Shedler Project Reignites Debate on Historical Preservation and Safety

In a recent Ridgewood Council meeting, the primary discussion revolved around the Shedler property redevelopment. This project aims to combine historical preservation with modern amenities, a direction that has received a lot of support from council members, including Evan Weitz and Siobhan Winograd.

A highlight of the redevelopment plan is the creation of a full-sized turf field at the Shedler property. Village engineer, Chris Rudis-Houser, shared a layout that includes a multi-purpose field, rain gardens to manage storm water, and a revised parking area. These plans reflect a commitment to balance historical preservation with functional space use, including the preservation of a sugar maple tree and the introduction of safety features such as timber guide rails and handicap-friendly parking provisions.

However, the choice of turf for the field has become a contentious point due to concerns about potential health risks and environmental impacts. While a more eco-friendly artificial grass surface is favored, community members raised concerns over potential hazards including heat strokes and carcinogenic exposures. This has led to calls for further research into alternative materials for the turf.

The council also discussed the addition of visual barriers like trees and no-mow meadows to maintain historical harmony with the surrounding area. This initiative emphasizes a softer park outline without fences and lights, aiming for a gentle integration with the local historical landscape.

The engagement with Peter Primavera Partners LLC, the firm tasked with overseeing the project’s historical aspect, became another central topic in the discussions. The renewal of their contract sparked controversy due to discrepancies in the firm’s resume and doubts regarding the authenticity of their claimed past involvements. This has prompted the council to advocate for careful scrutiny of the firm’s submissions in future project phases.

Community members expressed frustration regarding the slow progress in meeting election promises, especially in the areas of environmental conservation and flood management. They called for more transparency and diligence in the contractor selection process.

Concerns were also raised over the operational costs associated with the unresolved utility status of a house on the project site, with many urging for a swift resolution. Despite these hurdles, the majority support moving forward with the Shedler project. Mayor Paul Vagianos, who supports a development approach that respects historical values while embracing modern amenities, emphasized this sentiment.

Responding to community member Rohan de Silva, Mayor Vagianos promised improvements to facilitate better ADA compliance, including upgrades to the council chamber’s sound system to assist individuals with disabilities.

In the wake of encouraging community participation, a series of events were unveiled during the Village Manager’s report. Highlights included a groundbreaking ceremony for the Ravine PFAS treatment plant and a diverse slate of events encompassing a music fest and a hazardous waste collection day. The “Adopt the Sapling” initiative was introduced, encouraging residents to care for a tree, fostering a greener community. Lorraine Reynolds invited volunteers for Project Pride, which aims to beautify the village with autumn plants on September 24th.

Discussion on the parking situation saw contrasting views, with the central topic being the annual review of parking permit prices. While there was a proposal to halt the suggested hourly parking rate increment for 2024, the idea of increasing permit parking rates gained traction. Matters of enforcement difficulties and potential revenue losses formed a part of this discussion.

Various other community projects and services were discussed, including a proposal for an archaeological study at the Smeritzky-Shedler House and updates on styrofoam densifier services, which saw a collaborative agreement involving multiple municipalities.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Not avaliable:

City Council Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes