that big of an issue because I saw some heads shaking in the audience, but it really is a very big issue. And what the State Supreme Court said was that every town has a 30 day window between June 8th and July 9th to file what is known as a declaratory judgment action during which you had an opportunity to seek immunity from the Court from builder's remedy lawsuits which would be litigation during which developer's would seek high density housing from the Village, and also seek approval of a housing plan and of the 507 ‑‑ how many towns were there 500 ‑‑

MR. BRANCHEAU: Sixty‑five.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ 565 towns. About 60 towns actually received second round certification from the State which protected everyone through 1999.

From 1999 through the year 2025, the courts are now going to be looking at and saying, "What are you going to do to satisfy your affordable housing obligations for that period of time? And by the way, we're also going to look and see, have you met your present need of affordable housing? And did you meet your prior round obligation." So the $64 million question is: What is Ridgewood's obligation? We don't know what the perspective third round number is. We do know that the only set of numbers out for all of the towns in New Jersey are the set of numbers that have been issued by an organization out of South Jersey called Fair Share Housing Center which was the successful litigant in the Supreme Court litigation. They estimate, when you add those three numbers I just referenced, that our obligation in Ridgewood, which everybody recognizes, is unrealistic, but they estimate that our obligation ‑‑ I just want to get the number, somewhere it's included ‑‑ is 1136 affordable housing units. (Laughter.)

MS. PRICE: So that is comprised, however, of present need of 11 units, a prior round obligation of 229 units which the Village was responsible to have built prior to 1999, and a prospective obligation of 896. So, somewhere in between 229 and 1136 is the Village's obligation.

The thing that changed with the decision in March is that towns were not going to be able to close their eyes anymore and avoid building for housing because the Courts are going to open the floodgates and allow builder's remedy litigation to towns that do not file this declaratory judgment action and do not file a compliance plan. So the relevancy of all of this, this issue, is prior to March 10th, the numbers, the density being considered on the application by the Board, had some relationship to affordable housing. Post March 10th, they have a much, much, much higher relationship to affordable housing because in addition to furthering the goal of affordable housing, which is one of the purposes of zoning which is one of the things that this Board is supposed to be doing under the Municipal Land Use Law. Now, it's a mandate from the Supreme Court. So in order to come up with a housing plan that's going to need to be approved in the next five months, the Village is going to have to determine where and how the affordable units will be located. In the second round, there were not an abundance of sites available for development. This Board is now provided with ready, willing, and able developers/purchasers/owners pursuant to law who are saying that they are prepared to add their property to the affordable housing compliance plan. You need to take that component and weigh that in your determination. And as legal counsel, it would be extremely remiss of me if I didn't tell you that it would be arbitrary and capricious not to weigh that significantly in your determination. And when you make that determination, you need to look in the record and see what the appropriate number is if you're going to approve a policy document that allows the use to begin with in the CBD, but you need to take into consideration that affordable housing component because, as Mr. Wells also said, whether it's Mr. Wells' client or another client or another developer, the density issue will be a very real issue at some point in the near future in a different forum but that will involve this Board. And this Board is basically in the driver's seat right now in shaping the policy document for the Village on multiple levels. So, it's not just the issue that we started out with in 2010 or '11, whenever we started this. Now, it's just taking on a different light.

And there are different components of that affordable housing in ‑‑ I'll answer any questions that you have, I think that's probably enough on the affordable housing. But suffice to say that this is timely, vis‑à‑vis what the Village attorney will need to do in court in light of the Supreme Court's decision. We've addressed the certification. The other thing I wanted to just touch on was Blais was asked ‑‑ and I didn't really weigh in on it. I weighed in on the supplemental memo on the issue of can you take the Amendment document which was provided for the different zone districts, the AH‑2, B‑3‑R the C‑R, and the C zone districts and take each one and make your own findings on each of them, rather than vote up or down on the entire document. And then Blais had given you his opinion that you could do that and I concur with that. It's similar to how we act on a site plan or if, by example, if we had a subdivision application with the site plan and the Board makes findings relative to both. We can separate out and to make findings. And in fact it's wholly consistent with what would happen next stage because if the Board were to make a determination that one or more of these zone districts was, in fact, appropriate for modification and inclusion in the Master Plan for multi‑family housing, then that would then be something to be reviewed by the governing body by way of ordinance. So, it would be easier if they were separate because then the governing body would review them separately. There might be one. There might be four. There might be two, but ordinances would be done independently, in any event, for each of the zones. So taking them and making findings on each of them would be the appropriate way to address the situation that we have before us.

MS. DOCKRAY: Gail, can I ask you a question on that ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ because I was thinking about this yesterday and whatever. We're looking at ‑‑ you know, we have the four different zones, okay, and so we're looking at each one of those zones and we can look as them individually. For me, it's not only the decision of not only which locations or which zones, but the grand total. So that, in my mind, you know there's a benefit or a limitation or whatever, concerning the number of units, totally. Okay. And how I decide on which particular zone or location may depend on where we are in full. So that some sites I may feel better than others, but I don't think we should go full. Do you see what I'm getting at? So that let's say I might think a comment, it should add to no more than ‑‑ I'm just speaking hypothetically here. It's not justified beyond a 100 units, let's say, okay. And in some instances we can get that ‑‑ we can get that all different ways okay, you know, by combining, you know, this site and that site and whatever. I'm just saying in terms of voting and when we get down to that, that ‑‑ that how these things are combined as well, may be a decision variable, it's something to think about.

MS. PRICE: Well, again, I would counsel you that you need to look in terms of what's in the record, Wendy ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Right.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ to justify or not justify the zone because I'm not ‑‑ or the bulk requirements in a zone.

MS. DOCKRAY: Right.

MS. PRICE: I'm not sure that ‑‑ I'm not sure coming up with a maximum number is what's before us unless you back it in by a determination on the appropriateness of your zones.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes, and I understand that, right. But in terms of what you plan ‑‑

MS. PRICE: I know.

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ well, you know, currently it's like 830 ‑‑ what is it ‑‑ 5 multi‑family units in Ridgewood. Okay. And if all this were to be approved, what is it another ‑‑ I forget what Blais told us 250 something to ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Yes, 256.

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ 296, that's a big increase. That's a big increase. So, you know, based on what I have heard, I might, based on the record, may make a decision ‑‑ and there may be other Board Members as well who feel that adding that many units at this time and under these conditions may be excessive and that a smaller number under these conditions may even be preferable. And therefore, the order of the vote and how, you know, that some sites may be better than others.

And do you get ‑‑ do you all get what I'm saying?

MS. PETERS: Yes, it's interesting what she's putting forth.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well, what she's saying.

MS. DOCKRAY: That, you know, we'd all ‑‑ we all want to see ‑‑ at least I want to see some of affordable housing built here. That's important.

MS. PRICE: Well, I think the affordable housing is an absolute ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Right. Right. But what I'm saying ‑‑

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ component of every zone.

MS. DOCKRAY: Right, but I ‑‑ but I'm also saying I personally hope to be conservative here in terms of the number of units that we had at this time with these additions.

So, the order of things and how they come together, that can for me ‑‑ and I would think may be for other Board Members, is going to be important.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Would that not be addressed that if you agree or disagree with density ‑‑

MS. PETERS: Charles, I can't hear you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Would that not be address if you agree or disagree with density in each particular zone. So if you're voting on a different zone and the perception of the density in that zone is particularly sensitive to you, maybe you can deny that particular zone because the density is at a certain number of units, that's ‑‑ that's ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: I have to think a little bit, but you know, I thought about this. Let's say we go through and let's say, let's look at, I'll just say, Chestnut Village zone, okay. If we looked at that zone, the C‑R zone, okay. And where you ‑‑ and you said, Okay, that's going to have so many units at this density, it's appropriate, blah, blah, blah, okay. In my mind ‑‑ and this is ‑‑ I'm just throwing this out. It's hypothetically, this is not how I feel at this point, but I just wanted to give you an example. If I felt that that met the limit, but I felt that limit might be better served by another project, okay. But then when I got on ‑‑ ah, so I say no, I vote no, but then we get to the other project, everybody else votes. I don't get that project either, then I don't get any project.

MS. PETERS: I think what I'm hearing I think the problem about taking the projects that have been submitted as being definitive, instead of seeing that it is a proposal which they have brought up to the Planning Board for change.

I believe our job and what we are tasked with, is to see what is the appropriate use in each of these zones. And as Charles was saying, I think that that's hitting it at that point looking at the density and the use of each of the zones. We have proposals on changing a commercial zone to make is residential, et cetera. Within these uses, you can determine what you feel should be FAR, what should be the density, et cetera, within each of the zones. I feel it's divorced from the actual proposed application, which I said I had problems with from the beginning.

Am I not correct?

MS. PRICE: Yes. That is not an application in the zone, it's set up to be zone specific and the zones identify the uses and the bulk regulations because the zones go beyond the scope ‑‑ sometimes go beyond the scope of the Applicant's properties.

MS. PETERS: Oh, correct, what's been proposed.

MS. PRICE: Correct.

MS. PETERS: Yes.

MS. PRICE: And the Board doesn't know if the projects, you know, that they've heard necessarily are going to be the numbers that are going to be built because that densities could be less, the setbacks could be less, the height could be less. You know, your job is to look at the document that's pending ‑‑

MS. PETERS: Yes.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ and the outline of the zone and the parameters of the bulk regulations and vote on the document. You're not voting on a development proposal; that's the difference here.

MS. DOCKRAY: I understand that. As we go along, we'll see how it goes. But I know in my own mind, if we go, you know, zone by zone, that I might, by the time we get through, change my mind about what my vote was early on because I either don't feel we've created enough affordable housing or we, you know, created a problem with traffic that will be in a particular area. Do you see what I'm saying?

MS. PRICE: Okay. I do see what you're saying. I think that the way that it's set up, we would be looking at the AH‑2 zone and then the B‑3‑R zone. I think that a logical way to take it is just the way it's drafted because that's the order that it's drafted, and to take it out of context would probably be viewed illogical by a reviewing court.

MS. DOCKRAY: I'll go along, we'll have to just ‑‑

MS. PRICE: But I also just want to note again that there are certain areas for a Master Plan that should be deferred and that be careful not to go down to site plan issues.

MS. PETERS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

MS. PRICE: Be careful not to blend site plan issues with Master Plan issues. Since we're not at the site plan stage. We're only at the policy stage. We're not sitting up here with a set of plans looking at determinations of buildings and trip generations and levels of service and water lines, and all valid concerns, all valid issues, but we're not there. And we're not there legally. So we have to be very careful not to exceed the jurisdictional boundaries of where we are and we're only at a Master Plan stage.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Just to Wendy's point, is there a piece of this that becomes the more comprehensive overview and how this relates to one another? I don't know if that's what she's getting at to some degree, but when we're doing the Master Plan, there's a component of that, that's a comprehensive look at how everything relates to one other and how it fits into the big picture of a Central Business District. So I don't know if that's what you're getting at.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes, in my thinking what I'm trying to say ‑‑

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: It seems to me that you were making it ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Right. In my thinking of what I have heard, there is the overview component. There is the overview and the overall impact component. And by simply taking things in order, I don't know that we're going to get to it, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

MS. PRICE: Well, let me see, Susan, if I can answer your question because the overview is the determination of the appropriateness of the use in a CBD, which was the starting point for where we were a couple years ago. Is the addition of multi‑family housing in areas beyond those where it's already permitted or at a density higher than what's already permitted an appropriate use in a CBD, and does it further any of the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law. Is it appropriate density populations blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's a comprehensive glue. So the use is the glue and then the prongs are the districts. I don't how if that helps at all.

But the use is at the central, the multi‑family housing use is the policy question which is where we all ‑‑ that's where we started.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So, it's, again, the use and then the formula ‑‑ we have to determine the formula of those various districts and zones ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Right.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ and how they work together.

MS. PRICE: Is it appropriate in this particular zone that has been delineated.

I mean everybody just basically decided when we did this, it was appropriate, you know, to start this and have it drafted and then to move forward.

And then it was a work in progress with Blais, you know, helping the Board and going through the analysis of all the properties and suitability and the proximity to transit and all the different tests that were done. But now it's your job that you need to take everything that's been put in the record, non‑site plan oriented, and make a determination on policy for these particular zones.

And this Amendment is more specific than it needs to be. Because you could do a general Master Plan Amendment and say, multi‑family housing is appropriate in the CBD at a density of X‑Y‑Z, and a height of A‑B‑C and, you know, and rock and roll. I mean, we've spent a lot of time and a lot of nights getting very detailed, but you could have a very simple Master Plan Amendment and then left all the work to ordinances. This particular Master Plan Amendment has a lot of the details already in here because it outlines the issues.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's actually intended to give Council clear direction ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Correct.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ on what is the intention.

MS. PRICE: Right, right.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Does that help.

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, we'll see how it goes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MS. DOCKRAY: We'll see how it goes. It may go better than I thought.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Are you finished?

MS. PRICE: Yes, unless someone has another question. I just ‑‑ I really wanted to just emphasize the affordable housing.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think David can begin with our deliberations.

MR. THURSTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I really have one simple comment that's really to thank Blais for all his work up to this point with the original Amendment supported by the testimony. I think he crafted a meaningful compromise here al well which is supported by the testimony. So thank you, Blais.

MR. BRANCHEAU: You're welcome.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTAIN: Thank you, David.

Nancy?

MS. BIGOS: After having given careful consideration to all of the information, testimony, opinions and voices heard, what I am really looked for is a balance. A balance within our community that meets the needs or as closely meets the needs of all. I also have serious concerns about the affordable housing, the Supreme Court's decision to move forward, and the impact that these mandates are going to have on our Village and further development and dictates and mandates for us moving forward. I understand that the Master Plan is a policy document that guides the zoning considerations within our Village. And I support this Amendment to move forward of the Land Use Element of the Master Plan.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Nancy.

Susan?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Yes, I'm actually still concerned with some of the issues that I can't seem to reconcile whether or not we can achieve the affordable housing component and at simply lower density. We have multi‑family already in the Village of Ridgewood. And I'm concerned that some of the zones or all of the zones to make practical purposes seem indistinguishable from a density and floor area ratio and yet I see some that ‑‑ I guess to Wendy's point ‑‑ are more conducive to certain levels, while others are more or less ‑‑ some are conducive to higher levels and some to lower levels. And so I'm certainly concerned with certain aspects of this and feel strongly that we could achieve some of these goals at lower densities.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

Mayor?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thank you. First of all, I would thank everybody who's been involved in this long process from those that, you know, the property owners and their representatives, Board Members, experts, many experts that have come before this Board, and of course, the public, you know, we've heard you. We've listened to everybody. We had great opportunities to hear your questions, hear our own questions, get comments, make suggestions and it's been a very good thorough process. It's been a long process. This is something that no matter how long here ‑‑ I joined the Board three years ago and I was told that they've been looking at this issue for two years prior to that. But I do know that it has been a thorough process. We've been in actual hearing for a year‑and‑a‑half now. We've looked at this issue. I'm one of those people that, you know, started this process thinking, Yes, I like this idea of particularly some high‑end apartments in Ridgewood, something we don't have in the Village. And for me, the driving imperative was to find something for our empty nesters. And I know too many people who have moved out of town because they want to downsize because they want smaller taxes. They want to stay here, though. They've given a lot of this community, but there's nothing for them.

So that, for me, has been a driving imperative throughout this process. That's why I've asked ‑‑ you know, trying to find ways that we can sort of mold this and sort of incentivize, if not compel, the developers to build high‑end housing. We have low, moderate income housing. It's wonderful. We have it. We don't have this. And this is what I've been hoping for. But I started this process concerned with the Amendment we're looking at. As many of you know, throughout the process I kept saying, This is a work in progress. I kept seeking clarification. I wanted to make sure that we weren't sort or stuck with that original amendment. It was useful and it got the conversation going, but it's not necessarily where we wanted to end up.

And to his credit, our planner Blais Brancheau, listened. He listened to everything. He listened to the public commentary and the questions. And he listened to our thoughts and commentary. Our questions. And he came back to us with a revised amendment. And the revised amendment, it's seriously revised. And, you know, we shouldn't minimize what he has done with this in terms of it's told acreage we're looking at. I know there a lot of concern about this could be something that was spread throughout Ridgewood and we wouldn't be able to stop the development of multi‑family housing. We went from 10 acres down to about 7.5. We reduced it by about 25 percent total acreage we're looking at. Density was a big issue, a big issue in my mind. We've gone from 60 down to 35. To me, that's a substantial decrease. It's 30 percent. That's pretty significant. Height, that was a concern of some of us. We weren't sure if we wanted to increase the height. He came back to us with a revised amendment and kept the height at the current level.

And then there was this other issue that he had which I thought what very important, it was to mandate public space for each of these properties, which, to me, again sort of leads us in the direction of high‑end apartments because it requires a developer to put in a community center, a fitness center, something that you would find in a luxury apartment.

It also provides the possibility of having more green space on the outside.

So, I look at this revised amendment and it addresses my concerns. We can argue all day and for the next year five years whether it's perfect or whether we fine tune this and that. I think we've got a good product before us now. I think it strikes the right balance. And, you know, the question that all of us are sort of, you know, guided by here is what's best for Ridgewood. And we can have different ideas about what this ‑‑ to me, there's no question that this is good for Ridgewood. This is best for Ridgewood. And you know, I'm definitely supportive of this Amendment. I would say though out of deference to some Board Members who have concerns about one or more of the zones, I do like as, you know, this idea we could take four separate votes, so Board Members aren't compelled to like do one up or down vote on the whole thing. I think this allows some discretion, and I think it's the way to go. Again, I thank everybody. This has been a long process and hopefully we're wrapping it up.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

Richard?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thanks, Paul. I would to thank the Applicants, the attorneys, the public, fellow Board Members and the staff. When I spoke on this initially on March 17th, I was favorable and had a couple of concerns. I believe the revised proposal, a lot of work went into it, and it did scale it down. And I thought it alleviated a lot of concerns. Also, we have the affordable housing issue that comes into play, so I think taking into account all of the factors, I think multi‑family does promote the general welfare for Ridgewood and that this document with the revisions does go about it the right way. A lot of thought went into it, a lot of time, a lot of meetings, and I think it can't be discounted. I mean, you have these underutilized properties, you have the housing need, and I think there could be a lot of good done by this and I think the aesthetics will be good for it or we've heard controls, so I don't think there is going to be a slippery slope or spot zoning. This is a very thought out process. And it's an inordinate amount of time that's put into this, usually for a Master Plan would be short on the details and more conceptual. And I think there was a lot that went in here. And I just think if you don't do anything, you're moving backwards, and I think that we have do something and I think this is an improvement in that we're moving forward. We have an opportunity here. And I think this multi‑family will help us move forward in Ridgewood.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Richard.

Kevin?

MR. REILLY: Okay. Right at the end, I hope, of an extremely long process which had ramifications of several aspects of village life and the Village future, which is why these application and the process has generated so much engagement by the Village residents.

This process is parallel in some respects, especially time periods, the longest process involving the proposed Valley Hospital expansion. Amazingly, that was decided by us a year ago, which touched on a lot of the same issues that concerned Village residents, a concern for overdevelopment and several potential impacts. While we voted about a year ago, the process was not yet over. I hope tonight will bring some better closure to the Village. But with the recent case law and litigation over affordable housing, I fear it may not. There are development impacts which we've heard about in length. But there are also litigation impacts, which I think Mr. Wells very subtly hinted at tonight.

(Laughter.)

MR. REILLY: But any way, it's a real factor and something that recently as entered this because we have to take it very seriously. So my goal tonight in thinking through and re‑thinking though all the hearings over the past year, but now I'm thinking that ‑‑ I think we have to position the Village favorably and to take into account a lot of impacts, we've heard a lot about over the past year or so. And now, I think we have to think about how we're going to position the Village with the vote tonight. There's an old saying: Bad cases make bad law. And my hope is that Ridgewood does not get hurt by bad law and we can reach decisions that navigate around future challenges of our housing element.

We've heard so much testimony with respect to these applications and everybody in this room and throughout the Village is very familiar with the evidence. So, I'm going to keep my comments short in the interest of time.

Gail, as our attorney has instructed us and in an indirect sense, instructed everybody in the audience listening tonight on how to reconcile the facts and the legal responsibilities.

And since Gail basically told us what we can't talk about, that softly reduces what I'm going to talk about. (Laughter.)

MR. REILLY: I'm going to refrain from commentaries. Gail's instructions, they're available. Everybody heard them. Everybody can read them. But probably best to begin to keep an open mind. And until recent to be honest with you, I wasn't really sure how I was going to vote. I had concerns. I saw the benefits. I saw the impacts. I was very back and forth. I listened very carefully to the commentary and concerns by the residents, I read and reread the testimony, a lot of concerns ‑‑ in fact, my own concerns all along. But my job, as I see tonight, is not to view the applications or the amendments, the Master Plan actually, through the lens of what I personally or dislike, but rather what works best for the Village. The recent decision that Gail talked about and others have talked about, has thrown something of a monkey wrench into what I think I knew planning decisions are. From the beginning, I've said I was concerned about scale, height, bulk, and density and I'll address those in a few minutes. First, some of the other impacts. I was not persuaded that the impact on schools would be significant. Now I know that's not the sole criteria, it came up a lot. There was evidence on ‑‑ because I had concern about commentary, but I listened through and re‑read the evidence. I came to the conclusion that's going to be a significant impact. It's not even going to be a consistent impact. This kind of impact strikes me as being innately inconsistent. Student bodies vary over time. They vary over the years. Different things are involved. We seem to have even fewer students than we did a few years ago. And while we can't read the future about who actually is going to occupy the apartments, it seems important to conclude that a critical mass of occupants are either going to be empty nesters without children or young couples with few or no children. And there's some commentary on whether it will be true or not. It seems like a logical assumptions based on the proposed layout of the rooms. Now, I realize that they gave us just development proposals. But even as it's addressed in the Master Plan Amendment, there seems to be ‑‑ these are going to be largely be one‑bedrooms, depending on the size and everything else. It just seems to be possible that the critical mass of people occupying these apartments are going to be senior citizens or they're going to be young couples with few or no children.

I've heard the argument that seniors are going to sell their houses and move into the apartments, young families with children are going to move into their houses. So indirectly that's going to present an impact on the schools. That's going to happen anyway as retired people and empty nester and older people move out of their homes. They're going to move somewhere anyway. And who's going to move in but young couples with children.

The difference is they will either move out of town or stay in town. Though we can't predict that, of course, but I think these housing accommodations create a greater opportunity for a lot of those people, the empty nesters, to stay in town, the one they've been familiar with for years, the one they know, where they are known by people. And I think this is some benefit to that.

Again, this is speculation, but I think that's logically what's going to happen. And for all those children coming in, well, family sizes are smaller now, we know that.

And as I said, they're going to be coming in any way. So it's just a question of where the people going out, where they're going to move to. Where are they going to retire. Somewhat similarly, I don't see ‑‑ I don't see a major impact caused by an increase in residents resulting from the relocation or seniors within the community or young couples moving in.

As I understand ‑‑ as I understand from the evidence, Ridgewood actually has fewer residents than even a decade ago. That makes sense. Again people have smaller families. And, of course, the residents are going to be somewhat clustered in new housing. Now the argument is there will be a lot more residents and maybe they'll be some, and they're going to be clustered in the new housing.

So that ‑‑ but considering where that housing is located that actually creates a net benefit for the downtown commercial sector. We depend on that commercial sector, for taxes, for retail service, the dining, for entertainment. And as everyone recalls the downtown commercial establishments were severely distressed with the recent recession. Bringing all these residents into the same relative locations can only help the downtown commercial establishments, which benefit us in so many ways including taxes. I've heard a lot more people are going to walking the streets. Yes, but again, that's actually a benefit. More people walking, shopping, less driving. As to driving, you know, it's going to be an impact. I don't see how that could by regarded as an issue. And as I stated in the past, I was substantially unpersuaded by the Planning Board's own traffic expert's conclusion that as of right commercial development would actually cause more traffic, so that the proposed residential development would naturally result in a reduction of traffic. First of all, based on what I'm looking at, what exists today, not what could exist if the supermarkets, the mega restaurants, the office parks that our expert used as comparables to the traffic in the study and analysis, they suddenly appeared. I see no realistic way we can look at any of those developments getting built. So there's going to be an increase in traffic.

So having said that it may be less of an impact that we might expect. First give the residents, the empty nesters, again we can't read the future, but it's a reasonable assumption, many of them will be. They're not likely going to turn on their ignition during the usual rush hours that non‑retired residents are burdened with. If the residents ae couples in the apartments it will probably be easy access to mass transit, not driving. Now obviously we can't count for all the residents in a multifamily housing, but it seems reasonable to assume that a critical mass would not be on the streets and major traffic arteries to the Village at the same time as employee driving to work or parents dropping off children. And, again, the expectation is that the people in these apartments, more often than not, will walk, rather than drive to shopping and local entertainment or even for socializing.

Moreover, the traffic does ‑‑ the traffic that does result, and it will, will be mitigated to some extent by prohibiting or requiring certain turns as has already been done on Ridgewood Avenue near the train stations. Car from the vacant lots making a left now can be required to turn right, south, rather than a left towards downtown. Traffic into and out of the Chestnut Village location, whatever development ends up there, that strikes me as being less of a consideration.

The situation on North Maple between Ridgewood Avenue and Franklin Avenue is much more of a traffic issue. I don't see how that increase in traffic associated with the development in that particular location, where you may also have an entrance onto North Maple or on Franklin, it's going to come out one way or the other or one in one way or the other. It's a major traffic artery. North Maple and Franklin are major traffic arteries. I don't see how that can be easily addressed. And that intersection already bottlenecks. Changing the signaling, I've heard from our expert will make that easier. I am not convinced of that yet. I'd like to see how that works. The juxtaposition or repositioning of the lights causes problems. That's going to have to be looked at closely. I don't think you can minimize that impact. So I put that into category of definite impact.

Although I am concerned that excepting that particular location, I don't think traffic is insurmountable to other developments. In the aggregate I think it will be a huge impact to the housing that has to be addressed. I also observed that these developments sound the same, similar, mentioned particularly the fact of the tipping point. Even if the Village can, in a sense, live with it now, I would review future proposed developments in other location with great skepticism. Now let me turn to what I think is the heart of this, we should balance those factors. Many residents stated a concern, not only to the developers, but all the development resulting in future applications. I share their concern. I heard and I re‑read Blais' testimony when in the basis of it, his extensive experience he thought it was unlikely that additional large developments would be shoehorned in some of the spaces that would be available under the proposed amendments of the Master Plan. I have no basis to doubt that and I readily defer to Blais' expertise. That doesn't mean the proposal doesn't worry people or that it's an unreasonable concern or that its mere speculation. If it seems to be an economically viable project, somebody is going to go forward developing some of those locations. Even if not at the scale of the present ‑‑ of the present developments ‑‑ present proposed developments.

I repeat what I said a few minute ago as far as impacts the present applications, places I think at the midpoint. Some of the proposed developments are large. Like many people I moved to a low scale village looking forward to a low scale lifestyle. I'm from a very residential and relatively low scale part of Brooklyn, Bay Ridge, where my family resided for generations. It's a beautiful neighborhood where nevertheless developers purchased and railroaded through changes in the neighborhood that did not benefit the neighborhood. I don't want to see that ‑‑ in fact I don't want to see this happen in Ridgewood.

When I first saw the drawings, and I realized they're just proposed developments, I thought they were very attractive. And I think that very attractiveness, you know even though that could change, but it showed us a potential of what can go into those sites. And I think that necessarily factors into everything else we have done. We still have that in the back of our minds, even though a particular change, particular detail of the project is going to change. I also understood the benefit of increased housing close to train and downtown can bring. It's the size that continues to concern me. I would much prefer parking be moved below grade, it might reduce the overall heights of the buildings and we support if the Dayton and The Enclave were a floor lower, but I understand the constraints that are imposed by the existing height requirements as well as the current rules for affordable housing with respect the height and density bonus.

I also understood that the additional height as originally proposed would allow for architectural elements that would add visual benefit rather than just flat boxes on the streets. And I think the Master Plan Amendment addresses some of that and during site plan review I think we can look at that much more closely, the architectural elements.

The last thing I want to say is reported ‑‑ repeated back to me in some recent minutes I read was the last thing we wanted to see are big boxes on the street. I think if it's done attractively, visually they would bring a benefit rather than the detriment. The amendment, the amended amendment presented by Blais in this proceeding I think will alleviate some of those concerns.

I would still prefer smaller. But I think that the reduction in height and density and the inclusion of recreation space and the like was responsive to concerns brought by Board Members and certainly those raised by members of the public, even this evening. However, now I move to the elephant in the room. The uncertain future of the affordable housing obligation in general, but for Ridgewood in particular, our decision seems to me to be now constrained by new circumstances that were not an earlier factor, but which were presented only as a opening question when this process began. As originally proposed each development would include affordable housing, especially in designated affordable housing zones, where we were trying to get ahead of possible changes in the affordable housing rules, especially since we've already had a sizable affordable housing deficit. I think the logic was that it made sense to do it on our owe terms rather than of COAH's. Of course that would have compelled us to approve an amendment to the Master Plan that would allow the proposed developments, which was a factor. That old paradigm of course is now gone. And maybe we'll look back on COAH as it existed. We simply don't know where this legal obligation will go in the future, except that it will be regionally directed rather than administratively, which eliminates the procedural protections of municipalities and puts them on immediately enforceable quotas. Court orders would likely be for more housing and to have negotiations and even appeals of determinations is not a good outcome.

We don't know have luxury of time to see how this all plays out. We have to bring these proceedings to a close quickly then to make our investigation. So we are aware the Ridgewood may be getting more housing out of this, but we could suddenly be looking at only these three applications or more specifically the proposal amendment to the Master Plan, but rather ‑‑ and three reasonable proposals in this context, recently scaled down and the amended amendment again the backdrop of litigation that may well be an unreasonable result for Ridgewood. I've gone from being a blank slate so to speak during my prior viewing of these applications and thinking more defensively, not much more protective and prudent course of action for the Village and for all of the Village for these combined reasons I would vote to approve the amendment.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

MS. DOCKRAY: There's a question, Charles. It's almost 11 o'clock and it seems to be, you know, I always relied a lot on numbers and some complicated concepts. And I'm always in the position of having to present them at 11 or 11:30. And I think, you know, I lose my audience, I lose my train of thought. Can we just carry this to the next time?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think we got time on to process.

MS. DOCKRAY: Well ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I know that the Board things ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: You know, I'm going to be half an hour again, and people are going to be unhappy. I'm going to be unhappy.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Take a break.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, I think we have to.

MS. DOCKRAY: If we're going to ‑‑ you know, I can't imagine that we're going to vote at midnight at this point. Are we?

MS. PETERS: I'm saying I'm not ready to vote. I'm not going to reach a vote because as we said before they're proposing things that some of us absolutely do not agree with. The developer notes presented to us in April, on April 21st, had a whole new section in it, which I'd never seen before. And I said ‑‑ I said probably I disagreed with it. So I feel that we're still in the midst of the discussion here of what's going on. Kevin had a very in depth description and I certainly was not prepared to make such comments myself as Wendy has said it's 11 o'clock at night. And we're still under discussion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well, I would be in favor to continue, but I would like to hear members of the Board and I think we can proceed until at least 11:30, proceed with this review. And I would be in favor of continuing ‑‑

MR. THURSTON: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ I would like to hear others comments. It is late. We do have people that are patient with us this evening.

Dave?

MR. THURSTON: Continue. Continue, please.

MS. BIGOS: Nancy Bigos, I'd like to keep going.

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay. And I'm ‑‑ If that's the determination, I'm going to apologize to everyone if this is awkward and I seem tired and whatever because it's 11 o'clock at night and some of these ‑‑ some of this analysis is complicated. I'm sorry. But I will ‑‑ I will read from my notes as to the best of my ability. And I'm sorry if we're going be here until 11:30.

MR. WEINER: Why are we doing this? Why are we doing this.

(Audience outburst.)

MS. PETERS: You haven't even heard from me yet.

MR. WEINER: Are we going, is it open-ended or are you voting on it?

(Audience outburst.)  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think we should proceed at this time unless there is ‑‑

MR. WEINER: Mr. Chairman, well, I'm asking if there's a cut off. In fairness to the public, maybe people have to go to work sitting here until 1:30 in the morning, if that's what it's going to take, is unfair. I just want to know what your plan is.

Are you going to end at 11:30.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think we should proceed with people's comments and deliberations.

MR. WEINER: I think it should be adjourned.

MS. PRICE: Well, wait a minute, Mr. Weiner, you know in all due respect, we're in the middle of board comments on this.

MR. WEINER: At 11 o'clock at night. You have to ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Mr. Weiner, you're really ‑‑ and this is with all due respect, we're in the middle of Board comments. Your input is really not appropriate at this point. This is Board discussion.

MR. WEINER: I'm not talking about the application. I'm talking about a point of order.

MS. PRICE: Wait a minute, and I'm telling you that it's not appropriate. At the last meeting ‑‑  

MR. WEINER: And I'm not saying ‑‑

MS. PRICE: At the last meeting ‑‑

MR. WEINER: I think it is appropriate and I think it's unfair to the public when the Board's continuing to hold a meeting at this late hour.

MS. PRICE: Mr. Weiner, at the last meeting we went to almost midnight.

MR. WEINER: And it was an imposition, but he was here and Blais testified so it along.

But I'm saying if a Board Member's saying that she doesn't feel up to even going forward at this time, you're starting to take a poll and you didn't poll the whole Board. At least poll the whole Board if everybody ‑‑

MS. PRICE: I think the Chairman was in the process of doing that before he was interrupted.

MR. WEINER: No, he wasn't. I thought you already decided ‑‑

(Applause.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Enough. At this point, I'm going to continue polling the Board.

Councilwoman Knudsen, will comment. Mayor will follow. I shared mine and we will continue down this way.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: It would be in favor, especially since I clearly don't feel well, to adjourn at this time. I could just go home and cough there.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Paul?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: I think we should continue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Richard.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: I would recommend to continue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Kevin?

MR. REILLY: Continue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Wendy?

MS. DOCKRAY: Adjourn.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Michele?

MS. PETERS: Adjourn.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Isabelle?

MS. ALTANO: Probably adjourn.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Khidir?

MR. ABDALLA: Continue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So what is that? So it's seven that think we should continue.

Do your best, Wendy.

MS. DOCKRAY: All right. So it's not going to be my best. So here we go. Okay. In general ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Can I just point out for the record and just so it doesn't seem also to the public that there's no sense of a time constraint also with regard to what I said during the instruction that the Village attorney will be needing to file this declaratory judgment action at some point in the next five weeks.

That declaratory judgment action doesn't get prepared in a matter of an hour. So, in terms of this matter which is now been in the works for years, needing to come to some conclusion, there is a sense of some urgency of a deadline one way or another, whatever way the Board votes. Because of that sense and that's a matter that goes hand in hand with the Village governing body. That's the timing issue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Let's proceed.

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay.

MR. WEINER: This is wrong.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Wendy, I'll ask, if you want to organize your thought, we can ‑‑ ‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, they're not going to be any better at 12. They're really not.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I mean ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: They're all going to go downhill from here, but okay. Here we go. I think we need to exercise extreme caution with regard to this amendment, and I hope my follow Board Members will spend the time and energy to listen to some of the arguments that I plan to put forward this evening. First off, I would like to say that I am not sure that this Amendment meets all of the objectives that it's set forth in its premise. First off, I am not sure that the housing that is proposed here will meet the needs of seniors in our community. I think the evidence is weak. There are many factors in one's housing choices such as the availability of outside space, affordability ‑‑ a very big one ‑‑ size of the units, peace and quiet, of course, the obvious, you know, not having to be responsible or for being responsible for maintenance of the home, and the location.

But there many, many factors. We do not build a housing project just for the senior who currently live in Ridgewood. I know they are looking for alternatives. We've heard that from the public, but I'm not sure what we're providing here is going to meet their needs in terms of affordability, size, peace and quiet, any of that. And even structure, I think tonight we heard indication that people are looking for townhouses and not condominium apartments ‑‑ not apartments. And we also heard interest in condominiums and not rentals. So, I think that's an argument ‑‑ one argument for being cautious in terms of not really knowing if we're going meet the needs of our senior population. Two, I think there's a need to exercise caution in the amount of land area that we designate for multi‑family housing. I particularly have concerns about fiscal and school impacts of these projects and I would like to address my comments now to Mr. Steck and Mr. Burgis' testimony with regard to those items.

The data presented by Mr. Burgis and by Mr. Steck with regard to the number of school children generated by the Dayton, Chestnut Village and the Enclave has substantive problems.

In an attempt to explain why the Rutgers study predictor the number of school children for such developments was valid, they both distinguished between the garden apartments in Ridgewood and the taller buildings in the Village. They argued that the garden apartments would attract more families with children and that their projects were not garden apartments and, thus, the Rutgers predictor was valid. While I agree with their concept in this regard that it has merit, the data they provided to support their assertion is not credible. For example, Mr. Steck provided a disaggregation of the apartments by garden versus non‑garden. I saw that 174 North Maple was put in the non‑garden category, and based on my driving by that property many times, I regularly do, felt that it should be part of the garden category. Mr. Steck returned with evidence that this is a garden apartment. This contradicted his earlier analysis. Second, and more importantly, Mr. Steck indicated that 20‑30 Ridge Road and 21‑31 Ridge Road belonged to the garden apartment category.

Having been in that complex and parked in front of it, I know that it is a three‑story structure, but there is no outside space that would comfortably serve the 37 school children that reportedly lived there. Mr. Steck subsequently provided photos of the building which show very limited green space associated with the property. These buildings are bordered by parking, the train, and steep slopes that are not traversable. This fact was also brought to the attention of the Board by a member of the public.

Similarly, Mr. Burgis' testimony is compromised by the failure to supply the requested back up with regard to his disaggregation of garden versus non‑garden apartments. The data was not provided and since Mr. Stack and he differed significantly in terms of the distributions and number of the apartments, one says 15 garden, the other says there are 22 garden apartments complexes in Ridgewood. The reliance on this data for drawing conclusions about the projected school population is significantly compromised and that's why I'm going through all this.

For a firmer analysis of the school population predictions, I look to Mr. Brancheau's report were he indicated that the Rutgers study under‑predicts the current school population from multi‑family housing by a factor of more than three times. The Rutgers predictor does not appear to work well in Ridgewood, and Mr. Brancheau indicates he does not know why.

The garden versus non‑garden apartment distinction posited by Mr. Burgis and Mr. Steck as a reason is not helpful in understanding this issue due to their poor reporting of data.

So where does this leave me in terms of predictions with regard to the school population? Mr. Brancheau recommends that the higher number of public school children typically exhibited in Ridgewood should be considered in evaluating both the fiscal and school impacts resulting from future developments. And I just want to repeat evaluating both the fiscal and school impacts. Fiscal analysis was never done. We have no credible fiscal analysis of these projects. It was never done. And that's why I just went through this whole thing.

Blais said that's a very important factor.

Similarly, I just want to repeat what I said at the last meeting that the fact that our school is at full capacity as reported by Mr. Brancheau is a very significant concern to me. If we were in excess capacity, not as important.

Moving on in terms of the benefits of this Amendment to the community and local businesses.

I agree that construction of additional housing in or around CBD will likely generate more business for our downtown which is a good thing. The extent of this benefit remains difficult for me to gauge, however, as the only testimony we've had in this regard came from Mr. Burgis who relied on data based on the average household size that is significantly larger than what was projected for Chestnut Village and Enclave projects. Furthermore, he did not provide any prospective for the numbers he set forth. How does one million dollar in sales relate to the retail. Numbers ‑‑ total numbers for the community. I believe there is data gathered on such a figure and I was disappointed it was not presented here to help me weigh this benefit. In addition, in terms of the benefit to local businesses, I also feel in assessing the impact of this Amendment, there is information missing that that would have been helpful. In particular, there was no testimony or analysis which provided data on the long term prospects for additional commercial development in the downtown. I know we had testimony that this is not likely ‑‑ that it's not likely that car dealers will be back, but other than that, no market study was provided. For example, I do not know if our current zoning and retail and office mix, what are the commercial opportunities that are most likely to manifest themselves? What commercial enterprises, including office would promote the success of the downtown given the existing retail mix? What are the economic trends in Bergen County and how are they likely to impact our CBD?

Why is this important? This amendment could result in removing substantial and retail and commercial space from the CBD. And I do not know how that would impact the growth of the area, meaning there could be something better for the community given our current zoning or with modifications current zoning, besides high density multi‑family housing. Ridgewood is not Detroit. Furthermore, at this point in time, I do not support inclusion of the Ken Smith site as a B‑3‑R zone due to the lack of testimony on this site. This is a very congested area and we've had no testimony on the impact of the development of this site as proposed in this revised amendment. Furthermore, the site is immediately adjacent to the train station which is designated a historic site in our historic preservation plan. We've had no testimony considering the relationship of this amendment to this history site. For example, at 50 feet, there's a real chance that a building on the Ken Smith property which detract from the historic character of train station. I'm not likely to vote in favor of this location.

With regard to the remaining sites, I believe that what is provided for in the AH‑2 district accommodating the Dayton, would encourage a building fat out of scale with the adjacent neighborhoods, 156,000 feet as provided for by the amended Amendment. Even at 50 feet, reduced from 55, this will be an enormous structure and will be out of character with our historic downtown. Yes, 50 feet is currently permitted in the CBD, but I believe there are only a handful of buildings, maybe four or five, at that height and certainly not at this scale. I think the floor area ratios of the district need to be reduced in proportion to the reduced number of units. Otherwise, we just end up almost at the same size out of scale building as we did by the original ‑‑ as posited by the original amendment. I think the 25‑foot setback from the railroad right‑of‑way is too small. Even with soundproofing, I believe the proximity will be a deterrent to luxury housing and the setbacks should be set at least the height of the building. As per our planner, 25 feet is not even big enough to allow ‑‑ bid enough space to allow for parking vertical space. That is close.

I also have some concerns about the side yard setbacks as current adjacent properties are one and two stories and will be dwarfed by a structure just 25 feet away. I recommend the height of the building as a setback to allow for sufficient air and light at that location. I think adjustments downward should be made to the density and floor area ratios to reflect these increased setbacks.

I'd also like to add at this particular point in time, I know I believe it was Mr. Wells who made an argument that there was no evidence in support of 24‑units per acre in the CBD. I believe ‑‑ I'm quoting from Ms. Bogart's report that the average for residential structures in the Village is approximately 16 and from Mr. Brancheau that it's 23.1 per acre in the CBD area. We had a chart that indicated that as the standard for our downtown.

So I just wanted to make mention of that. And I think that's a significant factor here.

Lastly, these are my last comments, Chestnut Village, I think this site has likely set a new development standard for this stretch of Chestnut Street, and I think the C zone regulations should ‑‑ surrounding C zone regulations should by modified to reflect that fact. Again, many ‑‑ my issues are the same with regard to the setback from the railroad should increase to the height of the building, side yard setbacks, again increased to the height of the building, floor area ratio and density to reflect new setbacks. I'd also, with regard to this particular zone, I think the density associated with the mixed use in the zone should be less than the density for all housing. I don't understand if you have a commercial on the ground floor, why you would provide for the same number of units in the building as if it were all residential.

Okay. I think these changes would increase the likelihood that these multi‑family developments would serve our seniors, most of whom are accustom to a suburban location, buffered from the railroad and unpleasant odors from automotive uses, et cetera. None of us have talked about the C‑R Zone. I'm going to talk about that just briefly ‑‑ I mean the C zone. We all talked about the zones that provide for multi‑family housing. Let me just find the notes on that. They're here somewhere.

This is the problem with doing this at 11 o'clock. I know it's here. Oh, Here we go, sorry. Believe it or not I cannot vote in favor of the C zone as I believe it contains uses such as automotive which are incompatible with the current uses on the southern end of Chestnut Street and with the C‑R zone in the event we vote in favor of that zone. Lastly, I'm not in favor of rezoning The Enclave site and adjacent property for high density multi‑family use. I do not consider the site to be vacant or undeveloped sites so much of the other locations which are being considered. The testimony, even at best, was shared parking in commercial and residential tenants within the building so there's a significant deficiency in parking. I have no reason to believe that this location is not a viable location for commercial development continuing to provide jobs and services to our community. Lastly, it's a very congested and difficult intersection which I believe requires further study. I did that in 17 minutes. Thank you. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well done.

(Applause.)

MS. PETERS: So, I thank Wendy very much for what she's just said because I can sit here and say I concur to make a much shorter presentation from myself. I believe that she has touched upon all the areas that I have had concerns about. And just to add to it, to begin, I thank everyone for your time, work and your interest in this matter. I did say, and I will say it again, that the revised amendment of April 21st was very much improved and incorporated much of what I was hoping to see and what I was looking for, but yet there's still too much of what I don't agree with. I believe what Wendy has commented on about specific zones reflects my own thoughts on the matter. And moving on, I also wanted to just say for all the proponents, and I use "proponents" as opposed to applicants because I got caught up a whole site plan discussion that went on here, is that dislike ‑‑ and that was even from our side and our experts, it's very dated statics. The reports are so old, and I know that when the development work that I've done in Manhattan, there's necessity of persons standing with their clipboards on the street corners and taking real time numbers. These are the sort of reports that I would hope to see as we discuss important issues that do reflect items such as the traffic. And I agree with Kevin, your comments on specifics, as far as that goes.

Charm, character, those adjectives that were used this evening from our residents go very much to how Gail began in instructing us which is this is a policy decision only. And how do you incorporate what brought all of us here to Ridgewood to begin with and in our vision for where Ridgewood is going. And I thought about our affordable housing. When the decisions came down, my first response was: Who are you to tell me what to do? And then I thought more and I thought about the Board of Ed, I thought about busing. I thought about various decisions that seemed not so good, and then what they led to.

And I think that there is great value in affordable housing. I hope that we can find a way of incorporating that as we continue to keep the charm and character of the Village of Ridgewood as we see into the future. What this all means is that I do not agree to the amended amendment. I feel it still needs to be discussed. I wish we had had a quarter of the meetings that we had dedicated to this process to hear from the proponents as to discussion among the Board Members and really flushing out the direction we should be going.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Michele.

Isabelle?

MS. ALTANO: I'm going to be very brief. I welcome the idea of specific zones particularly when we talked about this type of housing right now we heard there are 256. And one of the questions is that why can't we then look at the different zones and perhaps modify the density according to those zones and, perhaps, further look at the traffic impact by putting some higher density in the area where there's less of an impact of traffic and where it is. We want all to live in this wonderful Village. We want to keep the Village as it is, but we all know change is the only constant. And we really want to go forward and we want to make sure that whatever decision we make is a correct one. Do we know what the impact is going to be? We don't know for sure. We just know that we want to try to arrive at the solution that can take into consideration all the wonderful comments and at the same time do what is right for the Village. We have now this added curve ball which is the affordable housing component. We must always be cognizant of this. And as we make a decision, it is important that we always think about this additional element to consider. So I just want to go on and say that, yes, the development is definitely welcome. It's just very important that we take everything into consideration if we are to arrive at the right solution.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Isabella.  

MR. ABDALLA: Okay, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Again, I will make this very brief. I do not have an issues with the original amendment in place, and I think you did a wonderful job.

Gail, I think you did a great job trying to incorporate all the concerns from the different Board Members.

At this point, I'm ready to vote, yes, to the full amendment. I suggest that we vote on the entire amendment instead of trying to parse it into different zones.

I think the document was prepared in terms of one amendment of the Master Plan itself.

The last thing that I wanted to talk about is density and ‑‑ density and mass are usually appropriate to be at a higher level around CBD, and especially when you have the public transportation. Again, I thank Blais for his hard work, everyone on the Board and the public and I am ready to vote yes on this revised amendment.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you very much, Khidir.

That leaves me. First I want to express my gratitude to everyone who participated here with us tonight and who offered comment. And also to all of those who participated in the broader process, even going back to 2011. It's the participation and voice that help our thinking on this Board. And especially when considering the facts that are presented, and our process as a planning Board as well. It's also easy when we have the same views and conclusions.

In this matter multi‑family housing and in all its complexities, the time spent has been worth it in my view, because of the differing views, information exchange and how that all plays a role in the process outcome. This is a solid board. And as volunteers the passion, dedication and thoughtfulness to this Village is really quite remarkable. As you can see we don't think exactly alike, but we care deeply about Ridgewood. So thank the Board Members. With regard to this amendment ‑‑ excuse me ‑‑ with regard to this amended amendment, I am pleased with how Blais approached the questions and concerns of the Board and public with the changes incorporated in the last version that we're deliberating on tonight.

First reduction of density from 50 to 35, I think that makes a very big difference for me personally, reducing the height to what it currently stands, currently stands, reducing the acreage and, therefore, the number of potential units, stressing architectural incentives in policy with public space requirements, is an improvement. And in my view this amendment and the original amendment addresses an improvement to what as‑of‑right would yield for this Village.

Finally, it's smart to do what we're doing here this evening and to approve the amendment given the current new situation regarding COAH and affordable housing. Thank you, Blais, for your testimony and for responding to all of the questions. I believe that what we have here can work. And I am inclined and committed to support it as written.

I came to Ridgewood 50 year ago when I entered the fourth grade. My parents came here because of the schools. It's been really interesting for me, at least, to see the downtown evolve from a place to go for retail shopping, especially on a Thursday nights, to a place ‑‑ and with very few restaurants and services, to what it is today. Ridgewood isn't only a great place to raise a family, with an outstanding school system. It is evolving into that ‑‑ all of that, plus simply a great place to live for everyone who appreciates what Ridgewood is. And also for those who want to stay.

I believe based on the testimony we heard, this amended amendment to the Master Plan can provide balance and can lead to Zoning Ordinance by the Council, that will make that happen going forward and for new generations as we evolve. I think it's time that we act on this amendment as written. I believe it promotes the general welfare of our Village.

Thank you.

Now based on Gail's comment, you know I could see the advantages personally to breaking this out. It allows the Board Members to express their views for each. It also is consistent with the process that would be used at the Council. I would like to hear other's view on that, possibly even perhaps entertain a motion.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Sure.

MS. DOCKRAY: Charles, can we have a ‑‑ a discussion before we, you know, have everybody's presentations and ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Sure.

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ and as opposed to going to a vote right now ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That's ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ on a particular site or how do you want to do this?

Could we have discussion?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please have a comment, you can have discussion.

MS. DOCKRAY: Paul, were you going to make a comment or ‑‑

MAYOR ARONSOHN: No, I was going to make a motion. I was actually ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Oh, I'd like further discussion ‑‑

MAYOR ARONSOHN: ‑‑ going to make a motion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  

MS. DOCKRAY: ‑‑ I'm really like ‑‑ I ‑‑ I am confounded by, we had no testimony on the Ken Smith site. Nothing. Why we would ‑‑ why ‑‑ what do you think of that? What do people think about that? We have had no ‑‑ no testimony on that. How do we evaluate a site with no testimony?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We actually had our experts, Blais and also traffic ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: No.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ testimony on that ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: I have ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ I believe that does ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: We had no testimony on that. No. I'm ‑‑ I'm disturbed about that.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay?

And I would make a no here at this time, make it another time. Make it another time, but not at this time. We don't have testimony on that.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Well, yeah, that I think, you know, I think to the point that Wendy's making and we've heard it from Michele also concerns about particular zones.

MS. PETERS: Yes, right.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: And to Gail's point in her memo I think out of deference to everyone, that's why I think I would like to move that we move forward with the vote, but that we do break it up into four. And I understand your point, Khidir. I appreciate that. But I think there are some strong feelings, I think, in particular zones. And so I think as we move forward I ‑‑ I would strongly suggest that we break those into four votes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I would agree. I think I would like to hear ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: All right. Before we do that I just have some more discussion.

MS. PETERS: I didn't hear what Charles said.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I said ‑‑ yes, I'm sorry. I actually said I would like to hear different ‑‑ different views from other Board Members we can ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay. I have more ‑‑ more discussion. I have concern, you know, we moved from the 50 to the 35. And I was thinking Mr. Weiner was right, we don't have any justification for 35, other than maybe it fits on the site. That's it. And you know we do have an average in the CBD provided by Blais, 23.1. Okay. It has worked. I would like to know from Board Members why they think 35 is desirable?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So actually to Wendy's point I ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Because that goes across all the zones. That goes across all the zones.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: I'm sorry. Trying to ‑‑ really sorry.

MS. DOCKRAY: That's okay. Do you want a ‑‑

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: No, thank you I have a cough drop. Thank you.  

MS. DOCKRAY: Okay.  

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Thank you. So to Wendy's point, I actually, I agree. I don't find that there is any evidence to support these numbers versus those numbers. And there is actually more evidence that supports the lower numbers. And one of the things actually that you brought up earlier, and I fully agree with, is the encroachment of residential into the Central Business District when the primary objective of the Central Business District is business, and yet we left that out as an option. And as an option which nobody's going to use because, you know, they ‑‑ you know, it's just an option. I am concerned about that and that that potentially erodes that Central Business District or the potential for erosion to the Central Business District. But I do agree with Wendy, I don't see any evidence that supports these numbers and there is evidence that supports the lower numbers and actually concrete evidence that's well established, I think that ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Well established.

MS. PETERS: I think that 35 came up as a suggested lowering of what was presented to us, a higher number. And then taking what we have and trying to get an average and coming back. That's how I think the number came up, if anybody else feels that there was a ‑‑

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Actually to another point now starting to just go back to my notes and ‑‑

MS. PETERS: Go ahead.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: ‑‑ I still don't feel great, but one of the things that Mr. Weiner did raise, one of the issues was that one of the measures that was used to determine that a higher density was warranted was that Ackerman property and the tennis courts. And in fact there was no evidence, there was no supporting documentation that established why no development occurred there. So to do it just on a blanket, it didn't happen so therefore we should increase the number seems to me, arbitrary. I think it seems arbitrary at best because there's absolutely no documentation that provides evidence as to why it wasn't developed.

I'd like your opinion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It seems that, you know, what we have before us is an amendment, it's an amended amendment and if your opinion is that it's not sufficient then I think if there is a motion to move forward then that should be indicated in your vote. It's not, adequate, which would lead to a process of reassessing and redefining it, if it's so decided by the Board in the vote.

So with that, you know, is there a motion to accept ‑‑

MS. PETERS: Charles, I think you're right on.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yeah.

MS. PETERS: That's ‑‑ that's it.

MR. THURSTON: I make a motion to vote on the amendment in four parts.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Is there a second?

MS. DOCKRAY: I'm still not ready.

MS. PETERS: Yeah, I want to just say just before the motion ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Not just the four.

MS. PETERS: ‑‑ just before your motion is that I ‑‑ I would like just some more discussion about this, about the amendment, itself.

MR. ABDALLA: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: There is a second on the motion.  

MS. PETERS: But how about the person in favor of doing the motion on the move to ordinance, because I'm not in favor of going to that at the moment.

MR. THURSTON: We have a second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, we have a second so...

MS. PRICE: Can I just have a point of order because we have nine eligible members so the nine eligible should make the motion and a second.

So, Khidir, you would be an alternate at this point, so a second on the motion on the floor should come from the ‑‑ and then there could be a discussion on the move to ordinance.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So as a clarification there was a motion to vote in four separate pieces on the floor, Khidir erroneously seconded it. We're looking for a second from someone who is in favor ‑‑

MS. PRICE: A second on that motion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ on that motion.

MS. PRICE: Then there can be the discussion on that motion.

MS. DOCKRAY: What can we discuss, Gail?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Second.

MS. PRICE: Okay. Okay. So now you can discuss whether you want to vote on it or not or whether ‑‑ Michele just said she wanted to discuss something. I just wanted from a point of order to make sure we were correct.

MS. PETERS: Gotcha.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you very much, Khidir.

MS. PETERS: Can we agree, I think ‑‑ I think the question is can we agree on any one of these zones as proposed on the section of the amendment as amended that we can vote on.

MR. THURSTON: We won't know until we vote, Michele.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We have a motion, again, so I would be in favor of finding out now.

MS. PETERS: And the motion was to vote in four parts.  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So the way it would work is that I would first ask Michael for a roll call for AH‑2 zone and then that would follow by the B‑3‑R zone, and then the C‑R zone and C zone ‑‑

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Well, what I thought the motion was to separate them.

MS. PRICE: Yes.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: I thought the motion was to separate ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Yes, the first motion on the floor right now is a motion to move the amendment, but on four separate votes. That's the motion right now.

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MS. PRICE: And that's been seconded.

We need a roll call vote on that motion ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Before we go to each zone.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ whether you're ready to go forward with the vote tonight on ‑‑ to move forward tonight and to move forward with the four votes now.

MS. PETERS: I would like ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, I think we should have more discussion.

MS. PRICE: Okay. But, Wendy, that's been ‑‑ that's been ‑‑ this has been ‑‑ you can go ahead and say exactly that. When we get to that point. But there's a motion and a second. It's been moved and second on the motion. And if the motion fails then ‑‑ so, Michael, call the roll like you traditionally call it, whatever ordinance you call it.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: This would be the nine members.

MS. PRICE: And, yes, the nine eligible members, alternates, not that you can't vote, but your vote will not be ‑‑

MR. CAFARELLI: So don't include the alternates in the roll call?

MS. PRICE: You may call them, but it's not going to be. It's the nine, nine ‑‑

MR. CAFARELLI: Got it.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ nine whole members count.

MR. CAFARELLI: Okay.    

Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Bigos?

MS. BIGOS: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Councilwoman Knudsen?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mayor Aronsohn?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Nalbantian?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Reilly?

MR. REILLY: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Dockray?

MS. DOCKRAY: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Peters?

MS. PETERS: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Altano?

MS. ALTANO: Yes.

MS. PETERS: She can vote?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Abdalla?

MR. ABDALLA: Yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: So I don't ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Ms. Altano, you want to express your vote.

MS. ALTANO: Yes.

MR. ABDALLA: Okay.

MS. PRICE: So I'm going to note that, yes, both of those are yeses. But they're alternate votes. Okay. So now that motion was carried to move forward to vote on the amendment with four separate votes. So now it's up to the Board to move it or not move it.

MS. BIGOS: Can you just explain how we're moving ‑‑

MR. THURSTON: We moved it.

MS. PRICE: Okay. Yes, so ‑‑

MR. THURSTON: We moved it by a vote.

MS. PRICE: All right. So you moved that, yes, so someone would make a motion, "okay, I would like to move the Amendment, Exhibit B‑18, the April 21st, 2015 Amendment to The Land Use Element for the AH‑2 Zone. I think we should take it each zone as they appear ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, I would like to start with that. I move that the Board approve the proposed amendment to the Land Use Plan Element of the Village of Ridgewood Master Plan Exhibit B‑18 for the AH‑2 zone as written.

MR. THURSTON: Second.

MR. CAFARELLI: Call the roll?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Michael, would you call the roll?

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: Can I ask what zone we are voting on ‑‑

MS. PRICE: The AH‑2 ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: The AH‑2.

MS. DOCKRAY: And the motion is for voting how? Discussion ‑‑  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: As has been written.

MS. PRICE: It's been moved as written.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So if we ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: I have discussion ‑‑

MS. PRICE: If you want discussion you can have discussion.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes, of course, discussion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. So AH‑2.

MS. DOCKRAY: How would you ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: If you ‑‑ is there a comment and discussion on AH‑2 before we call the roll?

MS. DOCKRAY: I would like to spend some time on that. I did, you know, I'd like to go back to some of my thoughts here. You know, I think we need to ‑‑ I think it's a good site for the affordable, you know, as you know it's a good location. It's well‑suited. I think ‑‑ I understand we're stuck with the height. But I do think that we ‑‑ the setback should be greater in light of the neighboring properties. I think the setbacks should be greater from the railroad. I think that the floor is ‑‑ currently it's 25 I think it should be the height of the building. I think the side yard should be the height of the building. I think the adjacent properties are one and two stories. And I think that the floor area ratio, if we're going to keep the 35‑units per acre, I think we need to make adjustment in the floor area ratio. We went from 50 units down to 35. But we did not adjust the floor area ratio in the same proportion so what you're going to end up with is a ‑‑ units that are simply larger. And all of the testimony that had to date are on a smaller average size unit and I think we should stay with that if we're going to proceed at 35 units. Personally, I ‑‑ I don't know what the justification is for 35 units. I think there's more justification for 24 units. And you still end up with ‑‑ you know with 50 units of housing, but certainly if you're going to stay with the 35, I think you got to adjust the sizes to be proportionate.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Other comments? I meant I am satisfied with it as written, personally.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So I actually, once again, have to agree with Wendy. I find that the lack of proportional decrease in the floor area ratio is troubling to me, and especially given that that is excluding the recreational and social components, and so ‑‑ and I also agree with the setbacks so that's my opinion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MS. PRICE: The ‑‑  

MS. PETERS: I agree as to the setbacks.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MS. PRICE: Oh, I'm sorry.

MS. PETERS: I'm sorry, Gail. I agree as to the setbacks.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MS. PRICE: Can I just, just on a point of legal ordinance. As to any changes such as those being discussed if they were entertained, I'm not saying whether they should or not be, but if they are entertained that would require new notice and a hearing on any of those changes. Just so the Board is aware of that.

MS. DOCKRAY: I did ‑‑ Gail, at the last meeting I did request that consideration be given to the adjustment in the floor area ratio, so it was part of the hearing.

MS. PRICE: But ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes.

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ making those changes as you're suggesting.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes.

MS. PRICE: Any of those would be considered substantial changes pursuant to the law requiring ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Right, but ‑‑

MS. PRICE: ‑‑ new notice so the Board needs to understand that.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So the process would be in the vote if it was rejected as written, which is the motion, then that was the result of the vote, we could then bring it back with notice.

MS. PRICE: If Wendy's changes were accepted it would need to be redrafted, re‑noticed and a new hearing would need to be held, so it's not – it's not as simple change and vote.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MS. PRICE: You can't vote on it tonight if you want to make changes.

MS. DOCKRAY: And I just want to say my changes are not to be difficult. My justifications are to achieve a building that stays more within the character of the community, that blends better with the neighborhood. And, you know, I don't ‑‑ personally I would like to see the density come down closer to 24, because I think that is the standard, it still will give us quite a few new housing units in the town. And I just think it would be a project that, you know, that area would work better with the community. We have had no testimony here that anyone said let's change the character of Ridgewood, you know, I think people want to see progress, but within the character of Ridgewood. And I ‑‑ you know, my recommendations hopefully are ‑‑ are to keep the project within that character. That's what I would like to see happen here. And going from, let's say 35 units, to 24 units or 25 or whatever we lose ten units in terms of affordable housing units, I think we're only losing, what, one half or three? And maybe we can come up with better ideas in terms of how you achieve even more affordable housing under different circumstances, different sites, the whole bit. I think we need to put our, you know, really take some initiative with regard to that. And I don't think by reducing the number of units here by just, you know, by ten or whatever is making a big difference.

MR. THURSTON: That's 10 per acre, in the just ten ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Ten per acre, yes. Yes.

MR. THURSTON: So you lose four or five.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes, I understand that.

MR. THURSTON: Okay.  

MS. DOCKRAY: I understand that, but we haven't done another comprehensive analysis lately of where we might put other affordable units or whatever. But that's my feeling. I just want to see whatever happens here that it stays within the character of our town because that is what is distinctive about Ridgewood.

MS. PETERS: It's a ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: It's a beautiful village. And I would love to see this type of housing here, but I really want it to stay within the scale and character of the town. You know everyone talks to me, you know, you all talked about how much we love the Village. And I've only lived here for 12 years. I want to say my great grandparents lived here. My grandparents lived here. I have a long history here. My father's name is up at the high school. It's on the plaque in Ridgewood High School. And it's a beautiful community. And I think especially in the regard as we work this that we need to keep our eye on that ball.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well ‑‑

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So can we just, I wanted to interject on something ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Sure.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: ‑‑ on something to Wendy's point.

The Village of Ridgewood has the distinction of being the best preserved historic Central Business District in Bergen County. And that's a very significant distinction. And to Wendy's point about keeping thing within the character and honoring that distinction is really relevant in this. And I actually support Wendy's changes to this AH‑2 zone and also want to point out to her, to the COAH issue to the Fair Share Housing issue, the Village also has an opportunity the embark on our own plan that is independent of any of this and that's really something that's probably a more prudent approach to the issue. But like this, there's still affordable housing in this and it still works.

MS. PETERS: I agree it's just a comprehensive view, I agree as to that. And as I said, I agree to the setback, the increase in the setbacks. I do not have any difficulty with keeping our 35 units and FAR as they are proposed here. But I am for, I am in support of increasing the setbacks. I feel that that will be more in keeping with what we have happening in the city. And I think it's achieving the goal of the development as has been proposed.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Michele.

MS. BIGOS: Can I just ask a question?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Sure.

MS. BIGOS: Can those setbacks be addressed when the actual application comes before the Board?

MS. PRICE: No.

MS. BIGOS: Okay.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: The ordinance, it could be addressed in the ordinance.

MS. PRICE: It could be addressed in an ordinance.

MS. BIGOS: Okay.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It could be addressed in the zoning ordinance.

MS. BIGOS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That level of detail.

If there aren't other comments?

MS. DOCKRAY: Charles, I didn't hear what you just said.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I said that level of detail can possibly be addressed in the ordinance.

MS. DOCKRAY: I only ‑‑ if we have it in our master plan I don't think we would ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's a recommendation.

MS. PRICE: The Council can find that there is a need for increased setback and have a two‑thirds finding as to a majority as to why there's no inconsistency with the Master Plan.

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, why don't they do the right thing and it's done.

MS. PRICE: I am just answering the question.

MS. DOCKRAY: Yeah, okay. Okay.

MS. PRICE: There was a question, that's all I was answering.

MS. DOCKRAY: I'm sorry. Okay.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. So we have a motion and a second. And we had some discussion.

If there isn't any further discussion, Michael, call the roll please.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MS. DOCKRAY: That's the vote ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Call the roll.

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MS. PRICE: Just to be clear what the question is ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Yes.

MS. PRICE: The motion was ‑‑ the motion on the floor that's been seconded is to approve the AH‑2 zone as drafted in the April 21st, 2015, amendment to the amendment.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And if it's defeated than reduce the volume, we would have to bring it back to be re‑noticed. So the motion was as written.

MS. PRICE: The motion was as drafted.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: As drafted.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Bigos?

MS. BIGOS: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Councilwoman Knudsen?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: No, I support the changes now.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mayor Aronsohn?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Nalbantian?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.  

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Peters ‑‑ Mr. Joel? I'm sorry.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Reilly?

MR. REILLY: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Dockray?

MS. DOCKRAY: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Peters?

MS. PETERS: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes, I got two votes. I can hold on to the next one.

MR. CAFARELLI: I'm sorry. Mr. Reilly?

MS. PRICE: No, you called Mr. Reilly already.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Altano?

MS. ALTANO: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Abdalla?

MR. ABDALLA: Yes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. So that motion carries.

POLICE OFFICER: Hi, is everybody all right?  

VOICES: No. Yes. We're not sure yet.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

POLICE OFFICER: You're good.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, I'm good.

POLICE OFFICER: All right.  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I'm sorry.

POLICE OFFICER: Be good. (Whereupon, off the record discussion is held.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That motion passed. Okay. Now regarding the B‑3‑R zone.

MS. PRICE: Okay. So the same ‑‑ so now the next question on the floor is, is there a motion on the B‑3‑R zone.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I will read that again. Is there ‑‑ I would like to move that the B‑3‑R zone ‑‑

MS. PRICE: It's the B‑3‑R zone, so the Proposed Amendment of the Land Use Element of the Village of Ridgewood Master Plan Exhibit B‑18 dated April 21st, 2015.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Is my motion.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Discussion? This is B‑3‑R.

MS. PETERS: We're open to discussion now?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

MS. PETERS: Yeah, well, I think that Wendy brought forth very important things, especially for the Ken Smith site by the builder. And especially with regards to historic preservation and all the work that just was completed on the ‑‑ on the railroad station. I heard that when we had some discussion about residential use here, this is probably the most congested traffic spots in, I think, the entire village. Maybe second, if not even, to Linwood Avenue by Valley Hospital is ‑‑ and I know that I have spoken at one time just picturing moving trucks trying to go in and out of this area with a residential usage in here. I meant I am completely against it. Against that change there. And I felt that the change proposed to the entire site, for the other site, was inappropriate.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Are there other comments?

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, I think you heard my comments earlier, we have no testimony on the Ken Smith site, nothing. Really. Zero. I see no justification for it. I don't see the thought. I don't see the benefits. And I certainly don't ‑‑ I don't know what the thoughts are, I have nothing to balance. And I think it's better for another time. Better for another time.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So, obviously, I actually agree ‑‑ I'd also agree that, well, I ‑‑ my point is also that the absence of any retail component or I guess that's more of an option, I obviously disagree with that. But I do agree with Wendy I think that ‑‑ and Michele as a matter of fact, that these particular locations, especially on Maple at that corner is very difficult. And I don't even ‑‑ I think there were too many issues there.  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.

