COMING TO RIDGEWOOD For the last several years, Tom Wells and Andy Kohut of our office, have lead an effort to convince the Ridgewood Planning Board to amend the Village Master Plan and Zoning, to permit several new high density apartment projects downtown.

Our clients, Garden Homes, has suggested a 104-unit project for Broad Street at the former Brogan Cadillac site, and Two-Forty Associates has proposed 52 units on the former inspection station site on Chestnut Street. Both projects are aimed at young singles, married couples, and empty nesters, but not really to families. Because of the close proximity to the Train Station, both projects will be perfect for commuters. Most units will have one or two bedrooms.

These projects will help Ridgewood with its affordable housing obligations by providing some units either at the project or elsewhere in the Village that will be lower cost “affordable units.” Most of the units will, however, be rented at market rate and will be a higher end product that is presently not available in the Village. We, and professional planners, have explained to the Board that such development is good for, in fact vital, to a continued successful core downtown. Fortunately, such a project actually generates less traffic and parking than retail or office developments that could be built, as of right, on these sites. Also, the demographic of the tenants that will occupy the buildings will result in very few school age children.

The drawings which can been seen by clicking on the link above show both of our clients propose beautiful buildings that all can be proud of, and enjoy, once they are built. The process to date has not been without some controversy, as some residents remained concerned about school and traffic issues that already exist and worry that new projects could exacerbate problems. The matter is at the Planning Board now, and will eventually likely go to the Mayor and Council as well. We encourage those who understand how valuable this type of development will be for Ridgewood to attend.

– Thomas M. Wells

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