Planning Board Minutes - July 15, 2014

­The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of July 15, 2014. 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 7:30 p.m. The following members were present: Mayor Aronsohn, Ms. Bigos, Councilwoman Knudsen, Chairman Nalbantian, Mr. Joel, Mr. Reilly, Ms. Dockray, Ms. Peters, Ms. Altano and Mr. Abdalla. Also present were: Katie Razin, Esq., substituting for Gail Price, Esq., Board Attorney; Blais Brancheau, Village Planner; Chris Rutishauser, Village Engineer, and Jane Wondergem, Board Secretary. Mr. Thurston was absent from the meeting.

Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board – There were no comments at this time.

Correspondence Received by the Board - Ms. Wondergem said the Board members received reports from the Ridgewood Water Department and the Open Space Committee regarding the proposed Master Plan amendment.

Public Hearing on Amendment to the Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan – AH-2, B-3-R, C-R & C Zone Districts – Following is the transcript of this portion of the meeting, prepared by Laura A. Carucci, C.C.R., R.P.R.:

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Let's move on, it's item number four, public hearing on the Amendment to the Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan, AH 2, B 3 R, C R and C Zone Districts. 

So we're going to continue at this time with the cross examination of planners and I believe Ira, you were  

MR. WEINER: Yes, Mr. Chairman, thank you. 


MS. RAZIN: We'll start with you, go ahead. 

We were just going to say any counsel who wants to cross, it's not just  

MR. WEINER: Well, of course.


MS. RAZIN: You're going to go first.

MR. WEINER: Of course.  In light of the long delay and the fact that you've been hearing this for a long time, I only have a very few questions so, I think it will go quicker because I have the same questions for both planners, and I know the applicants   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Great, Mr. Burgis, Mr. Steck, please take the mikes.

MS. RAZIN: And just a reminder both of you gentlemen were sworn previously and    

MR. STECK: Peter Steck, planning consultant from Maplewood, New Jersey.

MR. BURGIS: Joseph Burgis, planner from Westwood, New Jersey.

MS. RAZIN: And you were both previously sworn. 

MR. STECK: Yes. 

MS. RAZIN: And your testimony tonight will continue to be under oath. 

MR. STECK: Understood.

Mr. BURGIS: Yes. 

PETER STECK, Having been previously sworn, continues to testify as follows:

JOSEPH BURGIS, Having been previously sworn, continues to testify as follows:

MS. RAZIN: Thank you.

MR. WEINER: Good evening, to expedite this I'm going to ask you a question, unless I say otherwise it's for both of you.  And you can answer in whatever order you would like, maybe Mr. Burgis first because he closest.  Are you aware of any studies of the impact on schools that were done based upon a full build out of all the properties that are the subject of the Master Plan Amendment? 

MR. BURGIS:   We had provided information about two of our the two projects that I represented.  I know Peter has prepared numbers for his project. And there is also information provided regarding the fourth. So it would be a simple matter for the Village Planner to add up those four numbers to come to a conclusion regarding that.

MR. WEINER: You provided numbers on the fourth project?

MR. BURGIS: Not on the fourth, no.  I provided numbers for Chestnut Village.   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Burgis    Mr. Burgis   

Mr. BURGIS:     and Onyx property on Ridgewood Avenue.  

MR. WEINER: Understood.  You said you just said   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Burgis, would you spell   

MS. RAZIN: Joe   

MR. WEINER: I understand you said   


MS. RAZIN:     can you just talk more into the mike? 


MS. RAZIN: It's just hard to hear.  Thank you. 

MR. WEINER: But you just said there were numbers for the fourth project that I   

Mr. BURGIS: Well, that was presented when that was initially presented, I guess informally, before the Planning Board.  I guess it was not part of this final record.

MR. WEINER: So there's no testimony on the record as to the school impact with respect to that project; is that correct?

Mr. BURGIS: Well, I believe that may be correct, that terms of the formal nature of this proceeding.

MR. WEINER: All right. Are there any other properties that are the subject of this, other than the Ken Smith property? I understood there were a couple of other buildings that still exist there that could be converted to multifamily housing if they wanted to do that   

Mr. BURGIS: Well   

MR. WEINER:     assuming that the zoning was changed. 

Mr. BURGIS:     that may be true, I did not look at that property. 

MR. WEINER: Okay.  Mr. Steck?

MR. STECK: I just did a prediction of school age children only for the project that I'm involved with, the K&K Builders project.

MR. WEINER: Okay.  Thank you. And in a similar vein, are you aware of any studies that assessed the parking impact to the downtown area.  I am not asking about parking on the individual sites, but the parking impact if there was a full build out of all the properties, assuming the zoning was adopted at some point in time.

MR. STECK: Since I represent one developer, we are proposing 1.75 parking spaces per unit that we believe will accommodate all of our parking needs.  Because I represent one developer I didn't do an analysis of the other projects.  Because I don't represent the Village, I did not do a comprehensive study.

MR. WEINER: Let me clear this up.  I'm not by these questions I'm not trying to infer that you did something wrong or it's something you were supposed to do.  But I'm asking as a general proposition whether or not you're aware of any other studies, not suggesting either of you should have done them.  I understand you represent individual developers. But are you aware of any studies, not on your site, I'm talking about in terms of what parking in the downtown area at times when parking is difficult. Are you aware of any studies that were done based upon a full build out.

MR. STECK: I'm not aware other than the references in the current Master Plan Reexamination Report, I'm not aware of such a study that you're alluding to.

MR. WEINER: Mr. Burgis?

Mr. BURGIS: Yeah.  My answer is similar to Mr. Steck's.

MR. WEINER: Okay.  Thank you.

Did either of you either perform any studies or are you aware of any studies that evaluated how many people that live in or near the Central Business District use the trains for to go to work?  

MR STECK: Specifically for the Village of Ridgewood?

MR. WEINER: What I'm saying is there anybody that lives in or around the CBD, was there, are you familiar with any studies that anybody did to determine how many people actually utilize the train, one of the theories of this one of the issues here is that this is transit oriented development and it's going to be reduce traffic. And I was just trying to figure out, there are homes in and around the CBD, did anyone take a look and see how many people actually use the train?  If it was a lot maybe that's    this is a good thing.  If it's nobody then maybe this isn't such a good thing.  That's where I'm going with that.

MR STECK: This is Peter Steck again. I am not aware of a specific study for Ridgewood, however New Jersey Transit has produced a study that indicates that automobile usage goes down when you're generally within a half mile of a train station, but more particularly within a quarter mile of the train station. 


MR. WEINER: All right.  But that doesn't   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Ira, if I can interject just, again, for the benefit of the new Board Members and also the public, Mr. Weiner maybe you can introduce yourself and   

MR. WEINER: Oh, I'm sorry.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:     and your representation and also Mr. Burgis and Mr. Steck   

Mr. BURGIS: Okay.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:     in terms of who you're representing this evening.

Mr. BURGIS: Yes.

MR. WEINER: My name is Ira Weiner.  I'm with the law firm of Beattie Padavano.  I represent a group of four individuals who are called, the name of the groups is Citizens for a Better Ridgewood.  The four individuals are Amy Moore, Laurie Wild, Jennifer Cafasso and Carol Pekinese (phonetic).

So these gentlemen had testified several months ago and we had delays. It's my questioning until now, as well as any other questions, certainly if you have them they're here.


MR. WEINER: Thank you.


MR. BURGIS: Hi, my name is Joseph Burgis.  I'm the president of Burgis Associates.  We're a community planning and development consulting firm located in Westwood Avenue. I represent two property owners in this matter, one is 240 Ridgewood Avenue Associates which is at the corner of North Maple and Ridgewood Avenue, where the applicant is proposing 52 dwelling units. And in addition I'm representing Chestnut Village Associates located on Chestnut Avenue it's a property immediately to the north of the YMCA coincidently they're also proposing 52 dwelling units.

MR. WELLS: Joe, The Enclave.

Mr. BURGIS: Pardon?  

MR. STECK: The Enclave.

Mr. BURGIS: Oh, I am corrected when I mentioned 240 Associates it's actually now called The Enclave.

MR STECK: My name is Peter Steck, and you're looking at the entire employee workforce of my sole proprietorship.  I'm representing the project known as The Dayton.   

MS. PETERS: If I could just interject.  It's really hard for us over here to understand what people are saying. 

MR. REILLY: The feedback's awful.

MS. PETERS: And if you could just I notice it's for everyone. I don't know why on this occasion it's so bad but if you could just try to speak slowly because   


MS. PETERS:     I think I only heard half of what Mr. Burgis said.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, I agree with that. 

MS. PETERS: It's a problem.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It might be let's try something   

MS. PETERS: I don't know what the speaker is doing.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Let's try something, if I can just interject. Try to bring the volume down a little bit and maybe you can speak more directly into the microphone that may help.  

Mr. BURGIS: You're getting feedback over here?



MR. WELLS: I'm having trouble hearing also.

MS. PETERS: Really speak slowly because I can't hear at all. I'm so sorry.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: No, thank you, Michele.

MR. STECK: My name is Peter Steck.  And I'm a planning consultant representing a project that been referenced as The Dayton it's proposed by K&K Developers Incorporated.  And it’s commonly known as the Brogan Cadillac site and an adjacent automotive site.  And there are two properties, one at 150 South Broad Street and 152 South Broad Street.  And proposed is, at least conceptually, a multifamily building with approximately 106 dwelling units in it.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Steck. Mr. Weiner?

MR. WEINER: Okay.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I'll try to I'll try to slow it down a little bit. 

Are you, did you perform or are you aware of any market studies that were done to determine whether senior citizens that lived in Ridgewood would be interested in moving to this type of housing that is conceptually been proposed?

MR. STECK: This is Peter Steck again, I did not perform any market studies, but in, as part of my summary planning evaluation of December 26th, 2013, there was a reference to at least the, for example, the rent levels of other multifamily buildings.  However I am not, I did not do, and I don't specialize in marketability studies. And in this case you're asking for senior citizens. I don't know whether or not the applicant developer has conducted such marketing studies.

MR. WEINER: Okay. 

MR. BURGIS: To limit my answer I would say my answer is the same as Peter's.  We also did not do any specific studies. The only thing I would add is that I am aware that Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research has done some studies indicating that seniors are interested in moving back to more urban centers and near mass transit near more walkable communities as a general concept that is happening statewide.

MR. WEINER: Well, I was asking specifically about people that live in Ridgewood, that live in single family homes and might be, whether they would be interested in if they were downsizing moving into something like this, you didn't, you don't have that information?  That's fine.

Mr. BURGIS: No, we have not done any specific studies of Ridgewood residents.

MR. WEINER: Okay.  In preparing your reports, did you I know you may have looked at some traffic studies done by your respective experts your clients, but did you were you able to look at an overall comprehensive traffic study that would evaluate all the traffic impacts throughout the downtown center, assuming that all the properties would be built out that are proposed?

Mr. BURGIS: Well, my firm, we are not traffic consultants, so we would not have participated in such a study.  You would have to ask the traffic consultant when they testify.

MR. WEINER: I just want to clarify I wasn't asking whether you did a study, I understand that you don't do traffic. What I was asking was did you review any studies in coming to your opinions as given in your testimony based upon some comprehensive traffic?  I assume from a planning point of view if you were going to put something in that it was going to be a horrendous traffic that would be something you would address one way or another.

MR STECK: This is Peter Steck again.  As part of our application you're aware we had a separate study and it shows that there was potentially very little difference from the current traffic in the area.  In my judgment as the planner this site else fairly remote from the other sites, so it would make no sense in evaluating this site to evaluate a traffic that might be at the other end the business district.

MR. WEINER: I understand that. That's all I have.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Weiner, thank you. Thank you, gentlemen. 

MR. BURGIS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Wells, I know Ms. Bogert isn't here this evening, but if you have questions for Mr. Burgis please at this time.

MR. WELLS: I have no questions.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  Mr. Bruinooge, do you any questions of Mr. Steck? 

MR. BRUINOOGE: No questions.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  Thank you. Okay.  This concludes the cross.

Do have you any comment?


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: No?  Okay.  This concludes the cross examination of the planners.

MS. RAZIN: Just for the record, of both Mr. Steck and you can go, Mr. Steck and Mr. Burgis have been open to the board and to the public previously, so we did it a little bit out of order but they are leaving because they have already been subjected, I think, to everybody's cross now extended over several months.  So thank you.

And we'll deal with the scheduling of Ms. Bogert's cross exam, if there is any, maybe at the end of this meeting when we talk about what's next.


Okay. At this time let's take reports or comments from Village agencies.  Why don't we begin with the Water Department. Is there a representative of the Water Department who wishes to read a statement or make a statement on behalf of the agency? 



MR. SCHEIBNER: David Scheibner, Business Manager of Ridgewood Water.

MS. RAZIN: I'm sorry.  Can you just spell your last name please.

MR. SCHEIBNER: Scheibner.

MS. RAZIN: And do you swear that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


DAVID SCHEIBNER, Having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. RAZIN: Thank you. And I'm sorry, before you begin, you've submitted previously to the Board, I guess a memorandum  

MR. SCHEIBNER: A written statement.

MS. RAZIN: A written statement.  Would you like it marked or are you going to read it verbatim? 

MR. SCHEIBNER: I could read it if that's in the interest of the board.

MS. RAZIN: Let's mark it.  Why don't we mark it also. 


MS. RAZIN: Okay.  And I think we are on this would be a "B" exhibit I guess for board. Mr. Wells, Mr. Bruinooge, do you have any objection to it being a "B" exhibit.  Do you want it to be a, "RA" exhibit to Ridgewood Agency? 



MS. RAZIN: "RA" okay. So why don't we do it as "RA", I believe it's one.

MR. WELLS: It is one.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  And you prepared this statement? 

MR. SCHEIBNER: I prepared this statement in response to an invitation from the board.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  Thank you.

(Whereupon, Impact of Proposed CBD Housing on Ridgewood Water Preliminary Findings is received and marked as Exhibit RA-1 in Evidence.)

MR. SCHEIBNER: And I titled it "Impact of Proposed CBD Housing on Ridgewood Water, Preliminary Findings."

"Ridgewood Water has reviewed the conceptual plans and planning reports for three proposed housing developments in the CBD. The potential impact of these developments falls into the following categories: 

1. Supply of domestic water;

2. Supply of fire suppression water;

3. Supply of irrigation water;

4.  Demand profiles;

5. Metering and customer service. 

"The estimates of water use are based on data from American Water Works Association document, 'A Guide to Water Use Indicators for Conservation and Financial Planning" by Amy Vickers, Mary Wyatt Tiger, and Shadi Eskaf, October 2013 as well as local experience. It is assumed that conservation oriented appliances and fixtures will be installed in the apartments and that individual residents               will not use significant amounts of water outdoors.  The average per capita water use in this type of housing will be 50 gallons per day. 

"Fire suppression flows will need to be site tested.

"Landscaping that would require irrigation is small in scale.

"Seasonal and whether related demands are expected to be minimal due to small scale landscaping.

"Ridgewood Water will provide, maintain and read a single meter for each of these developments. There will consequently be a single account for each development. The developers may choose to manifold and sub meter for individual units downstream from the utility's meters. 

"The Enclave is estimated to have 106 residents who would collectively consume 5,300 gallons per day. Small scale retail space generally has very low consumptions, limited to restrooms used by staff. The net increase offer current retail use is estimated at 100 gallons per day. 5,400 gallons per day would increase total demand on the system by about 0.1%.  If restaurants are allowed, the increase would be larger but still would not have a major impact on total system demand. The site is served by large water mains and fire suppression flows will likely be sufficient without modification to the distribution system. 

"Chestnut Village is estimated to have 91 residents who would collectively consume 4,550 gallons per day. This would increase total demand on the system by about 0.09%. Fire suppression flows will be determined through flow tests at the site but the railroad tracks limit reinforcing supply            from the west. 

"The Dayton is estimated to have 208 residents who would collectively consume 10,400 gallons per day. Prior usage at the properties when active was about 825 gallons per day yielding a net increase of 9,575 gallons per day.  This would increase the total demand on the system by about 0.19%. Fire suppression flows will be determined through flow tests at the site but the water main supplying that location may need to be supplemented due to the size of the existing main and limited reinforcing supply from the west due to the railroad tracks." 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Scheibner, thank you very much. At this time what we'll do is allow the public to ask you questions with regard to your testimony.  We're going start with the public as we have with all witnesses through this process followed by the board and then Counsel for the applicants. 

So at this time are there members of the public who have questions for Mr. Scheibner on his testimony.


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  So we have no need to open to public. Thank you for coming and for presenting this evening Mr. Scheibner.

MR. SCHEIBNER: You're welcome, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Board Members?  Richard? 

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.  You know I see certain percentages and usage, do you feel that all these things combined is a big effect to the system?  I mean you talked percentage but sometimes one percent can be a lot.

MR. SCHEIBNER: The percentages, I don't think the percentages are large. They're based on a percentage of base demand which could be construed as wintertime demand. Our system is very sensitive to seasonal demand, more so than many utilities because we do not have, aside from Valley Hospital, we do not have a large consumer that uses a large amount year round. So our seasonal demands are mostly due to household irrigation.  These particular developments don't seem to be a source of that.  So they are yeah, we have no trouble whatsoever meeting wintertime demands.  And this would be a very small increase in wintertime demands.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is there anything on these all these projects as a whole that gives you a concern or would keep you up at night servicing them?

MR. SCHEIBNER: No.  The main question that I see is in particularly The Dayton and the fire flows.  And since it isn't really the water utility's responsibility to determine those flows, what is required, it doesn't    it wouldn't keep me up at night.  I would assume that the fire officials would determine what's needed.  And if any improvements were needed the developer would take care of that.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: No further questions.


MR. REILLY: Not really a question, just an observation, as Richard said it seems to be very miniscule amount of the total amount and you're calculated what are average total amount is and what this is as a ratio of that. The thing that occurs to me, the concern maybe, is the total water supply we draw on.  This is not a dry year.  This year it's not going to be a problem.  But we have dry years.  And I guess it's just a question I have whether in a dry year it's going to strain our existing supplies. 

MR. SCHEIBNER: No.  Again, our typical demand on a daily basis is about 5 million gallons.  This is our base demand, our wintertime demand. It's about 5 million gallons a day.  And we have no difficulty whatsoever meeting that demand. Our peaking demands can be 18 to 20 million gallons a day in a hot spell in the summertime, and that the difference between the 5 million and the 18 million is irrigation. 

I don't see the quantities here that we're talking about are really very, very minor.

MR. REILLY: Thank you.


MS. DOCKRAY: Yeah, on the same topic, I think it was I don't think it was last summer, maybe it was the summer before, we got a notice that we were to stop irrigating completely and that we were on the verge of a public health emergency because the water level in the tanks was very low. Is that something we shouldn't be worrying about in terms of this contributing to that kind of situation?

MR. SCHEIBNER: It does contribute, I mean any every drop of water that's used is contributing to that fall, but the significance of this type of use is relatively minor, when we put water restrictions on we restrict irrigation, we don't restrict flushing toilets or restrict taking showers or washing your laundry.

MS. DOCKRAY: Right, but even in restricting irrigation I mean Ridgewood is a town that, you know, values its landscaping and its trees and a lot of us invest a lot of money in our property around our homes and to be told we can no longer irrigate them for periods of time sometimes leads to, you know, loss of value in those improvements, for what it's worth. Thank you.


Any Michele?

MS. PETERS: Yes.  And this could be just from my lack of being able to hear, Katie is it true that when it's assumed that conservation oriented appliances and fixtures will be done, that's during the site plan review? 

MS. RAZIN: I'm sorry.  Say it one more time.

MS. PETERS: She can't even hear me.

MS. RAZIN: Because I heard the Katie, but... 

MS. PETERS: Yes, when the assumption that conservation oriented appliances and fixtures will be installed that would be during site plan review? 

MS. RAZIN: Well, we may not have control over what fixtures, interior fixtures per se are I mean I think that's goes a little bit beyond the board's purview.  But I mean in terms of ensuring, for example, issues of fire safety, that's within our control and we would want to make sure that that's handled by the developer if that were if it was to proceed to that point. Is that what you're asking? 


MS. RAZIN: Okay.

MS. PETERS: So I think that when we have a statement like this, perhaps if we can't make an assumption that conservation appliances will be there, that we make the assumption they won't be done. So it's your conclusion that outside of The Dayton for your reasons that the water supply in the location may need to be supplemented, is your conclusion that you feel that there is no impact that we could consider to be significant by the proposed developments.

MR. SCHEIBNER: I'm in, is this related to the, is your question related to the conservation oriented appliances or not? 

MS. PETERS: No, no, no.


MS. PETERS: It's to exactly your report.

MR. SCHEIBNER: Just the overall impact?  

MS. PETERS: Your overall conclusion, yes. 

MR. SCHEIBNER: It seems the overall conclusion is the impact is very small.

MS. PETERS: Okay.  And I think you did say this, I'm not sure I heard you, is that this developer would pay for whatever supplemental need may be determined? 


MS. PETERS: Thank you very much. Thank you.

MS. ALTONA: I have a question.


MS. ALTONA: I mean to continue on your questions    

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: We can't hear you.


MS. ALTONA: Would you say   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Can you speak in the microphone.

MS. ALTONA: Yes, I'm sorry.  Would you say that an additional   


MS. ALTONA: Closer?  Okay.

Would you say that an additional limitation to be asked of the developer is to create cisterns and also additional systems at the site development stage where you can actually collect rainwater and also provide means for additional reserve in situations such as we had two years ago when we were lacking water.

MR. SCHEIBNER: It's, everything helps.  I think that that most rainwater collection systems collect a relatively small amount.  But it all helps, certainly. 

MS. ALTONA: Thank you.

MR. SCHEIBNER: I'm reluctant to think that that rainwater collection on the site would make a tremendous difference in the total water use on the property because I don't expect a lot of external water use based on the plans I looked at. 

MS. PETERS: Can I ask a follow up question to that?  I'm so sorry. A follow up to that, as our water expert, because I'm thinking of green roofs are and you're saying about the water usage for these buildings, which are not huge developments being proposed, the use of green roofs, would they it be a negligible attribute or maybe it would be helpful.

MR. SCHEIBNER: I I don't know enough about green roofs to give you a really good answer to that.

MS. PETERS: Okay.  Thank you. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Isabella, were you finished? 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  Khidir, do you have any questions? If you don't have any, it's okay. 

MR. ABDALLA: Actually I do have a question. Can you hear me?  Regarding the low consumption for the fixtures and the appliances, to your knowledge is there anything in the local code that requires developers to build this to meet certain green standards guidelines?

MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes. The the in fact its national plumbing code requires low flow toilets and many people don't realize that in interior use toilets can be as much as 30 percent of the water consumed in the house. So the difference between a five gallon per flush toilet and a 1.6 gallon per flush toilet is huge. In fact, nationwide between between toilets, low flow toilets getting, you know, we they're being replaced, getting in place and and a low water consumption washers, nationwide water consumption is down about 15 percent over the last 10, 15 years. 

MS. PETERS: So isn't that the answer to my question, is that under the building codes for new construction that there is a requirement for the energy conservation to be used? 

MR. SCHEIBNER:  Definitely for toilets.  Washing machines are probably the second highest consumer of water in a household.  And that, I don't believe, to my knowledge is not a requirement of code. 

MS. PETERS: Okay.  But like shower fixtures, and that sort of thing   


MS. PETERS:     demanding the low flows   


MS. PETERS:     now.  So it's in the building code for new construction?


MS. PETERS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Khidir, any further questions? 

MR. ABDALLA: Thank you.


MAYOR ARONSOHN: No questions.


COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Yes. I don't know if this is I don't think mine's on. Hello? Is that on? Okay.  Good. I have a question pertaining to the fire suppression, you wrote in your report on the Chestnut Village that fire suppression flows will be determined through flow tests at the site, but the railroad tracks limit reinforcing supply from the west. And then on on the Chestnut Village.


COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: And then on The Dayton you went so far as to state that the flow test, the water mains supplying that location again may be supplemented due to the size of the existing main, again but limited reinforcement supply from the west due to the railroad tracks. So how does that get reconciled?  How do you resolve that issue?  And what does that entail exactly? Could you just expand? 

MR. SCHEIBNER: The the Chestnut Village has an 8 inch main in front of it.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay.  So The Enclave has what?  Because that one was sufficient.

MR. SCHEIBNER: That The Enclave has I believe it's a 12 inch main there and it ties into other large mains nearby.


MR. SCHEIBNER: West East Ridgewood Avenue and Franklin Avenue. 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So The Enclave 12 inch.  Go ahead, sorry.

MR. SCHEIBNER: So Chestnut Village has an 8 inch main in front of it, but the 8 inch main is a long main without any intersections as it goes behind the Y down towards Franklin Avenue to the south.  There aren't a lot of intersecting mains to help reinforce that. There are none from the west because there are very few mains that actually go from east to west under the tracks, the railroad tracks. 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So then my question is how obviously this is a safety issue because you're saying it needs to be supplemented and resolved.

MR. SCHEIBNER: Well, I'm not saying it does need to be supplemented.  I'm saying that    

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Based on water flow tests?

MR. SCHEIBNER: It has the yeah, they have to do flow tests to determine if there's sufficient flow for    for the required sprinklers at that location. My own, you know, observations are is the I get my names right, The Enclave is is sort of a no brainer, you know, there's so much so many mains around there that    and there are other facilities around there that have fire services off of those mains.  So it is pretty clear    you would still want to test it, just to make sure you have the flows, but it's pretty clear that there's a lot of ways that the water can get to the system. Whereas, The Chestnut Village is rather isolated.  And even though it has an 8 inch main which is not the smallest main we have out there, it's still not as clear-cut that there would be enough fire flow the way the system is right now.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: So if in the worse case scenario, the resulting water flow test reveals that it's not sufficient, and something needs to be resolved   


COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN:     what does that entail?  

MR. SCHEIBNER: That entails either supplementing with more mains or connecting through other properties to other sources, other mains, so that there's water coming from multiple directions towards the facility if there's a fire.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay for now.  Thank you.


MR. WELLS: If I could clarify if we're lucky enough to get to site plan some day on Chestnut Village   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's under site plan.

MR. WELLS: that matter would certainly be part of the site plan application and that we would absolutely conform with whatever the requirements of the Village are, up to and including additional mains and these kinds of things, you know, are an acceptable thing for the board to request of us and we would certainly comply with.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It fairly typical, correct.

Thank you.

MS. RAZIN: Mr. Bruinooge?  Mr. Bruinooge.


MS. PETERS: As to The Dayton? 

MS. RAZIN: I'm just asking if the same holds true for your Mr. Wells basically confirmed I guess that at the time of site plan   

MR. BRUINOOGE: Mr. Wells, has to say what he has to say regarding his project. I have nothing to say with respect to The Enclave.  I'm very satisfied with the testimony of the Village of Ridgewood's Water Department.

MS. RAZIN: Okay. 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: All right.  Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Susan. Nancy? 

MS. BIGOS: Mr. Scheibner, I just wanted to say thank you for your time   

MS. PETERS: I can't hear.

MS. BIGOS:     and expertise.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Nancy, can you speak   

MS. PETERS: I can't hear.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:     a little louder? 

MS. BIGOS: I just want to thank Mr. Scheibner for his time and expertise in preparing this document this evening. No questions.

MR. SCHEIBNER: Thank you.  

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Actually, can I follow up? 

MS. BIGOS: Maybe we should be down there and you should be up here?  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Susan, continue. Susan is on.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: I just had a follow up on that fire suppression issue, safety first. So, in other words, when you said you'd have to probably go through other properties so that would require, I guess, property owners to approve I'm just asking, you may not know the answer   


COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: to this and maybe Mr. Wells has the answer to it, but in other words if I have a private property and what you just suggested was that another property owner would have to essentially, I assume, give permission to allow you to go through their different properties in order to navigate this water suppression appropriately sized water mains.

MR. SCHEIBNER: Additional water mains through other properties are one way of reinforcing the flow in an area.  Upsizing the mains is another.


MR. SCHEIBNER: Or supplemental mains. 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: All right.  Thanks. I'm done.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Susan. Other questions, follow up questions from the board? 

MS. DOCKRAY: Just one. 


MS. DOCKRAY: You had indicated Chestnut Village main was 8 inches and The Enclave 12, but I don't think you said what The Dayton was.

MR. SCHEIBNER: The main on South Broad Street is 6 inches. 


MR. SCHEIBNER: And that being the largest of the the developments being considered that is that is the most interesting as far as fire flows as to what the tests would show. There are facilities on South Broad Street that have fire services off of that line and they're perfectly fine. It's just a question of what fire flows would be required for that development and if the tests determine that it's sufficient.

MS. DOCKRAY: Thank you.

MR. SCHEIBNER: There's really you know there's no way to know, but as a preliminary finding it looks less assured than than the other locations. 

MR. WELLS: Mr. Chairman?


MR. WELLS: I'll make the same situation on behalf of The Dayton project, we would do whatever we need to do to make sure the water flow is appropriate.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Wells.

MS. DOCKRAY: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Michele, any follow up? 

MS. PETERS:  No.  Thank you. 


MS. RAZIN: Blais.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay. At this time I would like to ask our professionals if they have questions. Chris?

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good evening, Dave.


MR. RUTISHAUSER: Quick question, what's the pressure in the mains at all three locations? 

MR. SCHEIBNER: They're very similar because they're the same elevation.  It's it's just under a hundred pounds static pressure which is on the high side. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: So in other words no concerns on the Water Department's behave reaching the upper floors of what is proposed? 


MR. RUTISHAUSER: They wouldn't need any booster stations or booster pumping?

MR. SCHEIBNER: What is it what is it, two and a half pounds per foot, roughly? 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: I don't have it committed to memory.

MR. SCHEIBNER: I very I don't use that calculation very often. But the The Dayton is four stories as proposed? 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: I believe that is correct.

MR. SCHEIBNER: Well, there's already three story buildings nearby. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: So pressure to the upper floors isn't a problem.

MR. SCHEIBNER: I don't think it's an issue, no.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: And can you there was a comment made about cisterns, could you possibly just comment on what a cross connection is for the board's edification. 

MR. SCHEIBNER: A cross connection is is any connection with the potable water system with an unapproved source of supply.  So the cistern, if it was used for any any purpose would have to be totally isolated from the water system. So that in the event of a sudden pressure drop in the water system in the water supply system that that unapproved water doesn't get pulled in to the system and get inadvertently delivered to another customer. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay.  Thank you, Dave. Nothing further, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Blais, any questions? 

MR. BRANCHEAU: Is this going through?

I noticed your report addressed each of the developments by themselves. The question I have is what is the at what point would a problem be reached because it's been pointed out that the areas proposed for zoning change are larger than these three parcels, and leading to the suggestion that there may be additional development besides these. Is there a significant level of comfort to suggest that if all three of these proposed developments, as well as additional developments, were to be developed, that your conclusion would be the same or would you modify it? I don't mean the numerical percentages but I mean your overall conclusion.

MR. SCHEIBNER: I would say it it would not concern me.  The main thing we we worry about is well, the two main things we worry about is maintaining pressures, maintaining sufficient flows and and the bottom line, you know, with with our regulators that we have an allocation that we cannot exceed.  The allocation we have four different allocations.  And the allocation in the in the area in question we we never exceed there. We have plenty of supply in that area and it's that's never an issue. So even if you combined all these and doubled it, I still think you're talking about a pretty small percentage of increase in what we would supply, you know, as a baseline demand. 

MR. BRANCHEAU: All right.  Thank you.  That's my only question.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Blais. I have a follow up question to that, directly related thank you. You know during previous discussions we've spoken about as of right development. In other words, commercial developments on those sites, they're currently somewhat inactive, especially with regard to the use of water.  And there has been discussion of other forms of commercial development that could actually go there today without any change in zoning. Are there developments, particularly the commercial developments or other forms of developments that you would be concerned about as it relates to water consumption that may be more or of concern relative to those sites specifically? 

MR. SCHEIBNER: Well, certainly restaurants use more water than retail space.  But again but, again, it isn't a dramatic amount unless unless you I don't think I don't know if the area is zoned for any kind of industrial use, but I can't think of anything commercial that that would be significant.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Are there other developments that could be significant, other than industrial, that you would be concerned about?

MR. SCHEIBNER: Nothing comes to mind.


MR. SCHEIBNER: You know car washes, well we already have one there right next door to The Dayton.  But even that is not really they really don't use as much water as you might think.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you. Other follow up questions?

MS. PETERS: If I may please.


MS. PETERS: I'm sorry to be asking so many questions here.


MR. SCHEIBNER: That's what I'm here for.

MS. PETERS: If the proposed developments are described as being luxury, and usually luxury in real estate terms, as a broker or in the market, usually means a personal washer and dryer.  So if each of these units has its own washer and dryer in it, would your conclusion change at all for any of these projects? 

MR. SCHEIBNER: Well, before I you know, before I analyzed the water use, I I specifically asked the Planning Board secretary if if these were going to have washers in them.  So I assumed that in that 50 gallons per person per day figure.  So that's included in that.  But but considering that it would be a low water use type of washer. And I my my opinion of a luxury washer is of low flow front loader type of washer.

MS. PETERS: Right.  Thank you.  Thank you for clarifying that.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Michele. 

Okay. If there are no further questions from the board, we can move to Counsel.

MR. BRUINOOGE: No questions.


MR. WELLS: No questions.


MR. WEINER: No questions.


Thank you very much for your testimony this evening.

MR. SCHEIBNER: You're welcome.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Appreciate your time.

MS. RAZIN: Thank you very much. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  I think Open Space Committee is next. Mr. Currey? 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you for coming.

MR. CURREY: Thank you for inviting us.

MS. RAZIN: Mr. Currey, I'm sorry can you just state and spell your full name and just    


MS. RAZIN:     I'm going to swear you in.

MR. CURREY: Yes, my name is Ralph Currey, Currey.

MS. RAZIN: And do you swear that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


RALPH CURREY, Having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. RAZIN: And did you prepare a memorandum that was submitted to Jane.

MR. CURREY: Yes.  Yes, I did.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  And we're going to mark that as RA-2.

MR. CURREY:   Very good. 

(Whereupon, Village of Ridgewood Open Space Committee, "Proposed Master Plan Amendments Regarding High Density Multifamily Housing in the CBD", dated July 10, 2014 is received and marked as Exhibit RA-2 in Evidence.)

MR. CURREY: I'm going to read it, although I might ad lib a couple of thing as I go along.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: If you can speak slowly because the acoustics   

MS. PETERS:   I cannot hear you.  I could not understand a word you just said.


MR. CURREY: Okay.  Okay.  Maybe I'll how about this, is that better? 

MS. PETERS: Just speak really slow. 

MR. CURREY: Okay. 

MS. PETERS: Thank you. 

MR. CURREY: I've been accused of speaking very slowly so I'll have to slow it down even more. 

"The Village of Ridgewood Open Space Committee, created by Ordinance 2773, effective January 29, 2002, has several mandates. Among other things, the Committee is required to: 

'Assist and advise the Planning Board in the preparation and amendment of the Village of Ridgewood Open Space and Recreation Plan, as well as the relationship of the Open Space and Recreation Plan with other Master Plan Elements;" also,

'Develop and present to the Planning Board and the Village Council a clear understanding of the importance of maintaining open space resources in order to define a vision for open space in the Village of Ridgewood;' and finally,

'Make recommendations to the                Planning Board and the Village Council for the implementation of the Committee's actions.'' Is that slow enough?  Good? 

"Pursuant to these mandates, we are submitting this memorandum to the Planning Board regarding the open space considerations that we believe should be taken into account in connection with the proposed Master Plan Amendments, regarding high density multifamily housing in, "Ridgewood's Central        Business District under review by the Planning Board. 

"As spelled out in the Open Space and Recreation Plan prepared by the Open Space Committee and incorporated into the Master Plan, Ridgewood has substantial deficiencies in open space resources for both active and passive recreation under all applicable national and New Jersey State standards. Under the Balanced Land Use Standards for Recreation identified in the New Jersey Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (commonly called 'SCORP')," my son chuckled at that, but anyway. "Ridgewood, comprised of approximately six square miles or 3,840 acres, should have 3% of its land area, or about 115 acres, dedicated to active recreation, but has only 52 acres, a deficiency of 63 acres. Under the New Jersey Green Acres Population Method, the second method identified in SCORP, Ridgewood, with a current population of approximately   25,000, should have 200 acres of open space recreational facilities (including tot lots and playgrounds, playing fields and neighborhood and community parks), but has only 140, a deficiency of 60 acres.  The large school age population in Ridgewood, which has the largest public school enrollment in Bergen County, and the resulting demand for active recreational facilities (the Open Space and Recreation Plan cites a 260% increase in youth sports participation over the past 25 years), exacerbates this deficiency.  Using the 'adjusted' SCORP method described in our Open Space and Recreation Plan, which takes into account the higher than average percentage of school age children in Ridgewood's population (24% of the population versus the Bergen County average of 18.5%) and adjusts the amount of tot lots and playgrounds and playing fields by a factor of 1.3, Ridgewood should have 222.5 acres of open space recreational facilities, which increases the deficiency to nearly 83 acres. It is also worth noting that, unlike some other communities, Ridgewood has no privately owned (for example, private school) playing fields to offset part of this deficiency. 

"Significantly, the Open Space and Recreation Plan does not consider population growth as it was considered unlikely given Ridgewood's almost fully developed state. The proposed Master Plan Amendments, however, contemplate high density, multifamily housing located on previous brownfields or commercial sites with no residential units, which could result in a significant increase in population on the order of 1,000 people or more." And that, of course, assumes that all of the proposed new zones are developed to sort of the maximum allowed density, not just the three applications you have before you.

"Each additional 1,000 residents will increase Ridgewood's open space deficiency by 8 acres under the SCORP population method and 8.9 acres under our 'adjusted' SCORP method. The 'Core System Standard' developed by the National Recreation and Park Association and used by CMX in the preparation of the Master Recreation Plan for the Village suggests an even higher amount of parkland, 10.5 acres, per 1,000 people. These are significant numbers given the fact that over a decade of work to augment open space in the Village has yielded an addition of only about 18 acres to the Village's open space inventory (Habernickel Family Park, the enlargement of Citizens Park and the Schedler property). And the opportunities to further augment the Village's open space resources are limited because Ridgewood is almost fully built, and there are few, if any, large properties available for conversion to recreational use at a reasonable price now and in the foreseeable future." And I would also note that, you know, any any significant increase would also require the purchase of already developed properties and kind of returning them to an undeveloped state which would require a lot of money which currently isn't available. 

"There is no doubt these proposed developments," and I would say and zoning changes, "in the Central Business District will increase the Village's population, including the additional school age children projected by the Superintendent of Schools, and significantly increase the strain on the Village's already deficient open space resources.

"We also note that the availability of new downtown apartments in Ridgewood could accelerate the turnover of single family homes from 'empty nesters' to families with school age children, which could cause the population increase (and increased school enrollment) resulting from these developments to be even greater.

"There is also the danger that if these developers are successful in amending the Master Plan to accommodate their applications, Ridgewood will become an obvious target for other developers in the future. The pressures on our limited open space could become even greater.

"Finally, the need for open space in the Central Business District itself should also be considered. We are concerned about a substantial increase in residential density in the Central Business District since it is already deficient in open space, with Van Neste Park being the only open space within the Central Business District. The proposed density of 40 50 units per acre is found only in a small portion of towns in Bergen County. The maximum density permitted in most town in Bergen County is closer to half of that number.  One way to address this issue is through reducing the allowed density and requiring the inclusion of pocket parks in any new developments in the Central Business District.  "We believe it is critical to assess whether the Village has all the necessary resources, facilities and infrastructure, of which open space is an important component, required to support the increase in population, traffic, demand for municipal services, school system enrollment and usage of our overstressed recreational spaces that will result in these developments. Accordingly, we urge the Planning Board to consider the potential negative impact of these proposed developments on the Village's already inadequate open space resources as part of your review and approval process".

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Ralph. Thank you very much. Before we hear board questions, I'll again just like a show of hands for any members of the public who would have questions of Mr. Currey with regard to his testimony.


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  So there's no need to, again, open to public. 

Would we like to begin with, Khidir, if you have any questions?

MR. ABDALLA: Just a quick question, would you please elaborate on your point can you hear me?  Can you hear me?

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I can hear you. 

MR. ABDALLA: It's on?

If you don't mind can you please elaborate on your point regarding if the rezoning was to be passed and developers become successful in implementing these new developments here, why would that make Ridgewood a target for other developers?

MR. CURREY: Well, I believe that the the proposals to create new zones well, I mean first of all, I mean, I think these Amendments are being considered in response to applications from developers, correct? And it I think the second point is that these new zones would become, you know, available for other people to I mean it's not just the three projects that are before you, I mean the whole Ken Smith property and that whole zone is not even part of these applications, but it's part of the Master Plan Amendment and would become a target for development in the future. And, you know, there there may well be other parcels within the Central Business District that someone would want to rezone for    for high density multifamily development. Doesn't seem to us to be a stretch to suggest that if these succeed that others may follow. I mean you guys are the experts, you may disagree, but... 

MR. ABDALLA: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you. Isabella? 

MS. ALTONA: Can you hear me okay? 


MS. ALTONA: A little louder? Can you hear me now? 

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I could    I could hear you before. 

MS. ALTONA: I just have to say that since I've been reading about this high density development, one of the ideas that was going around my mind is, well, why not low density and increase in some park space.  And I couldn't happier to hear you talk about this solution of creating pocket parks and while we're thinking about bringing in additional units.  I think that it would be a good mitigation and a wonderful way of really alleviating some of issues that we're talking about.  So I feel it would be a wonderful idea.

MR. CURREY: Thank you.


MS. PETERS: Mr. Currey, I thank you very much for the report you made here. You touched upon a point that is very much in my concern, which has to do with the fact that we have an application in front of us and now we're discussing possible changes.  What I feel is that we should be discussing possible changes and then have applications. 

(Cell Phone Ringing.)

MS. PETERS: However with the statement that you made regarding opening the door to other developers in consideration, we have on the books current zoning that is permitted.  The permitted uses such as the commercial is for storage facilities and there are various other constructions that can be done currently, that is there.  They can continue with commercial applications.  They can have an auto body if they wish to do so. 

All right, enough with the cell phones.

So this is what's new before us is the change in the business district to allow the multifamily   multifamily use of it.  So I'm not so sure I'm in agreement with your statement there.  However I think that what we're presented with is really looking, again, as to what should be the Master Plan, what really should be, are looking at the needs of today and as they may be tomorrow.  And this raises that question for us to seriously consider. 

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I I think that was one of our primary purposes in wanting to make a statement to you is that is to    is to consider the Master Plan as a whole and all of its elements including open space, not just concerns in and around the Central Business District and what effect it might have there.  I mean this has the potential to have ripple effects throughout the community and including from you know, from our perspective on the demand for open space. 

MS. PETERS: Thank you.


MS. DOCKRAY: I just have a couple of questions about pocket parks.  Can you tell me a little bit more about them in terms what a typical size might be, what would go in a pocket park?  Do you envision that a pocket park would be something that only serves the residents of the development or are you talking about something to just, you know, a public park? 

MR. CURREY: Yeah, actually I didn't I didn't go into that in in huge detail    

MR. WELLS: Uh huh.

MR. CURREY: because we had previously submitted a statement to the PBA Planning Board on pocket   you know, a two page statement on pocket parks and   

MS. DOCKRAY: I'm sorry.  I guess I haven't seen that. 

MR. CURREY: Yes, you I don't think you   

MS. DOCKRAY: I'll go back read.  I'll read it.

MR. CURREY: I don't think you were on the you may not have been on the Planning Board.

MR. REILLY: I can give it to you, I have it.

MS. DOCKRAY: Kevin says he has a copy, I'll get one from him.

MR. CURREY: But there is a web site in there a Ramapo College study called "A Pocket Guide to Pocket Parks".  And we give the the web link to that. These can be, you know, a very small, you know, a third, a quarter, a half an acre, you know, our our view would be these would be public spaces, right?  So so they would reduce density and provide, you know, a small oasis in the in the middle of the Central Business District. But I could also give you another copy of this statement that we we submitted this just about a year ago to the Planning Board. 

MS. DOCKRAY: I'm so sorry if I missed that. 

MS. PETERS: And I'm not new and I haven't seen it.

MR. CURREY: I'm not sure it got a wide audience.

MS. DOCKRAY: I don't think I I you know, maybe I got it and I missed it.

Okay. But I will definitely take a look at that.  Thank you.


MS. DOCKRAY: And then I just want to, in terms of open space, I assume facilities like the YM/YWCA or the New York Sports Club that doesn't fill a gap in any way.  Those recreation  

MR. CURREY: Well, those are clearly recreational facilities, but they're not   


MR. CURREY:     not open space. 

MS. DOCKRAY: Right.  Okay.

MR. CURREY: I mean I mean there there's, you know, a whole other conversation people could have about, for example, basketball.  Whether we have enough basketball courts in   


MR. CURREY:     indoor basketball courts in Ridgewood   

MS. DOCKRAY: Uh huh.

MR. CURREY:     of which I understand some people think we don't, right.  So   

MS. DOCKRAY: Right, okay.

MR. CURREY: But but indoor recreational facilities are not within the purview of the Open Space Committee.

MS. DOCKRAY: So what you're talking about is outdoor space?

MR. CURREY: Green space, yes.

MS. DOCKRAY: Green space.  Okay.  Thank you.


MS. DOCKRAY: Kevin? 

MR. REILLY: Just an observation, we have a town with    a Village with an active young population, an active middle aged population and an old population.  We need a lot of open space.  And we have deficits.  I think the report lays out that we've had deficits and the Open Space Committee's brought this to our attention before. Now these particular lots I don't really see they're not going to be parks.  They're going to be some kind of a development.  And I understand the point about pocket parks. But as a practical matter we're not getting that much acreage out of them no matter what's done and there's issues as to what can be done. But I think the report clearly lays out we have a deficit and as you increase population, you increase deficit.  So something I think we have to continuously take into account. 

MR. CURREY: Yeah, Kevin raises a very good point too which is you cannot assume that if these developments are targeted at older people that they're not going to want open space to use.  I'm 60 years old.  And I still play softball every week.  And we used to play in Ridgewood, but we no longer can find a field in Ridgewood.  So we've had to go elsewhere so even even older folks want open space. 



VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.  You indicate pocket parks is a solution, are there other solutions such as an Open Space Fund or anything that people contribute to or...

MR. CURREY: Well, we we do have a there's the Village of Ridgewood has an Open Space Trust Fund which is funded by our open space tax and other, at least a step toward a solution would be an increase in that open space tax. The last time we attempted to get an increase passed was 2005. The current    the current tax is one half of one cent per $100.00 of assessed valuation. And we attempted to get it increased to one cent per $100.00. Now to give you an idea, one half of one cent is about $40.00 a year for the average taxpayer, actually it might be a little less now since the re val, based on the before the last, you know, re val the average home in Ridgewood was assessed at around $800,000.00.  So one half of one cent per $100,00 is $40.00, you know doubling it would be to $80.00 per person per household. That would because the current open space tax is fully utilized to service a debt on Habernickel, a little bit on Schedler, and perhaps may still be the property we bought with to enlarge Citizens Park.  But it's it's currently totally used for debt service. So increasing that would provide a source of revenue to support bonds that could be used to purchase additional space to convert it to open space. And then there's also the Conservancy if people want to make donations there's the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands a a recently formed 501(c)(3) whose mission is to support Ridgewood's parks both in terms of beautification and development but potentially as a vehicle for acquisition too.

VICE CHAIRMAN JOEL: Even if the fund increased, is there anything on the radar that's able to be purchased, though? 

MR. CURREY: Well, we have in our open space plan, we have identified a number of properties that could be acquired, you know, assuming willing sellers, you know, people who are willing to sell. And you know there there are no it takes a lot of creativity. There are no kind of, you know, obvious targets for for open space acquisition. I think the most interesting, personally, if if they could be acquired, you know, by way, you know, if people were willing to sell to the Village and it would be probably a multiyear effort to to get that done because you'd have to wait till people were, you know, inclined to sell   


MR. CURREY:     is there are I think six or seven properties immediately north of the Schedler property, you know, there's a couple of nurseries.  There's one three acre parcel and then there are four single family lots.  All together they're about seven acres that would enlarge Schedler to the Schedler property to 14 acres, which would make it both more useful from the point of active recreation as well as provide more space for buffers and trees and whatnot. Before the last re val, and I guess the last re val, property values went down or property assessments went down sort of somewhere between 15 and 20 percent. But before the last re val those seven properties were assessed at three and a half million dollars.  And that's that's in our report.  So this is no secret.

You know so rough number to acquire them would be three and a half million dollars.



MR. REILLY: Yes, just on the subject of pocket parks, they they do work. You see them even in densely populated New York City over the past well, back in the late 1980s into the 1990s the City was trading off zoning benefits for the the private developers setting aside, dedicating private space for public use.  Sometimes not large areas, even just a few benches, a few trees, somewhere to have lunch, where people might gather after work.  It's kind of an oasis in a densely populated area. They do work and you can get creative sometimes with the concept.

MR. CURREY: Right.  Yeah, I I happened to work in a building in New York, Worldwide Plaza, you know, what's the right word and you know a large sounding name Worldwide Plaza, but it has a public space behind it.  There's an office building, a public space and a condo.  And the public space gets a huge amount of use.  They have concerts in the summer.  They have restaurants and seating and, you know, all sorts of things.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Ralph. Finished?



MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thanks, Ralph.  Thank you and the committee for this because I noticed you earlier when I was walking in, I find this very useful, particularly the front two thirds of it are some objective metrics which I think help us put it all in perspective.  So I have three or four sets of questions based on this. First of all.  You talked about early on the deficiency based on the two SCORPs.

MR. CURREY: Right.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Have you looked at comparable  so we declare that we have a deficiency in open space, have you looked at other towns?  Have you do they have a comparable deficiency, surrounding towns? 

MR. CURREY: Well, actually, it's interesting you say that because as I wrote this report and started thinking about it, I sort of identified that as a project that the Open Space Committee should undertake.  It's not something we've done, is kind of look at other towns and particularly similar towns and what their what kind of their relative open space assets are and whether they have deficiencies or not. I did start that process with one one just look at one town Glen Rock which has, according 00 they have a fairly well, I think it was professionally written kind of environmental plan that includes a lot of things other than open space. But it has an open space component to it and so Glen Rock is a town of 2.7 square miles, which is less than half the size of Ridgewood.  It has a population of about 11 or 12,000.  So it has about half, less than half the population of Ridgewood. Interestingly, Glen Rock has exactly the same amount of open space 140 acres, which suggests that they have a fairly significant surplus under these standards.  So so that's as far as I've gotten, Paul.  But I think it's a I think it's a worthwhile project and as I said I  it just occurred to me maybe maybe at the same time it occurred to you, that that was   


MR. CURREY:     that that was a project that would be worthwhile to undertake.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes, and I appreciate that because that helps us obviously put it in perspective.  We clearly see from these compelling figures that we have deficiency, but and what are other towns dealing with.

MR. CURREY: Right, right.  Yeah.  I mean my guess is   


MR. CURREY: My guess is that, you know, if anyone has driven through there, you look at Paramus, Paramus probably has a fairly large surplus because they have a lot of open space.  But it’s worth looking at, you know. 

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Okay.  Thank you. 

My other question is, you talk about over the past 25 years there's been a 260 percent increase in youth sports, my question is, has there been an increase or decrease in what has been the percentage increase or decrease in the amount of open space that we've had so  

MR. CURREY: Well, I could tell you that the only additions to open space in the last 25 years are Habernickel, the enlargement of Citizens Park and Schedler.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: So that's a 22 you said that was going to be my next question because it says ten years, but it's over the same period of time? 

MR. CURREY: Before before we enlarged Citizens Park and bought Habernickel there had been nothing added in Ridgewood in at least 30 years and Ellie is here. It might have gone back to Citizens Park.  And of course for the benefit of people who don't know and I mentioned this to Paul, Citizens Park, you know one of the reasons we're in this predicament, if you want to call it that, today is because the Village officials of previous years did not have the foresight to preserve open space.  And Citizens Park became available and the town would not act to buy it.  So that's why it's called Citizens Park is because a group of citizens raised the money and donated it to the Village.  We wouldn't even have that.  It would have you know, if it hadn't been for them.  So, you know, it you know, Ellie, I'm not sure there was anything added of any significance to the Village's open space inventory between Citizens Park and Habernickel.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: So there's been a 260 percent increase in a very minor very small increase in the number of acres.

MR. CURREY: Correct.  And the increase is due to a number of things. It's due to increasing participation by young women, girls, which, you know, wasn't as true, you know, 40 years ago.  Sports are that certain sports are popular now, lacrosse is big, soccer which weren't widely played 30, 40 years ago.  And just an increasing emphasis on activity and fitness.  And then there's also increasing emphasis on on, you know, organized sports in general which may, you know, may or may not be a good thing but...

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Thank you. And my last questions is so looking at the three proposals as you did, so looking at the proposals, but put them aside for a second, do you see any real possibility for open space in those areas?  For instance an apartment building that has a roof that has open space or a green area or a playground or anything, do you see any way to sort of mitigate the potential impact? 

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I mean I think these these notions of pocket parks which can be, you know, extremely small.  I mean they could    of they, you know, they could be a plaza or, you know, a landscaped plaza with    as Kevin said with, you know, some benches there or something.  I mean, you know, don't I think there's    you know I'm not an architect or a planner or anything else, but doesn't seem to me there's any a doubt that you could incorporate any element of that into a development.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Right.  Because I remember one of the proposals which is no longer before the Board actually with the Ken Smith site had on the roof, I think, had a track and had sort   

MR. CURREY: Right.

MAYOR ARONSOHN:     sort of a green space up there.

MR. CURREY: Right, right.  I mean I think I think I would prefer to see it and I think someone asked the question, you know whether these would be private spaces or public spaces. I mean I'd prefer to see which  a roof would obviously be like a private space.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Private space.

MR. CURREY: I'd prefer to see public spaces. 

MAYOR ARONSOHN: Right.  Okay.  Good.  Thank you very much.




COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: I have a couple is this on again?  Okay. I have a couple of questions.  First, the irony isn't lost on me that your report comes after the water report that didn't need any water to water the green space so it's kind of ironic in my view, not lost on me. In terms of open space when we're looking at these types of high density of higher density housing, what is tantamount to somewhat of an urbanization of an area   

MR. CURREY: Uh huh.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: and maybe you can't answer this question, but the reason for open space, would it be some quality of life, emotional, psychological, when you have people, so many people, so intense an area without that green space, what kind of effect do you think that it may or may not have on people's perception and their quality of life?

MR. CURREY: Well, I I  you're right I'm no expert on this but but you know I think there are studies that support the notion that green space, open space has a very positive effect on our emotional state and our psyche.  I mean something as simple as the route you take to commute to work can make a difference, if you go on a parkway where you're surrounded by trees you kind of show up at work in a better mood than if you go on a you know, a congested, busy developed, you know, road, right? So I think, you know, open space has, you know, a number of benefits.  It's you know, it's not just for, you know, active recreation.  It just for calm, quiet, you know enjoyment of nature.

So I think, you know, we our our, you know, support, you know, and the members of our committee have always supported, you know, a mix of active and passive recreation, you know, quiet contemplation, enjoyment of nature.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Now, my next question goes to this statement here, the increase in population on the order of 1,000 people or more which seemed to be significantly higher, I believe, than what the three applications Mr. Wells is shaking his head for my benefit there the three applications are significantly higher. So you're suggesting that the residual effect or the bump out effect of this would be other applicants obviously coming forward.

MR. CURREY: Right.  Well, also as I looked at it, the three zones together, you know, I did this quickly, so I didn't go make the actual calculations, you know, seemed to be well over ten acres, maybe 12 acres, 40 or 50 unit per acre over 12 acres, that's five or 600 units. Didn't seem to me too difficult to get to a thousand people with five or 600 units.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay. Now, and I'll apologize if there's anything redundant in my questions because it was hard to hear from I think Wendy's questions, in term of the pocket park, let's say hypothetically the Chestnut Village incorporated X amount of space into what would be equivalent of a pocket park, but pocket parks typically would be parks that are open to the community. Would you then count that space into the open space I mean like in other words I have a backyard   

MR. CURREY: Right.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN:   that's open space. If this is private property necessarily is that counted in your calculations for this open space? 

MR. CURREY: No, the calculations only take into account public space, not private space of any sort whether it's in your backyard or it's owned by some private company or individual or organization. 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: But, your line on the first page stated that Ridgewood has no privately owned   

MR. CURREY: Playing fields. 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN:   playing fields to offset the deficiency. 

MR. CURREY: Right.  They don't have any I mean, for example, Glen Rock has Saint Catharine's Church   


MR. CURREY: It's a private   

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Saint Catharine's field.

MR. CURREY: private playing field, you know, wherever it is, Ramsey or, you know, Mahwah has Don Bosco. I mean they're a private school.  Bergen Catholic, Paramus Catholic, these are all, you know, privately owned facilities that nevertheless, you know, augment the public space.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay. And I think my final question is when you stated that you identified or maybe you didn't state it emphatically but I've read other reports from the open space and I think I read your open space report that was in the Master Plan maybe 2006. 

MR. CURREY: Well, original plan was 2003.



COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay. So then in that particular plan you had identified certain properties that you thought would be beneficial, but then the adverse impact to that, obviously would be private properties being taken off the tax rolls.  So it's like a win/lose in that did you consider that. 8

MR. CURREY: Well, generally speaking and this is one of Ellie Gruber's favorite topics who is sitting right back there (indicating).  She's a member of our committee and is also the secretary of our committee. There have been a number of studies, a couple of them are cited in our latest revision of our Open Space Plan, which was in July of 2010, that that sort of the myth of losing tax revenue is just a    is just that, that preserving property as open space is almost always more cost effective than letting it be developed cause development brings demand for municipal services. If it's if it's residential development it brings demand for schools.  All these things cost money. And generally speaking, the cost associated with development in schools, fire, police, other municipal services exceed the tax revenue.


MR. CURREY: Now, the you know that may not apply for say, for example, the commercial development which obviously doesn't imply any demand on schools.  I mean obviously one of our biggest, I thin Paul and I were talking about this before, that one of our biggest costs is the school system and and what that, you know, it's $14,000 per pupil.  Right?  So... 

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Okay.  So my final question is, in terms of the entire report when I think Michele mentioned the existing zoning, there were certain things that were permissible; i.e. commercial.  So in that commercial zone we could have, for instance, veterinary hospitals, storage facilities and there would be some residential in some instances above that, but this report is not based on necessarily the zoning.  It is strictly based on head count, would that be accurate? 

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I think it's accurate to say that our primary concern as the Open Space Committee, I mean individual members may have other concerns, but as the Open Space Committee our primary concern would be the implicit increase in population resulting from high density development.


MR. CURREY:   and our point is that, you know, we don't have the open space resources to support the population that we that we think are needed to support the population we have.  So we don't want to make it worse by increasing the population. 



Nancy? MS. BIGOS:  Ralph, I thank you.  As a Parks and Recreation professional, a resident of the Village, I can't thank you Mr. Schott, Mr. Sievers, Ms. Gruber, for your tireless efforts over the last 12 years to truly focus on the value of parks and recreation within our Village of Ridgewood and the quality of life issue that it brings to the forefront. One of the things that I know that we have been thinking about and I wonder if the Open Space Committee has done any research on would be creativity.  In taking those publicly or privately open space owned properties, such as the PSE&G right of way or that Ridgewood Water Department properties and including them within the open space SCORP.

MR. CURREY: Well, one of  we actually haven't looked at the water company's property, but our open space plan both originally and as revised recommends the development of PSE&G right of way as a green way through the Village.  And to take action really to ensure I mean I'm not sure it's threatened with development, but to ensure that it is preserved.  And then also to make it available for the public as of right because obviously now it's used by the public, but it's not really as aright since PSE&G has no trespassing signs up. But, you know, we haven't done any studies on this, you know, it would require study.  It would require dialogue with PSE&G.  It would probably require some commitment of money possibly that might, you know, take the, you know, form of, you know, some sort of tax abatement over some period of time. So it's been on our list of things we'd like to do.  We haven't gotten to it yet.  But we have that. 