MR. ABDALLA: Just a quick question, Chairman?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Sure.

MR. ABDALLA: I am not quite sure there is any relationship between the third designation and traffic. And I am not quite sure I understand this.

MS. DOCKRAY: The traffic ‑‑ we're changing ‑‑

MR. ABDALLA: I thought I heard Michele saying something a little earlier about the fact that it's going to be congested this traffic or the concern is because it's supposed to be very close to the ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, that ‑‑ that is not the traffic ‑‑ that's a building setback.

MR. ABDALLA: But what was the other thing?

MS. DOCKRAY: The building concern we had is with the memo we have not had any review of this location. And my argument is you go to the historic preservation plan, this is just one of the arguments, is that our traffic ‑‑ our train station is a historic site. And we have no analysis of constructing what is being constructed, 50 (sic) story residential structure adjacent to he train station. It could detract significantly from the historical ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: 50 feet, 50 feet.

MS. DOCKRAY: 50 feet, what did I say?

MS. PRICE: 50 stories.

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, you know what I'm all revved up and it's five of 12.

MS. PETERS: And this is also ‑‑ this is also the subject that we discussed ad nauseam in the subcommittee and that which no one was privy to who were not members of the subcommittee, where we had hours upon hours with our city planner discussing these uses. And in that subcommittee we had gone through the reasons why this was not an appropriate use. All discussion stopped once the proponent who had a site plan proposed withdrew his application. We stopped discussion of it here. And then ‑‑ they sit up here ‑‑

MR. THURSTON: Michele, that's not part of the record. So why are we continuing on that.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It is not.

MS. DOCKRAY: Because we are having our discussion.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Let's move on then.

MS. PETERS: Because ‑‑ thank you. I'm going to get really ‑‑ I am going to get very short at this point.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I'm hoping this is ‑‑

MS. PETERS: Because there hasn't been discussion and now it's put forth here and we're saying it's inappropriate.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think your point is well taken. It was not part of the record in terms of that detail. But thank you for sharing with us.

Kevin?

MR. REILLY: I am inclined to agree. In my memory of this, we've had very little discussion of this site. It kind of fell off the radar screen after the Ken Smith proposal fell through. It's a difficult location. It's right by the ‑‑ you know. Where you going to the train. It's a real traffic problem there. I ‑‑ I am concerned about that site also.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Other comments?

(NO RESPONSE.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. Roll call.

MR. THURSTON: I have a question, could you separate those two sections, Gail, or no because they're both zoned the same thing that we vote on them as is?

MS. PRICE: The B‑3‑R zone is the zone on Franklin by the train station that Wendy and Michele were just referring to as well as on Maple and Franklin. So that zone consists of both areas.

MR. REILLY: Is this one location or two locations?

MS. PRICE: Both.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's both.

MS. PRICE: Both locations.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: One zone.

MS. PRICE: One zone, both locations.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: If you look at the map on page 2 ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Both.

MR. THURSTON: One zone.

MS. PRICE: One zone.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: If you look at the map on page 2 it's this site (indicating) and this site, the Sealfons building is on Maple.

MR. REILLY: So our decision incorporates all the locations?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Correct.

MR. REILLY: All right.  

MS. PRICE: Correct. And just on the issue the housing, I just want ‑‑ just for affordable housing purposes, just want the record to reflect that the only reason that that retail was made optional and the housing added as mandatory was because under the second round which is now the governing, we don't get credit unless it's mandatory. So unless that ‑‑ it was under the third round which was invalidated, if you could demonstrate the housing was likely to be built, we could make an argument for credit under compliance plan. Under the second round rules, unless the housing is zoned for it, you don't get credit. So that's the only issue. So that's why it was zoned, the way the language was modified that was the consideration that was given, that was discussed in testimony by Blais in terms of the affordable housing component and that was just a nuance of the second and third round regs.

MR. REILLY: So a vote necessarily will incorporate both locations?

MS. PRICE: Yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: You said it won't?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It will.

MS. PETERS: It will.

So it's saying if we ‑‑ if I ‑‑ this is just an example that I felt if we had had a little bit more discussion about this we may have come to the conclusion that perhaps one should have been eliminated and not both of them, but now we're forced with a vote which will say yes to both or no to both ‑‑

MS. PRICE: Right.

MS. PETERS: Just ‑‑ just putting is forth.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Any other? If there is no other discussion, Michael, call the roll?

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Bigos?

MS. BIGOS: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Councilwoman Knudsen?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mayor Aronsohn?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Nalbantian?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Reilly?

MR. REILLY: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Dockray?

MS. DOCKRAY: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Peters?

MS. PETERS: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Altano?

MS. ALTANO: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Abdalla?

MR. ABDALLA: Yes.

MS. PETERS: It's a real change for our Village. That's all ‑‑ I ‑‑ just my objection is quite strenuous.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I would like to at this time make a motion to approve the C‑R zone proposed amendment to the Land Use Plan Element of the Village of Ridgewood plan we received as B‑18 dated April 21st, 2015. Is there a second?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Second.

MS. PETERS: I feel that was shortsighted the C‑R zone.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Any discussion with regard to the C‑R zone which on page two is ‑‑

MS. PETERS: Page ten.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: This is in regards obviously the Chestnut Village location, C‑R.

MS. DOCKRAY: Well, I'm not going to go over my comments. My comment remain the same, the setbacks and the floor area ratio. I have no problem with this site either I actually thought it was a good site, a good use. But I think it could be structured better. But I ‑‑ I ‑‑ I obviously not having any influence here somehow continue to make my point.

MS. PETERS: No, you should make your point. I feel that this ‑‑ I expressed ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: It's not that ‑‑

MS. PETERS: I expressed this before.

MS. DOCKRAY: I know. Can ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: She doesn't want to continue, I would urge you to continue, but if you don't want, let's not debate that ‑‑

MS. DOCKRAY: No, you know.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: ‑‑ or went discuss here.

Wendy, are you good?

MS. DOCKRAY: I am just ‑‑ you know, in terms ‑‑ we're talking in the Chestnut Village site, correct? Not the C zone that surrounds it?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That's correct.

MS. DOCKRAY: You know in...

MS. PETERS: It's shortsighted it should have been the whole thing.

MS. DOCKRAY: I ‑‑ you know, I think the setbacks are wrong. I think they should be greater. I certainly do think ‑‑ but these still need to be back from the railroad. I don't think a building 25‑feet from the railroad right‑of‑way is going to bring in luxury housing that's not what it's going to bring us. I don't think that's what the residents of ‑‑ our seniors want. They don't want to live 25 feet from the railroad. They really don't. Even with soundproofing I don't think we're getting the objectives of the ‑‑ of the Amendment.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

Any further comments?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Just on that point at this point we just can't sell luxury and so who knows what will...

MS. PETERS: Yeah, this is not going to luxury.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Yes. I think that's something I just ‑‑ I always ‑‑ whenever I hear it I just need to address it because we cannot zone luxury, that is just as plain and simple as it could be, but I agree with Wendy's comments once again.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: If there are no other comments, Michael, please call the roll.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Bigos?

MS. BIGOS: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Councilwoman Knudsen?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mayor Aronsohn?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Nalbantian?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Reilly?

MR. REILLY: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Dockray?

MS. DOCKRAY: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Peters?

MS. PETERS: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Altano?

MS. ALTANO: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Abdalla?

MR. ABDALLA: Yes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Motion passes.

Listen I would like to make a motion, I would like to move that we accept the Proposed Land Use Plan Element of the Village of Ridgewood Master Plan C zone district.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: As written.

MR. THURSTON: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Dated June ‑‑ April 21st, 2015.

MR. THURSTON: Second.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Discussion, please? This is the C zone.

MS. DOCKRAY: I have a comment. I think permitting automotive uses, if you're going to continue with the C‑R, you voted in favor of the C‑R zone to have it surrounded ‑‑ to have permitted automotive uses on both sides, and across the street, makes absolutely no sense to me. I think a lot more thought needs to be done into that zone. I really do. You know, I just ‑‑ I can't see it. It's not a comprehensive plan for that street. It simply isn't. Automotive uses next to residential uses doesn't work for me.  

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: And that's where ‑‑

MS. PETERS: As I had said the C‑R should have been that ‑‑ should have been that entire zone. I never changed on that opinion.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Right.

MR. REILLY: Can we eliminate automotive uses so that we know what it's going to bring into the area uses.

MS. PRICE: No. It would affect the existing properties.

MS. PETERS: It's just shortsighted.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well, we could do that it's maybe it something also the Council may choose to address.

MS. PRICE: Well, it's also an issue that can be looked at you're talking about automotive uses ‑‑

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please speak in the mike.

MS. PRICE: I'm sorry. The issue of the automotive uses, I mean it's a little bit more complex because it involves the vested rights of the existing property owners so it's not so easy to take it away the uses. So ‑‑ but if it's an issue that can be examined a little bit in greater detail or greater process that we're doing, you know, doing for the next six or seven months with Blais so you know it's not a dead issue. But it's not a couple of prongs on there. I think the Board needs the be aware.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.

Any other comments? (NO RESPONSE)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Then, Mike, please call the roll.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Thurston?

MR. THURSTON: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Bigos?

MS. BIGOS: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Councilwoman Knudsen?

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mayor Aronsohn?

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Nalbantian?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Reilly?

MR. REILLY: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Dockray?

MS. DOCKRAY: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Peters?

MS. PETERS: No.

MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Altano?

MS. ALTANO: Yes.

MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Abdalla?

MR. ABDALLA: Yes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Michael.

This motion passes. Everything is complete. This hearing is closed okay. Thank you everyone for coming.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

Approval of Minutes: Minutes for June 2, 2014; May 20, 2014 were carried to June 16, 2015.

Executive Session - the Board went into Executive Session at 12:10 p.m. to discuss pending litigation; and returned to open session and adjourned at 12:24 a.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

                                                                        Michael Cafarelli

                                                                        Board Secretary

 

 

Date approved: December 6, 2016

 

 

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