Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Planners Start Debating New Housing Rules

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Planners Start Debating New Housing Rules

Article excerpt

RIDGEWOOD -- A majority of the village's Planning Board voiced support Tuesday night for a proposed master plan amendment that, if approved, would clear the way for high-density multifamily housing complexes downtown.

Public deliberations on the long-sought change to Ridgewood's master plan began during the Planning Board's meeting on Tuesday, with most members agreeing such developments would enhance the village while filling various housing needs.

However, those same Planning Board members said the amendment needed some minor tweaking before it could be considered for a final board vote.

Specifically, several of the board's members said the amendment's height and density limitations are an issue.

The master plan amendment would increase the amount of units allowed per acre to between 40 and 50 from 12, and raise restrictions on building heights to 55 feet from 50.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn, who sits on Ridgewood's Planning Board, endorsed the housing complexes that have been pitched by the three developers that first applied for the master plan change little more than five years ago.

The master plan change -- to adjust the types of housing permitted within four village zones -- has been on and off of the board's agenda ever since.

The developments proposed are The Dayton, a 106-unit luxury garden apartment complex at the site of the former Brogan Cadillac dealership; the 50-unit Chestnut Village, proposed for Chestnut Street; and the 52-unit Enclave at East Ridgewood and North Maple avenues.

"This is an important opportunity to do something meaningful for our town," Aronsohn said. "This is an opportunity that will have repercussions, positive or negative. But we need to think 30 years down the road, and I hope we seize this opportunity."

Board Vice Chairman Richard Joel said he believes the developments "will improve the town" and increase foot traffic for struggling businesses, but he said that "more discussion is needed" before a final vote can occur. …

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