The other thing we recommended in our plan was a stream side green way from Habernickel Park all the way down through the center of Ridgewood that's down behind the high school, all the way down the brook to meet up with the Saddle River Park in at the at the extreme south end of town near Hawes School and Pleasant Park. So I mean, yeah, we have all the you know, we still have a lot of ideas and a lot of things we can be doing.

MS. BIGOS: Okay.  Thank you.


I had a couple of questions. First of all on let it be known I'm a proponent of open space and absolutely enjoy the time that I spent on the committee as recently as a couple of years ago, working with you.  So thank you for that. I'm ashamed to say that I don't remember the basis of the SCORP calculations, the various methods.  And the reason I'm asking this question is I'm having a hard time understanding if SCORP is based on solely population or if it takes other things account. For example, there are towns in Bergen County that may have homes with 1/10th of an acre, 1/10th of an acre zoning and others that have homes on tracts that are a minimum of two acre zoning. Ridgewood is somewhere in the middle   

MR. CURREY: Uh huh.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:     mixture of that. Is that taken into account for SCORP because it would almost seem that the need for public space almost would correlate with how much private land there is for people to spend for green time, if you will or times in their backyard, if they have a lot of land.  Is that part of the  

MR. CURREY: To my   


MR. CURREY: To my knowledge it does and it's based on two things: One, is land area; two is population.  I you know, personally I don't believe that private open space, which is in your backyard is    is a substitute in any way, shape or form for public open space. You can't play a lacrosse game in someone's backyard, right?


MR. CURREY: And, you know, frankly if you want to look at it one way, Ridgewood's problem is not a deficiency of open space, it's a deficiency of public open space.  If, you know, someone had, you know, laid Ridgewood out just a little differently, right, so we so let's say we want this 60 acres of space, right, you know in the average home I mean there's probably something like I think there were 8,000 households in Ridgewood but that may include some apartments so so, you know, let's assume the number is 6,000 households, right?  So, you know, I think if my math is right, you know, 60 acres is like 1/100th of an acre per household. Right?  So  so in some respects our problem is is not that we don't have enough space we just have it in the wrong place, which is in people's backyards as opposed to in public parks.  So I don't I don't really think that lot sizes or anything else is relevant to an analysis of whether you have enough public open space.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Just for clarification I was correlating it with passive open space in terms of a pocket park being passive versus a playground for example.  And I would just suspect that the desire to go the a pocket park or passive space would be higher if I didn't have that in my backyard.

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I would I think that's a fair point that if you were in   


MR. CURREY: in, you know, Saddle River and they've got whatever, you know, four acre zoning of something I mean I don't know what it is, but and, you know, that the that the demand for passive space might be lower   


MR. CURREY: than it would be in Hackensack, you know, for example, right, where they have higher density.



CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So would it be fair to suggest that the real concern would be space for sports activity or organized activity where people can get together and do things that may relate to the lacrosse or softball games or things with groups of people rather than passive space?

MR. CURREY: Well, I think I think the answer is kind of yes and no. I mean obviously an increase in density is going to raise the very concern that you just raised about the need for passive space in denser communities.


MR. CURREY: Right?  So but then I do think that that the you know one of the one of the more critical demands facing Ridgewood is active recreational space.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Ralph. Any follow up questions? 

MS. DOCKRAY: I just wondered if we could get the memo on the pocket park.  Is it a memo?  Was it a    

MR. REILLY: It's a report.

MR. CURREY: I have a copy of it here if you want.

MS. GRUBER: It's a study. 

MS. DOCKRAY: I don't recall that I ever received that. Michele said she didn't think she received it either.

MS. RAZIN: I don't know if it was done as part of this? 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yeah, I don't believe so.

MR. CURREY: I only  I could e mail it to you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So if you want to call it in as a document. 

MS. RAZIN: Are you I mean   

MR. CURREY: I could e mail it to Jane.  

MS. RAZIN: Have you formally submitted it?

MR. WELLS: Would it be helpful may be if you put into the record.


MR. CURREY: Sure. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, I think we should.

MS. RAZIN: So then okay.  Did   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And then maybe give it to Jane.  And Jane could   

MS. RAZIN: Mr. Currey, did you draft      

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:   distribute that.

MS. RAZIN: Mr. Currey, did you draft that document yourself? 

MR. CURREY: It was it was submitted submitted on behalf of the Open Space Committee.

MS. RAZIN: On behalf of the committee.  Okay.


MS. RAZIN: But you're aware of its contents. 

MR. CURREY: Oh, yeah.  Yes.  I    

MS. RAZIN: Just because it's not being formally discussed tonight.

MR. CURREY: Yes, I am a member of the committee that drafted this. Yeah, I and members of the committee drafted this.

MS. RAZIN: Authenticate it for the record.  Okay. Okay.  So we're that going to move that document, yes?  With any objections?


MS. RAZIN: No objections? 

MR. WELLS: What I was going to suggest he already submitted a document to the Board maybe that can be RA-2 and then this is RA-3. 


MS. RAZIN: Yes, I don't know if it was done quite honestly I don't know if it was done before a hearing process or not.  Do you recall?  Was it before the commencement so   

MR. CURREY: So you    

MR. WELLS: I think he's testified on the document so you should have it for the record for everybody.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  No.  Right.  All right.  Well, I marked as RA-2 but we can why don't we do that RA-2A is that okay?  Everyone okay with that? 


MS. RAZIN: So we will get everyone a copy of that.  If you could submit it to Jane and Jane can forward it.


MS. RAZIN: That way everyone we'll make sure everyone has it. 


MS. RAZIN: Okay.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Before you excuse me can we identify the document on the record? Could you identify the document.

MS. RAZIN: Can you read the title of it. 


(Whereupon, Statement of Open Space Committee submitted to Planning Board, Ridgewood, New Jersey, July 2013 titled "Impact of Multifamily Apartment Complexes on Open Space and Recreational Resources in the Village" is received and marked as Exhibit RA-2A in Evidence.)

MR. CURREY: It's called, Statement of Open Space Committee submitted to Planning Board, Ridgewood, New Jersey, July 2013.  And the title of it is "Impact of Multifamily Apartment Complexes on Open Space and Recreational Resources in the Village". 

It I mean it includes conceptually as well as literally many of the things I said this evening, but then it also has a little more detail on the notion of pocket parks.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  Thank you.


MR. BRUINOOGE: Due process, we've now opened the door to bring into the record documentation that was supposedly not to be before the Board, but was during the preliminary year and a half we spent talking to people about concept A, B, C or D.  Are we going to bring materials prior to December 2013 into the record or are we not? 

MS. RAZIN: Well, I think the point of this particular document, although anyone can correct me on the board, was that it was discussed somewhat the topic of that memo, although I have not I don't recall this specific contents of the memo so but sounds like certain of those issues were referenced this evening which is why   

MR. BRUINOOGE: It's not a question of whether you recall it or you don't recall   

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  Mr. Bruinooge, can I speak also? 

MR. BRUINOOGE:     the issue is   

MS. RAZIN: May I speak? 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Let her answer the question please. 

MS. RAZIN: So I asked if there were objections a minute ago to entering it into the record.  I just asked that question and nobody Mr. Wells didn't object, in fact he suggested what to mark it.  I looked in your direction and you didn't speak so   

MR. BRUINOOGE: So are you saying therefore I have no objection, is that your point? 

MS. RAZIN: I don't have a particular point.  I'm trying to answer your question. So we just marked it.  If there's an objection, let's hear what the objection is, I guess.

MR. BRUINOOGE: The objection is to the process or trying to keep you focused on the job that the Planning Board has labored long and hard on which is to develop a record and make an informed decision as to whether or not the Master Plan ought to be amended.  What goes into the record is important in case the decision of the Board has to be examined somehow, somewhere, some place.

MS. RAZIN: I agree in full with you and there was specific questions and specific issues raised with regard to that topic which is why I asked if it should be formally moved.  The board seemed the agree that it should. I asked if there were objections, so we moved it into the record. Yes, that particular document has now been moved unless there's some reason the board disagrees that it shouldn't be moved in or if there's objections. 


MS. RAZIN: But I don't think we're going to make a general statement that things before 2013 are going to be moved in.  We're talking about one particular document and one instance.  That's all.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, would it make a difference if you read that.

MS. PETERS: What is the date of their application.


MS. PETERS: What was the date of their application, the housing application?

MS. RAZIN: This was submitted before the application, I'm assuming.  That's what I'm    that's    and I apologize because I have not covered every single meeting so I'm trying my best I don't recall the exact date.

MS. PETERS: What was the date of your application? 

MR. BRUINOOGE: The petition for this?  

MS. PETERS: I am trying to   

MR. BRUINOOGE: The petition to this community to modify the Master Plan.


MR. BRUINOOGE: I believe it was December 2013, if I recall. 

MS. RAZIN: Right, so this before   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Before they came.

MS. RAZIN:     which is   


MR. WELLS: Mr. Chairman   


MR. WELLS:     if I can be heard on this.  I understand his concern but I honestly believe that the board had heard a number of    a substantial amount of evidence and also received a number of documents during the work session process.  And I understood the ruling of the board was that would not be counted and that we start over and that that's totally appropriate, I think.

I also believe, just as with respect to saying the traffic report, we talked about several months ago, many times with new testimony on the record during the hearing process the experts have now referred to the reports that were prepared earlier, as did Mr. Currey. And, therefore, in terms of the full record I have no objection to someone referring if they're currently testifying about it, and talking about a report that happens to be prepared a little while ago, I don't think that's a concern. I do, however, believe that the record should be clear and if what I was more concerned about if we're going to talk about it and people are going to circulate it and copies are going to go to the individual members of the board then I do believe it should be in the record. He testified about it.  He's going to supply copies.  I would like to have it marked into the official record.  One of the things I will mention to the board generally   


MR. WELLS:   is our Court Reporter, who is here as you know and paid for by the applicants now has the ability to add everything that we put in as exhibits into her transcripts.  So it's a new software that she's done.  And I've asked her to do that.  So we're shortly going to have transcript versions that will have copies of all the exhibits that are properly accepted by the board and marked in.  I hope that'll be a convenience for the new members so they'll be able to see it all in one place. 

So others may have objection to this particular exhibit, I have no objection to it.

MR. BRUINOOGE: I do object, simply on the basis of fairness to process. 

MS. RAZIN: Okay.

MR. BRUINOOGE: On Friday afternoon you delivered to us the e mail copies of reports done by the Village Water Department and the Open Space Committee at least we had an opportunity to take a look and decide whether or not it merited or warranted questioning. We come this evening and we have testimony and we reference and bring into evidence a document which may or may not have    I am sure it crossed my desk, frankly I don't recall what was said in the report.  So I don't recall what the gentleman's testimony was, if he did, in fact, appear during the course of all those work sessions which lasted a year plus whatever it was. I think the process needs to be understood by all involved.  I think we have to adhere to a process that's fair and evenhanded.  And I'm not suggesting the gentleman is trying to do something underhanded.  The simple fact of the matter is I want an opportunity to read what he has, if I want to cross examine him.  He made statements before tonight that the    tantamount to I'm an expert in this, that and the other thing.  I want to cross examine him.  But I want the opportunity to do so with the documents I have    that I have to read before I could cross examine him. 

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  So with that information and I understand that we were going to open it to Counsel which was, I believe, the next step so following our professionals.  So if we provide an opportunity for cross exam after this, and if you received the document and if you have additional questions we will bring    Mr. Currey were to agree to come back will that solve your particular   

MR. BRUINOOGE: Yes, it could.

MS. RAZIN:     issue.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you very much.  And it would also help if we had a ruling of the Chair that you're not going to take into evidence documentation that was part and parcel of the work session process. 

The whole idea was to develop a new record based on testimony before this board as part of the petition process to modify the Master Plan.


MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you.  I'd like that ruling. 

(Whereupon a discussion is held off the record between Ms. Razin and Chairman Nalbantian.)

MS. RAZIN: I agree with that but we made specific discussion on this document   

MS. PETERS: Can I    can I   


MS. RAZIN: There was a question on this document.

One second just to clarify, yes, that was that has been the general statement.


MS. RAZIN: That has been what we have followed, but there was a specific request by a board member to have that memo relooked at as part of this document which means and testimony that centered around that document.  I agree with you, if you want opportunity to look at it anybody wants the opportunity to look at it and has additional questions, certainly Mr. Currey I think may be can make himself available at another evening.  We have several more hearings scheduled in the next few weeks on this so...

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Bruinooge, I understood that that was acceptable to you.  Is that accurate? 

MR. BRUINOOGE: I'm sorry.  I didn't hear.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I understood it was acceptable to you that if you have questions on this specific document, given the fact that it was specifically requested by a board member, that you would pose those questions at a future time when Mr. Currey could come back.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Yes. I would like an opportunity to cross examine him on the basis of the information that formed the foundation is the foundation of his report.


MS. RAZIN: Fine.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We'll follow up with that.

MR. BRUINOOGE: And then we do have a second request which is, is there a ruling from the Chair that information that was delivered and presented to the board during the "work sessions" on this that spanned a year plus whatever it was is not coming in unless it is directly introduced now so that everybody has an opportunity to understand what is coming in.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That was my that was    

MS. RAZIN: That's been clear.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That's clear, yes.  Thank you.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you.


MR. WEINER: I want to be included, clarify that.  I don't have a problem with the board's ruling that everything that went before was work session and is not included now.  But there may be things that were introduced in the record that's relevant now that the board wants to hear in the proper context such as we heard what somebody testified to, and I don't think the board should be making a ruling that's everything that went before   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It would have to be reintroduced.

MS. RAZIN: Right.

MR. WEINER:     now and forever   


MR. WEINER: I think    I think as it comes if somebody wants to put something in Mr. Bruinooge    I agree he should have    he really should have it in advance.  And he should have an opportunity to cross examine.

MS. PETERS: Properly reintroduced.  Properly reintroduce it.

MS. RAZIN: Yes, I think that's the   

MS. PETERS: Properly reintroduce it.

MS. RAZIN: If there's a reintroduction or if somebody raises a topic that has already been referenced the fact that it's already been referenced doesn't preclude somebody from speaking about it or a document that could   

MR. WEINER: Well   

MS. RAZIN:     be rediscussed and reintroduced.


MR. WEINER: But it doesn't but it does prevent because when Ms. Bogert was testifying about the September 18th letter, you said she couldn't talk about.

MS. RAZIN: But, no, no, no, no, no. Listen to what I'm saying.  I'm saying   


MS. RAZIN: I'm saying without a reintroduction of the particular    now, listen, this is a particular    this is an unexpected issue that I didn't even know this memo was on the table, okay, for this evening.  So I apologize that I have not submitted it to anybody because I didn't know it was going to become an issue so I will take that responsibility because I forwarded the other document. 

That being said, we are not relying on, as a blanket rule, I believe what Charles is saying is, we are not relying on any prior exhibits. So the Board is not looked at necessarily all the prior stuff.

MR. WEINER: I understand that.

MS. RAZIN: However if an issue is raised and it's relating back to something that's already been discussed and it's reissued as a new exhibit or wants to be reintroduced as a new exhibit such as in this case with    in this process and will be testified to or available for cross exam, I don't think that there's any    there shouldn't be any problem with that. 

MR. WEINER: Thank you.  I know it's technical, but I think you said your application was filed December 2013, was it 2012?  I don't know if it's important or not. 

MR. BRUINOOGE: I don't recall.

MR. WEINER: It was 2012 because 2013 was just a couple of months ago. 

MR. BRUINOOGE: Has it been that long.

MR. WEINER: Yes, it has been that long. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Weiner.  Thank you everyone for that.  Thanks for your patience. Okay.  So does Jane have a copy of that document, Mr. Currey?  Does Jane have a copy of that exhibit at this point.

MR. CURREY: It was  it was I'll send it to her again.  It was originally sent to her but, you know, I will send it again    


MR. CURREY:     for convenience.


MR. CURREY: And and it really doesn't first of all, it was submitted in July 2013, which was after December 2012.  And then and then second it   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think the issue has been resolved.

MR. CURREY: Yes, it doesn't say much more than I already said tonight   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So we will move ahead to our professionals   

MR. CURREY:     just in some different way.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:     at this time.

Chris, why don't we begin with you?

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Currey, I just have a couple of quick questions.  In your tallies of open space available to residents in the Village did you include the lands of Bergen County? 

MR. CURREY: No.  No.  Those are not included. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: And are those significant amounts? 

MR. CURREY: We actually list list them in our, hang on a second sort of lost my my place here.  They are they are included in our report.  And they're not and they're not insignificant, but hang on a second I'll tell you exactly what they are they're in    they're in the original report here, it's close enough.

MS. GRUBER: They're here.

MR. CURREY: No that's the.

MS. GRUBER: All the lands.

MR. CURREY: Yea, yeah, but that's not what I want.  If you'll bear with me just one moment.  I do have that here. Here we go.  There are approximately 80 acres of county owned property, parks and conservation. In the CMX Master Recreation Plan that they prepared, they did take a somewhat more expansive view of of the resources available in Ridgewood.  And even they pegged the deficiency at 51 acres.  And they included Bergen County owned property.  But they actually included parts of the Saddle River County Park that were in communities contiguous to Ridgewood, weren't actually in Ridgewood.  And they came up with a figure of 211 acres versus their calculated need of 262 acres. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: And the Grove Park is included in your summation? 


MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay.  So the values that you presented tonight match those on Village's Rosi of recreation open space inventory? 

MR. CURREY: Yes.  To the best of my knowledge they do because when we revised our report in July 2010 there was, as I recall, a reconciliation of the numbers in that report with the ROSI.  The ROSI had been revised, I think, Blais had had    something that had been revised and as I recall we reconciled the numbers in our latest revision of the report with the ROSI.

MS. PETERS: Could the question please be repeated?  All of us down here couldn't hear what Chris said.  We couldn't understand it.  That's what it was.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Maybe you can repeat the question, Chris. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: All right.  The last question I asked was is the values presented tonight coincide with the ROSI which is the Recreation Open Space Inventory the Village has on file with the DEP, correct, Mr. Currey? 

MR. CURREY: Yes, with the Green Acres fund.  Yup.

And I and I said with to the best of my recollection when we revised our report in July 2010, we reconciled the inventory and the values stated in the plan in the report with the ROSI which is the Recreation and Open Space Inventory.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Correct me if I'm mistaken the majority of the Village's open space lands are encumbered under Green Acres, correct? 

MS. PETERS: Encumbered under the what? 

MS. DOCKRAY: Green Acres.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Speak slowly, Chris.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Correct me if I'm mistaken, the majority of the Village's open space lands are encumbered under the Green Acres program with DEP.


MR. CURREY: According to Ellie who's been around longer than I have, yes.  I mean Habernickel is, Schedler is, Grove Park is.

Beyond that I don't have any personal knowledge.

(Whereupon, an off the record                 discussion is held between Ms. Gruber and Mr.                Currey.) 

MR. CURREY: What?  Oh, Ellie has told me that once one is all are. 

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Do you want to swear her in also? 

MR. WELLS: At this point I mean you ought to.

MR. CURREY: Yes, I think any property that is acquired with Green Acres fund is in    funds is encumbered.

In other words you cannot do anything with it other than preserve it as open space. Habernickel was required with Green Acres funds.  The Schedler was and I'm fairly certain Grove Park was.

Beyond that I have no personal knowledge of it.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay.  And for the Board's clarification encumbered properties under Green Acres can only be used for recreation open space.  They cannot be developed, for example, you cannot put a cell tower on a Green Acres property, correct? 

MR. CURREY: I    I believe that is correct.

I mean certainly it can't be developed. It can't be sold or developed for any  or used for any purpose other than open space.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay.  Also in your tallies of acreage did you include the lands of the Board of Education? 


MR. RUTISHAUSER: Those were included? 

MR. CURREY: Those were included.


Mr. Chairman, nothing else. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Katie, you want   

MS. RAZIN: Ms. Gruber, do you want to just get sworn for your testimony that you just I'm just asking for the record, did you feel like?

MR. CURREY: No, no, because I don't think my answer reflected what she said because I'm not sure that that's true. 

So I don't want to say something I don't, you know, that I don't know from personal knowledge.


MS. GRUBER: I'll swear to it.

MS. RAZIN: So just why don't we swear you in, just for purposes of the record.

MS. GRUBER: I don't mind. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It was requested by Chris.

MS. RAZIN: Right.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So please come forward.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  Can you just state your name.

MS. GRUBER: Eleanor Gruber, G r u b e r.

MS. RAZIN: And can you just describe your position once you state your name please?  

MS. GRUBER: Eleanor Gruber, G r u b e r.


MS. GRUBER: And I'm a member of the Open Space Committee. 

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  And do you swear that the testimony you have given   


MS. RAZIN: or are about to give at any point during the questioning is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?


MS. RAZIN: Thank you.

ELEANOR GRUBER, Having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

MS. GRUBER: I think Chris will agree and I did check with the DEP years ago about when we purchased Maple Park East and they were talking about could you put a fence up and I talked to the DEP and they said you cannot put a fence up to exclude any member of the public because once you but one piece of property with Green Acres funding all property is considered Green Acres funding and that was from the DEP.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: And open to any member of the public.

MS. GRUBER: And open to any member of anyone in the State of New Jersey, not just a member of Ridgewood, anyone from anywhere in New Jersey can come to our parks because they were purchased with New Jersey funds. With our with the Village's funds, the County's funds but most important, New Jersey's funds. 

So they are considered open to the public. No one can be excluded from any park or open space property in Ridgewood.

MS. RAZIN: Chris, does that satisfy your.  

MR. RUTISHAUSER: That's the way I understand the Green Acres requirements for accepting their funding.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.


MS. GRUBER: You're welcome.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We appreciate it.

Chris, are you finished?



MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, I am.  Whatever.  


MR. BRANCHEAU: Ralph, just a couple of questions. 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Can you hear Blais? 

MR. BRANCHEAU: The SCORP methodology that you're using here, you used first the land based SCORP then a population based SCORP method. In the population based SCORP method, which as I understand it estimates open space need based upon population; is that correct? 

MR. CURREY: Correct.

MR. BRANCHEAU: Does it is it just total population?  Does it deal with age cohorts or anything like that?  Or it's just total population?

MR. CURREY: As I understand it, it's just based on total population. 

The Open Space Committee, as I as I mentioned, we believed it might be appropriate or at least, you know, illustrative for analytical purposes to adjust the SCORP based on the large school age population of Ridgewood. And we did that based on our data on the average school age population in Ridgewood versus the County as a whole which was 24 versus 18 and a half percent.  And so we adjusted, as I mentioned, the suggested acreage for tot lots and playgrounds and playing fields thinking that those were the most relevant to school age children by a factor of 1.3.

MR. BRANCHEAU: I guess, you know, what it would be    obviously SCORP is    I'm not sure what's behind the SCORP methodology, how accurate it is and whether adjustments to it are reasonable or not given that it doesn't deal with youth population.  And so I was trying to understand whether    that adjustment then was yours not SCORPs? 


MR. BRANCHEAU: Okay.  So the adjusted SCORP method is not a SCORP method it's an adjusted open space plan method that was used.

MR. CURREY: Right.

MR. BRANCHEAU: You make a statement in here that there's no privately owned playing fields, do you consider the I assume you were talking only about the youth demand.  They're not the total open space demand?

MS. GRUBER: No, no.

MR. BRANCHEAU: When you say in your last statement on the first page you say unlike some other communities Ridgewood has no   

MR. CURREY: Yeah, I I was really focused on playing because because there are  I mean there are, you know, privately owned recreation facilities in Ridgewood.  I mean for example the Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club   

MR. BRANCHEAU: Yeah, I was going to ask   

MR. CURREY:     is a  is a privately owned recreation facility.

MR. BRANCHEAU: All right.

MR. CURREY: It's also it's also identified in our open space plan as a potential target for acquisition should it ever become available.

MR. BRANCHEAU: Does that does SCORP take into account private   

MR. CURREY: To my knowledge it does not.

MR. BRANCHEAU: It does not. Okay.

That's all I have. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Blais. Given the time, I think before we go to the attorney cross, if you wouldn't mind bearing with us for a few minutes let's take a five minute break.  I think Laura is requesting it as well as some of our members.  So let's resume here at 9:45 a little bit after 9:45.  It's hard to see the clock, so five minutes please. 

(Whereupon, a brief recess is taken.)

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Ladies and gentlemen, if you wouldn't mind please take your seats.  Please take your seats. Jane, would you call the roll? 

MS. WONDERGEM: Mayor Aronsohn? 


MS. WONDERGEM: Ms. Bigos? 

MR. BIGOS: Here.

MS. WONDERGEM: Ms. Knudsen? 


MS. WONDERGEM: Mr. Nalbantian? 




MS. WONDERGEM: Mr. Reilly? 

MR. REILLY: Here. 

MS. WONDERGEM: Ms. Dockray?


MS. WONDERGEM: Ms. Peters? 

MS. PETERS: Here. 

MS. WONDERGEM: Ms. Altano? 


MS. WONDERGEM: Mr. Abdalla? 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Jane. Okay.  The Board and professionals have concluded their questions, unless, Katie, you have any questions? 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So why don't we resume with Counsel cross for Mr. Currey. Mr. Weiner, do you have any questions?

MR. WEINER: No, I don't.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  Thank you. Mr. Wells? 

MR. WELLS: Just a couple.  I'll walk across to the mike.  I want to share a mike. 


Q.   Just a couple of things so I understand it.  I think I understood the SCORP methodology, but Ms. Bigos prompted me to start wondering what wasn't included, for example Public Service right of way which she talked about, which I remember very well from bike riding and running on it.  So I certainly appreciated the green space, something I couldn't do in my yard. So what's not included?  You said schools are included.  You said the parks are included?

A. Yeah, the included in the numbers that I gave you and included in the ROSI that Mr. Rutishauser mentioned are all Village and Board of Education owned properties. Publicly owned properties, so it doesn't include privately owned properties of any nature.

Q. County property?

A. And it does not include the County properties either.

Q. How much acreage of the County property do we have in Ridgewood?

A. Our report I can just give you the figures that are cited in our report which are we start let me get the right chart. 

MS. GRUBER: Page 7.

A. (Continuing) yes, County owned is 52.65 acres of parks and 27.72 acres of conservation land.

So really all we're we're not actually focused on the conservation because that's not considered part of the recreational space either passive or active so if we're just looking at, you know, passive or active recreational space the County owned property would be 52.65 acres of parks and 1 acre of which we included in tot lots and playgrounds.

Q. So, again, personal experience I used to bike ride up and down the path and in my case since the area of the Village that I lived in was on Ridgewood Avenue closer to the duck pond that was probably the park that I went to when I didn't, again, want to use my own yard. Why wouldn't they be included? They just seem like logical things to be included?

A. Well, we I mean we did include it in our report, but it isn't it isn't included in the methods for determining I am and even the CMX I mentioned the CMX report, they did include the County owned land, and and even they even under their methods they came up with, as I said, a deficiency of 50 acres.

Q. So  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Tom, can you speak in the mike.

Q. Public right of way is not included in the park as county or anything else.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: He can't even hear me. 

A. Any other non publicly owned property is not included. I mean Mr. Brancheau mentioned the Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club is not included.

Q. Yes. No, I understand   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please can you speak into the mike?

MR. WELLS: I'm sorry. I'll speak a little closer to it. 


Q. Would it be would it be possible for you to recalculate with those lands included in there?

A. Uhmmm.

Q. We can do it when we come back through our testimony, but it seems like it might be helpful for the board to understand the calculation with everything included, conceivably included.

A. Yeah, we can we can do that. I don't want to do it on the fly.

Q. No, no, I appreciate that?

A. We can do that.

Q. The other question I had and I think the report is valuable and I think unlike some of the testimony that quite frankly the board has heard, you know, it just really feels like site plan to me. This is about quality of life and Master Plan issues.  If this board, as it moves in this process, was to ultimately adopt and Amendment to its Master Plan and then zoning after that, that limited the number of additional homes or additional population, we'll use population as the exact thing that you used for your SCORP study, to say two or three or 400 people, not a thousand, as you talked about, and school age children that the board could logically include might be 20 or 30 and not such a big number, would you be as concerned about this as you've expressed in   

A. Well, that's not really I mean I'm here trying to, you know, represent the views of the Open Space Committee. That's not really a topic that we've discussed as a committee.  So I'll just express my own views which is, it seems to me that the lower the population increase, the less of a strain it places    I mean in terms of the less of an increased burden on open space.  So I mean it it seems logical to say that if it's a smaller population increase it a smaller problem.

Q. Yes. So understood.  So we also have to remember this is based on what's included in the Master Plan so that we, you know, can tear down a thousand houses so that we have less population, just because a lower population is a goal doesn't mean that all all ways of achieving that goal make sense.  And what I'm trying to say is I understood your report and the significance, but if for other reasons that this board has to consider, there's lots of thing that go into this kind of Master Plan revision, if they would include that some multifamily houses was appropriate and the number of the increase was much smaller than you used to base all of your comments, wouldn't that by its nature just diminish the comments of the depth of your concern because 300 new people in the population, in the population of 25,000 is, you know, less than one percent.  It's just isn't that de minimis?

A. Well, I mean I think the thrust of our statement and our report was that the impact of the Amendments should be   the impact of the Amendments on the demand for open space resources and on the the available open space resources should be considered.  And it's considered seriously. So if that led and I mean and I think, you know, some members of the board pointed out that, you know, there's a certain amount of development permitted on these properties just under the zoning as it exists today.

Q. Right.

A. Right? So, you know, I don't we're not saying that that there should not be some change.  And we're not even    we're not advocating, you know, one change versus another. 

We're just saying when you   when the board considers these issues it ought to take very seriously the impact of whatever they do on open space. 

Q. Fair enough.

A. The right, fair enough.

Q. Fair enough. Understood. 

A. Right.

MR. WELLS: If you would supplement at some point that additional calculation I think it would be helpful to the board.  And it you can submit it to the board.

Thank you for your time.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Wells. 

Mr. Bruinooge?

MR. BRUINOOGE: I would like to reserve the opportunity to cross examine after I see the document that was referenced and submitted into evidence. 


Q. I would like to get clarification as to the total acres that Mr. Currey utilized to come up with the thousand the number of 1,000 new residents in the community. 

A. Oh, I I my testimony was not to the effect that   that this would result in a thousand residents.  My point was for each thousand my point, which I just mentioned to this gentleman, is that population growth will exacerbate the deficiency in open space resources by increasing demand.  I wasn't you know, I wasn't calculating that that these Amendments would necessarily result in in an increase of a thousand people.  Although if you just look if you just look at it you look at the size of the parcels involved and the density the maximum density that might be proposed, you know, for example the applications that are currently before the board don't even I think it's the can't remember if it's the C R zone or the    anyway it's the Ken Smith and  and the properties north of that, don't even touch on that.  And that's probably, if I recall correctly, maybe six or eight acres in and of itself.

Q. Well, let's try to be accurate because you put some numbers into your report and clearly  

A. I did not put those numbers into my report.

Q. You didn't put a thousand in your report?

A. I said "it could".

Q Okay. So how did you how did you get to a thousand?

A. If you have a density I mean how many   how many acres are involved in these zones? 

Q. That's my question. How many acres in your equation did you utilize to get to a thousand people, new people?

A. I said it's approximately ten acres 40 to 50 units per acre, is four or 500 units. I did not present that testimony or that report as being an expert number.  

MR. BRUINOOGE: It's not an expert.  Okay.  I'm going to resume  look, the hour is late.  This type of an answer and that information that's been elicited so far warrants a much more careful cross examination because statements have been made and now they're being disavowed.

MS. PETERS: Can I ask a question?  Is that something on that point? 


MS. PETERS: My question is are you asking on this statement that's on page two, each additional 1,000 residents   


MS. PETERS:     will increase Ridgewood's open space deficiency by 8 acres, et cetera.  Is that what you're questioning? 

MR. CURREY: My question is how did he get to a thousand?  What acres did he use to get to a thousand.

MS. PETERS: I think it's simply a hypothetical.

MS. RAZIN: No, Michele.

MS. PETERS: That's how I understood   

MR. WELLS: Can I be heard on this too, because in all due respect.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Let Katie respond first. 

MS. RAZIN: Michele, juts look and you can correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Bruinooge, but I believe you might be referring to the paragraph above   


MS. RAZIN:     it's less of a hypothetical where it says in the order of   

MS. PETERS: We can't hear you.  

MS. RAZIN: It says in the order of 1,000 people or more. 

Is that the sentence?

MR. BRUINOOGE: I think that was his testimony.

MS. RAZIN: Right.  So that sentence.


MS. RAZIN: That might be the sentence, you're   

MS. PETERS: Thank you.  So my question was what are we talking about.  Thank you.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Right, let's ask him what's he talking about.  He created a   

MS. PETERS: No, my questions was   


MR. BRUINOOGE: He's created a question that there could be as many as a thousand new people which will exacerbate the open space deficiency that the community has apparently endured for decades.


MS. RAZIN: Mr. Wells, you want to be heard.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: So, Mr. Bruinooge yes.

MR. WELLS: I  we can have the record read back because we have the Court Reporter but very clearly he testified not just to what the effect of a thousand was, but right before that as he has in the transcript and has he testified, he said a thousand new people.  He also, at that time, testified to 12 acres just a minute ago he said ten acres and then went on to the analysis of 40 percent and then doubled it and so forth.  That's the testimony.  And it is testimony that I believe he's either got to back up or stand behind or or it’s subject to some pretty substantial impeachment.

MR. BRUINOOGE: And frankly in fairness I sense    I think everybody in this room senses the concern and seriousness.  And apparently the gentlemen spent a great number of hours, if not years with this issue primary in his mind.  And it definitely bears some consideration by the Board.  Okay.  But if you're going to take the testimony you want to make sure it’s accurate.  You want to make sure it's correct.  You don't want to draw the wrong conclusion or get the wrong impression.

Unfortunately the testimony so far is problematic. I would suggest to all I'd like to reserve the opportunity to cross examine him on a future date. 

Perhaps that will allow everybody an opportunity to maybe prepare a little bit better and certainly we can question a little bit better to help you make an informed decision.

But if you want to stay here, no problem. I can start.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well, Mr. Currey, would you be able to refine your   

MR. CURREY: Sure, you know I    and don't get me wrong the    the main point is that several hundred additional residential units imply in increase in population.  Now I am not competent to testify what that increase will be.  But I'm fairly confident that it will increase the population, particularly since they're being built on parcels that previously had no residential component.  And so the main trust of the testimony is that an increase in population increases the recommended amount of open space that the Village should have and since we already don't meet the standard that will exacerbate the deficiency.

MS. RAZIN: And I don't think Mr.   

MR. CURREY: I mean other people can, you know, who who planners or whatever can can debate the actual number.


MS. RAZIN: Do you want to repeat?

MR. BRUINOOGE: Go ahead please.

MS. RAZIN: While I    the issue I think that is being raised by Mr. Bruinooge is more specific to the actual numbers that you put in your testimony and in your report, which I think we'd like to give you the opportunity if you want to come back, if that's what the board's pleasure is, to just be able to make sure that you're able to supply some information back to Mr. Bruinooge and anybody else that asks about the particular data because I don't think anyone would disagree with your analysis, but the problem is that now that there's specific numbers in the report Mr. Bruinooge is fairly asking questions about the numbers in the report.


Q.           Let me try to help everybody out, is the correlating equally true, if the population decreased, your deficiency would be lessened?

A.            I think that's true, yes.

Q.           So clearly what you could do is shrink.  Shrink the population in Ridgewood.

MS. GRUBER: Not getting more open space. 

A.            I don't think that's necessarily the conclusion either.

Q.           Really why?

If SCORP is based on acreage  

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Why don't  listen, Mr. Bruinooge   

Q.           and population.  And if population goes up and that exacerbates the deficiency, if population goes down, you're telling me it's not going to improve the deficiency?

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Ralph, would you like to organize some of the data behind that and come back? 

MR. CURREY: Well, I don't think    Charles, I don't think it's a matter of data, right?  I mean he's just asking a rhetorical    would it be preferable to reduce the population, right?  To me that    I mean we're    first of all we're not being asked to consider reducing the population.  I mean if   if the answer is, if the there were properties available and the money to do it, and to return some properties to a state of open space from being developed, that might result in some reduction in population, some reduction of the housing stock, if it wasn't offset by other    I don't    I don't think that's really the point that    that we should reduce our population.  But I think it is the point that if we are taking steps that might lead to an increase in population that we should consider the impact of that on a host of Village resources including open space.

I mean obviously   I mean reducing the population would reduce our school budget.  But I don't think anyone is advocating that.  So, you know, I don't really think the question is particularly relevant. 

MS. PETERS: Charles? 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: I think it's more of a relative issue that you're describing in other words if the areas that encompass all the potential rezones were developed fully it would translate to roughly the number you were representing, correct?  Is that what you were trying to say? 

MR. CURREY: That's what I was trying to say.  But I'm not going to represent that as a    you know, a precise calculation.

MR. BRUINOOGE: We'll hold that for another day.

MS. RAZIN: Yes, so you want to postpone the cross examination.


MS. RAZIN: Mr. Currey has agreed to come back.  

MR. BRUINOOGE: I would like to continue that once I have an opportunity to review the document.

MS. RAZIN: Fine, let's do that.

MR. BRUINOOGE: If I can get copies of the document that he used to present    to prepare his report and present his testimony this evening.


MR. BRUINOOGE: I would be happy to cross examine the most efficient way possible then.

MS. RAZIN: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  It's quarter after ten.  The next item we have is the traffic expert.  We have a lot of material that's been presented is the board interested in continuing to hear that and then coming back with questions or would the board prefer to start that fresh at a future   

MS. DOCKRAY: On traffic you mean? 


MS. DOCKRAY: I would love to be I haven't read these reports so it would I think it would be better to take the reports and come back, that would be my personal preference.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Any other opinions on this? 

MAYOR ARONSOHN: It's much better to hear the report and be able to ask questions.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Rather than that it spans two meetings?  I agree.  Okay. Other comments on that issues   


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN:   or is the board in agreement? 

MS. PETERS: Yes.  Yes.  Yes.


MS. PETERS: I do have a comment. 

MS. DOCKRAY: Michele.

MS. PETERS: If I could if I could just say that according to our water expert he proposed that the projects that are in front of us, the applications are representing 405 residents.  So if we have that in perspective, certainly Mr. Currey can speak to his number of 1,000 but we have received testimony of the proposed 405 residents with these current developments proposed.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  Thank you, Michele. 

MR. WELLS: Mr. Chairman, I just want to be heard   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Please such the microphone.

MR. WELLS: Yes, I will.

On that one point, not to impose an undue burden on  


MR. WELLS: Yea, undue burden on the    there we go undue burden on the professionals that are representing the Village, but we agreed very early in the process that we would    in order to just have a nice process that we would have all reports submitted in advance of the hearing.  In fact the applicants have conformed to a ten day rule which I think is totally reasonable.  It's reasonable for the board.  It's reasonable for others, as well.

I think the Village   the board should impose that on people that are testifying on behalf of the Village as well so it's no really appropriate to   


MR. WELLS:     and we    I think we all want to get the information this is not appropriate to do it this way.  I think it is    and the Mayor's suggestion that we come back after we read these reports is the right thing to do.

I would ask again if there are other reports that come in from the Village, and in particular Mr. Brancheau's report ultimately that's going to be very important that we're all going to want to let's   let's put   I would ask the Chair to rule that all reports, not just the reports by people who are appearing before the board, but those    all witness' reports be submitted ten days in advance so everybody gets a chance to see them.  I think the Board deliberates better and we do a better job as well.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That was certainly the intention. 

Now, Katie, if you want to add to that in terms of the delay with regards to this document. No? 

MS. RAZIN: Which? 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: The traffic document in particular.  I know there were some complications.  But absolutely that's certainly the intention of the board.

MS. RAZIN: Yes, that's the intention we will work toward that.  And we will try very hard to comply.

MR. WELLS: I like you saying the intent but why don't you rule ten days   


MR. WELLS:     otherwise we don't hear it.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It is absolutely    I'm not    don't take mu comment as one with hesitation.

MR. WELLS: Okay.  Let's do that.  That's a good orderly process.  We've all been following it.  Let just keep following up.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Okay.  Thank you.  I agree.

MR. WELLS: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Wells.

Okay. So we'll carry that to the next meeting.  We will engine with the traffic, John will have to coordinate with you on time with that.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  Let's talk about the scheduling.

So can we talk about scheduling.

MR. WELLS: Yes, you're indicating the next meeting would that be   

MS. RAZIN: Mr. Bruinooge, you just want to    and Mr. Weiner, do you want to just come to the mike so we can just talk about scheduling for the next two meetings.  Very snappy right there. 

Mr. Bruinooge, it's our understanding that you're away for the August 5th meeting.

MR. BRUINOOGE: That's correct.

MS. RAZIN: Correct.  Okay.  So would you or would you not be opposed to having our traffic engineer proceed with testimony but reserve on your cross on that end?  Or would you like to wait? 

MR. BRUINOOGE: That's fine. 

MS. RAZIN: You'd be okay with that? 

MR. BRUINOOGE: That's fine.


MS. RAZIN: So I think then if you're okay with that and everyone else is okay with that then we would proceed with Mr. Jahr, if he's available on August 5th which is the next meeting.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: John, we can't see you back there.

Are you available on August 5th?

MR. JAHR: August 5th, yes.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Great, the answer is yes.

MS. RAZIN: So why don't we proceed with Mr. Jahr and then we'll proceed to public cross, the board's cross, board professional cross and then if we get to it we will begin with attorney cross and we will certainly reserve and allow you the opportunity at, I guess, the meeting on the 19th or thereafter, Mr. Bruinooge, to do any cross examine you would like of Mr. Jahr.

MR. BRUINOOGE: Sure.  Just so we're all clear we still have Ms. Bogert to cross examine.

MS. RAZIN: That was the next issue.

MR. BRUINOOGE: And now Mr. Currey would be coming back for cross.


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: That would be the 19th.

MS. RAZIN: So Ms. Bogert's availability is what, Mr. Weiner?

MR. WEINER: She's available on the fifth, but Mr.   

MS. RAZIN: Mr. Bruinooge is not available. 

MR. WEINER: She's not available on the 19th.  We can bring her back the first meeting in September.

MS. RAZIN: So let's not schedule her unless    even for the first meeting in September, but I don't    whenever this is held, but I don't know    I don't want to make any findings on when it's going to be held.

MR. WEINER: I'm not going to be here on the 19th, but I will have somebody cover so it doesn't hold up whatever else is going on.

MS. RAZIN: Fine.  Okay.

And then Mr. Currey, if we try and make him available on the 19th, would that work for everybody since you're back, Mr. Bruinooge, that would work for you?


MS. RAZIN: Assuming Mr. Currey who   


MS. RAZIN: Who is gone, ran away.  Lucky him.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Currey, Ralph, are you available    Ralph, are you available on the 19th. 

MS. GRUBER: August or September.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Of August, the 19th     

MR. CURREY: What day of the week is that? 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's a Tuesday.  A month from this meeting.

MS. RAZIN: It's the third Tuesday.  

MR. CURREY: I believe so.  I have to check with my wife to make sure, but I believe so.

MS. RAZIN: Okay.  If you could get back to Jane on that as soon as possible and we'll aim for that and that should at least for now    and we can   

MR. BRUINOOGE: Just so we're all clear traffic report will be available to everyone by the 25th or so of July, is that what you're saying? 

MS. RAZIN: They are available now.

MR. BRUINOOGE: They're available now?  Right here?  Oh, thank you.  Wonderful.  Thank you.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you.  You can read that on your vacation.

Okay. So just again to sum up we'll carry to the fifth of August where we'll hear traffic.  We'll continue with public questions and then board questions and professional questions.  And then cross for attorneys.

MR. WELLS: And after what we've scheduled for August 19th, do we have plans beyond that? 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And then we'll continue any    if we don't get through all that, that will continue on the 19th.

MR. WELLS: Right.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And we'll also have Mr. Currey back on the 19th hopefully.

MR. BRANCHEAU: I would only request the board set aside time for other matters   


MR. BRANCHEAU:     in the near future that we not take up the whole night with this matter because we do have an application that will be on the agenda in the near future. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: We'll try to take advantage of what we currently have limitations on for our agenda.

MR. BRANCHEAU: I suggest leaving aside some time in August for that.


MR. WELLS: So can I just    in order to clarify after we complete the items that we've just discussed that Katie just reviewed for us, I know Mr. Brancheau needs to testify.  Are there other Village experts that are going to be asked to produce reports or is that what would come next? 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: For education and Blais.


MR. WELLS: I believe we were also going to get a legal ruling so that   

MS. RAZIN: On fiscal impact. 

MR. WELLS: What.

MS. RAZIN: On fiscal impact, that's   


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: And educational matters.

MS. RAZIN: That should be available hopefully by the next meeting.

MR. WELLS: By the next meeting so August 5th   

MS. RAZIN: And then Blais will discuss it also in his testimony.

MR. WELLS: And then is Mr. Brancheau going to continue on the 19th if we get done or is that what's next.

MS. RAZIN: Well, I think that's one of the issues that the board is saying because we have other matters we may want to take advantage of   

MR. BRANCHEAU: I really don't think you're going to have time for that.  I think between what I know   

MR. WELLS: Fair enough.

MR. BRANCHEAU:     we have other   

MR. WELLS: I'm just trying to understand. 

MS. RAZIN: I would aim for, I think Blais might be ready early September    

MR. WELLS: September 5th I think is the meeting after that? 

MR. BRANCHEAU: We'll see how it goes, but if everything is wrapped up, yeah. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Is September 5th the September meeting or the 2nd? 

MS. WONDERGEM: September 2nd.

MR. WELLS: Maybe I'm wrong. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, September 2nd.

MR. WELLS: I'm sorry.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: The day after Labor Day. 

MR. WELLS: Okay.  And without the Valley Hospital matter and other    subject to other business, the board's pace on this is going to be just keep moving on this I take it.


MR. WELLS: Okay.  Understood.


MR. WELLS: I think it helps everybody if we all understand where we're going.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes.  Thank you, Mr. Wells, appreciate it.

MR. WELLS: Thank you. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Mr. Weiner, Mr. Bruinooge, appreciate your time. 

And that concludes tonight's session for the public hearing on the Land Use Element of the Master Plan.

Blais, you wanted to speak on item number five which is discussion regarding the completeness determination of World Mission Church.

MS. PETERS: I have a comment.  I would like to make a comment as to our process as to what they can build in here.  As to what we've been going through.  That's your decision. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Well, it will be on the record. 

MS. PETERS: Well, of course.  I have no problem being on the record.  But no one is even aware that I wish to make a comment about the process. 

I think you can see everyone is leaving right now. So I'll be speaking to the other board members    


MS. PETERS:     that's    it really is a choice, it's   

MS. RAZIN: Okay.   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: It's for the board predominantly so if you want to speak now then go ahead.

MS. PETERS: No, It's for the public. 


MS. PETERS: It's really    it's for the public.  It's also comments for the public.  It's not meant to be behind closed doors. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: This is then make make the comment.  This is fine.  I mean     

MS. PETERS: I don't mean to interrupt the proceedings    I know I'm very loud here.  Okay.  I think you can turn it down. Is that I did wish to make a comment in regards to the proceedings that we've been doing and I didn't want everyone to leave without knowing that I did wish to make comment about it. 

I know Blais wishes to to speak also. This is a little bit off topic, but I just felt the need that I've been very concerned as has periodically been expressed by various persons on the board, on our Council, as to the process that we're involved. I respect everyone who's been involved in all of the hearings, the attorneys, the board members, our Counsel, the Village Council.  I was very inspired by our Village Council meeting that I attended, and if persons have not been able to view the video or listen to the audio or read the transcript, I do recommend it. There is since I'm one of the newest members, I have sat for the past over a year witnessing the proceedings as they have gone forth.  And I felt very much like I was handed a trial midway and I was not present for the opening preparation of experts or witnesses.  And I then had to work with what I was handed.  So this has been a learning process to me. 

I wanted to say that I don't believe that what is currently happening is really in the best interests of the Village as a whole. And what I mean by that is that I believe that there is the phrase, "the cart before the horse".  There's the phrase, "the tail wagging the dog".  And that is how I'm viewing what is going on, that major issues having to do with the way our community is planned, the discussion of the business district, are items that should be freely discussed.  There should be an exchange of ideas.  There should be    I feel there is more exchange that happens, not here, than takes place here.  I miss that exchange, the dialogue. I get concerned.  I want the process to be a fast process, It's very expensive.  I'm concerned about that.  I'm concerned about the time.  A developer wants to move on.  Labor costs are expensive.  Do we have an answer?  Is this a go or is it a no?  Do we and now we hear another application's coming before us.  I think how are we going to stop the train?  When are we going to take the time to really talk about the Master Plan?  What is appropriate?  What is in need of change, if anything?  And I just need to express this because I feel that we're chasing the applications.  The applications are before us and now we're trying to discuss.  When I was very pleased to hear from one of our agencies this evening about the water expert, I want to hear from our other groups in the Village.  I want to hear from the public. Our Deputy Mayor is having a meeting on July 23rd, I know there are some members who feel that meeting should not be taking place.  I am in full support of it.  It is an opportunity for the public to express to the Council what their feelings are about what is being discussed here, in a venue where I feel there is not a full exchange of ideas. I know not everybody agrees with me, but I wanted to put this on the record to know that this is my opinion. And I hope that midway here, that we can continue promoting the public health, safety, the general welfare, as we are governed by the Municipal Land Use Law. And can we have a moratorium on applications?  Can we not take some time to stop so that we can talk about this?  Where should we be going instead of dealing with a fire as it comes to us. Thank you.

COUNCILWOMAN KNUDSEN: Michele, okay, I'm sorry with all due respect I hope this is on. With all due respect, I think we have applicants here.  And we have a process that we're engaged in legally.  And right now we have an ordinance on the books that permits this and we need to take a comprehensive, systematic approach to addressing and that's why we is a governing body, and we will address it. In terms of applications before this board, we need to hear those applications and go through the legal process so that we don't put ourselves in any compromising position from a legal perspective. So while I appreciate your comments, I think that we need to finish this process and allow the governing body the opportunity to govern as a team.  So we appreciate your comments, but would certainly allow the applicants their due process. Thank you.


MS. RAZIN: I just want to make a quick comment on that.  I'm going to echo some of what Susan said in terms of the applicants that have been here, some of which for several years. And I understand and I think the board actually, I would hope, that they recognize the underlying concerns that you have, Michele, with respect to some of the larger SCORP issues.  And I do think that some of those were raised this evening with respect to open space and water and it was good to hear from those professionals. And if this were an ideal world, we would sit down from the beginning and figure out how to go about a comprehensive Master Plan from step one.  And I think if Blais had his fantasy world we'd be doing that. But the problem is the law  it's not a problem, per se, but the law, the reality is the law allows for proponents of Master Plans and ordinances and development applications to come before their municipal boards and/or land use boards and make requests. And it is the I would think the legal responsibility and the whatever other responsibility, of those boards and whether it's the Council, whoever, the Zoning Board, Planning Board in the case of the Master Plan, to respond, and to do so in a way that takes into account all the necessary information. And in this case it has been a very long process.  I don't think anybody with disagree with you on that at all.  But the board feels and has continued to proceed taking in as much relevant information as it can.  And I think the board has a legal obligation to act on those applications, if you want to call them applications or requests for proposals, regardless of the ordinance, which for clarification purposes and Blais I believe will support me on this, whether people disagree with it or not, again it up to the Council that is the Council's issue.  But that ordinance was put in place not to provide parties with the actual right to make a request, but it actually puts the financial responsibility back on the developers and the proponents, rather than on   


MS. RAZIN:     the Village. And that's what the ordinance does.  The law would allow parties to make their requests regardless. So I don't think I disagree.  I don't think most people would disagree with your sentiment, but I do think that there are very serious legal consequences to not following through or to say "let's stop everything" or to not except applications because the Board is under Municipal Land Use Law, guidelines, time lines and obligations that require them to continue this process and any other development application process that comes before them. 

MR. WELLS: Can I be heard, because I think I can I think I can help here a little bit. Based on, you know, very many years of making these kinds of applications and about eight years as the Chairman of a Planning Board myself, you're in the middle of an amendment process, not the total Master Plan.  You need to find the time somewhere along the line to take a look at the whole Master Plan and that's    that's an issue in and of itself. What you were just told is absolutely correct, the Municipal Land Use, the State law, gives everybody the right to petition the board to do this.  And I think and I have done rezoning applications a dozen times in different communities. Your ordinance is unusual in that it gives you the right to require escrow accounts.  And, therefore, it shifts the burden of paying for all of your experts, even your attorney, on these things to the Village.  One could argue for the taxpayer's point of view, that's a good thing. What's a little strange here, and this    and I'm going to end with a suggestion that I think might help, in particular, your concern.  This has it’s gotten big.  And it's started to feel like a lot of site plan applications, even the fact that they call us "applicants", we're really not applicants.  We're proponents of a change to the Master Plan. And, you know, quite frankly, maybe we're a little guilty of presenting a little too much, but some of you are guilty of asking too many questions that are like site plan questions.  Cause we're really    all we're really talking about is the general idea of high density residential in certain areas of the downtown.  And that's all that's before you. Here's my suggestion, and then I'll then I'll stop.  You're allowed to deliberate.  You did you a little deliberating, but the board was kind of reluctant to do it, Blais was asking you questions.  As long as you do it in public, talk away.  And there will be nothing wrong with you, as a board, saying you know what tonight we're not having anybody come, we're just going to talk.  You're    because you've done a great job of gathering information, which is your responsibility.  You're almost done with that process.  But when you're done with that process, you're allowed to talk with each other and do that.  And you can stop and do that at any time.  You're allowed to deliberate, what you can't do is, under the Sunshine Law you have to do it publicly.  But I so I think the process is far along.  I don't think it's as broken as you think it is. I think the board just needs to talk to each other about this thing.  I have just one little legal piece of advice, and I'm going to mention it to Al if I ever get a chance to tell him, don't more than four of you go to his thing because that's legally you can't do that. 

MS. PETERS: We're aware of that.

MR. WELLS: In other words, if four of you show up at his session, that's a meeting of this board. 

MS. PETERS: We're aware of that.

MR. WELLS: And that will get you a legal mess, so a couple be careful of that.  And that's a good process.  It might be a little late in this particular thing, but you don't want to and I'll let your attorney advise you on that, but you don't want to all the Planning Board can't now informally show up at that meeting with the public without creating a legal issue.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Wells.  If I could just comment also, I stated this at the beginning of the process that it's designed to allow the board to collect the truth, to collect facts, to collect information under oath, through testimony and through other means of fact, to ask questions to validate that.  So that it can use its own judgment, and to allow the public to ask questions on the testimony that's provided.  So that we're working with a level playing field.  And that we're making a decision not based on hunches, but based on facts and using our intelligence to be able to fit that into what makes the best, the most sense for the Village. So it's designed, in essence, in a structured way where facts are presented, they're questioned by the public and by this board.  And then there are comments at the very end based on the facts hopefully, so that we did get public views on the facts that have been presented, that then would allow us to deliberate and manage that information in our decision making process. So there's even though it seems too rigid and too structured, it's there to protect the public's interests and our ability to make the decisions. So I just wanted to make that comment.

MR. WEINER: I'd like to be heard on this just because I had originally my initial comments had touched on this. There's nothing in the Municipal Land Use Law that requires you to amend your Master Plan or have a Master Plan Amendment hearing.  People can ask.  Lots of towns, go, no.  And they say no.  You've chosen to proceed.  And that's fine. 


MR. WEINER: But I agree, once you start the procedure you have to have a structure. But that does not mean that members of this Board, if they feel that you don't have enough policy information overall to make this decision, you can say no if you want to say no.  If you feel you do. This is not a site plan where they've presenting all these facts and you say, well, they made a compelling case. But if you don't want to change the policy, you don't change the policy. And I don't care what they anybody says, they can appeal that until the cows come home, there is no court in the world that's going to tell a board, "oh, no, we're going to reverse it and force you to change your Master Plan because somebody came before you with facts," that I don’t this is your decision and Ms. Peters is exactly right. If she feels that there's not enough comprehensive information that she needs in order to change the Master Plan, then that's the way she votes.  And that's an appropriate thing for everybody, board members, to do.


MR. WEINER: This is not a site plan where you have to add up the facts and you go, well, they proved their case. Even if they prove their case a million percent, if you disagree with it, you say no.  And you have the right to do that. 

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Without question.

MR. WEINER: So that's all I wanted to say.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Mr. Weiner. 

MS. PETERS: Yes, thank you.


MS. PETERS: I want to make a follow up   

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Yes, Paul had asked some time to speak   

MS. PETERS: I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry. I did want to say that I thank you and I have felt too much it's a site plan review, what I've witnessed. But, Mr. Wells, I thank you for what you said.  I want to comment, I hope to encourage more of the discussion.  I feel there should be more discussion about this. So I thank you.


MAYOR ARONSOHN: Yes, I'm debating whether to enter this discussion. 

MS. PETERS: Let me take it all. 

MAYOR ARONSOHN: You know my sense is   

MS. PETERS: Let me take it all.

MAYOR ARONSOHN: My sense is so you know so I've been involved in this process for two years now and this process had started two years prior to that. And I think regardless of where one stands in this issue, whether some    a person wants high density multifamily housing in the downtown or not, this process may not be broken, but it doesn't seem to be working as it should.  And so there's a lot of frustration, obviously, I think by board members, I think the public, I think the applicants. And I guess the question is what can we do to make this process better?  To really get to the point where we're acting in Ridgewood's best interest.  And, you know, I notice sometimes you know you try to have a structured process, but it seems a little unstructured at times or too structured.  And I, for one, the Deputy Mayor, you know, in talking about the idea that he wants to have, which is much larger than this, it's talking about the whole Central Business District.  I applaud that.  And I support that because it will give the community more of an opportunity to speak. And I say that not because    you know the Planning Board process undoubtedly serves a purpose and is structured in a way it's quasi judicial and it's probably, you know, it probably makes sense. But we live in a community of really smart people, very accomplished people.  And they're not given an opportunity to speak.  And that's no one's fault.  It's just    but I think the process and I think our judgment, our thinking, again not just with respect to just this issue but the larger Central Business, would benefit from that.  And you know I'm still struck, you know, and I know the Council meeting are very different animals than Planning Board meetings, but it strikes me that, you know, public, you know, is invited at Council meetings to speak at the beginning of the meeting on issues that are not before the Planning Board, which to me just doesn't make any sense whatsoever.  I get it in one sense, but on the other hand we're asking you to speak on issues that are not before the board. So beyond like the Middle East and other issues that we're not sort of taking up, I don't know what people are supposed to speak to. And so there's a frustration.  And I think the frustration is felt, again, regardless of where someone stands on this issue.  And to extent we can fix the process, and I don't know what the answer is, I think one the suggestions you had actually, allowing us maybe time so when it's not sort of structured with the applicants that we can have free exchange of ideas.


MAYOR ARONSOHN:  I mean I know for myself one of the issues I keep I've raised several times, how about age restricted housings?  I guess someone nods to me and then we move on to another topic.  I talked about special needs housing and so we get a look and then we move on. Maybe if you spent a little more time on issues and thoughts that are on the Planning Board members' minds, maybe we'd get somewhere.  I don't know what the answer is.  And I know everybody is really approaching this with a good faith effort.  I know up here, I'm sure down there, but we're just not getting it. So, again, it may not be broken, but it just doesn't seem to be working as it should.

MR. RUTISHAUSER: I could be improved.

CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Thank you, Paul. Katie, do you have any comments? 


CHAIRMAN NALBANTIAN: Good.  Okay.  I think we're good. Thank you, everyone.  Thank you, Michele.

MS. PETERS: Thank you.


The hearing was carried to August 5 without further notice.

10:42 p.m. – Discussion re: Completeness determination re: World Mission Society, Church of God – Mr. Brancheau explained that the application from World Mission Society, Church of God, is essentially complete and that they will need to be heard or put on an agenda within 45 days. The Board recommended that the applicant be placed on the agenda in August.

Approval of Minutes – The minutes from January 7, 2014 were approved as drafted.

Mr. John Saraceno asked if he would be able to comment on procedural issues at this time. After Board discussion regarding public comment on agenda or non-agenda issues, it was determined that since Mr. Saraceno is represented by an attorney he would make his comments through Mr. Bruinooge at a later date.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 P.M.


                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Jane Wondergem

                                                                                                Board Secretary

Date approved:

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