Search Site
Menu
Preservationists join village committee

Friday, October 30, 2009

Preservationists join village committee

BY MICHAEL SEDON The Ridgewood News
Staff Writer

Preserve Graydon Coalition (PGC) co-chair Suzanne Kelly announced to supporters on Monday night that the group has decided to join a committee recently formed by Councilman Pat Mancuso.

Mancuso’s committee was intended to include all interested viewpoints in order to arrive at the “best solution for Ridgewood” regarding Graydon Pool. It also includes Mayor David Pfund and representatives from the Ridgewood Pool Project (RPP).

“Ever since that committee meeting’s inception, we have wrestled long and hard whether to join that committee or not, for many, many reasons,” Kelly said. “We have decided that we will join, and I am going to represent the coalition on the committee.”

The PGC formed in July following a formal presentation by the RPP to the Village Council that suggested vast alterations to the pool as a way of increasing membership and making the facility financially self-sustaining. The RPP, which was charged by the Village Council with discovering why membership at the pool has declined in the past 10 years, supports a multi-million-dollar concrete swimming facility to replace the current “plake” (pool plus lake). The group has worked for three years to gather information from residents who use Graydon and those who have left the pool, and collected more than 5,000 signatures online from residents pledging support for a concrete facility earlier this year.

The PGC, created in response to the RPP’s proposal, now touts a petition containing the signatures of 1,389 residents to preserve the pool in its current state, according to PGC co-chair Marcia Ringel.

RPP co-chair Melinda Cronk said her group is “very pleased that the [PGC] has decided to join the [committee] at our next meeting. We certainly hope [the PGC’s] recent decision signifies that they are interested in discussing the issues, listening to presentations from a variety of experts and exploring all possible solutions for balancing the beautiful aesthetics of Graydon with enhanced water treatment technologies.”

Coalition hires environmental lawyer

The PGC recently retained the services of an environmental and land use attorney to argue historic and flood plain issues as reasons for keeping the pool in its natural sand-bottom state, as opposed to altering it to include several smaller concrete pools.

Stuart J. Lieberman, of the Princeton-based law firm Lieberman and Blecher, has taken up the coalition’s cause at a cost to be borne by “a handful” of PGC members, Kelly said.

Lieberman addressed about 60 PGC supporters at the Education Building of the Old Paramus Reformed Church on Monday night. He presented five main points that he will argue for Graydon’s preservation, including a suggestion that the 100-year-old park be placed on the federal and state lists of historic places.

“Graydon Pool is an historic resource,” Lieberman said. “You have to fight because it’s so much easier to bulldoze over than to fight and stand for something that’s important.”

Lieberman used flooding and impermeable surfaces in the vicinity of Graydon as another talking point, explaining that too much development has occurred near the adjacent Ho-Ho-Hus Brook, which exacerbates flooding.

“When we do that suburban thing — when we pave, and we pave and pave — we get flooding,” he said. “Bergen County, in general, has a large flooding problem, because when Bergen County was built out as a place for people that work in New York to go and live 50 years ago, there was no understanding of theses issues, so there was uncontrolled development.”

Lieberman also pointed out that Garden State Laboratories, which tested the water quality at Graydon each week during the swim season this year, reported that the fecal coliform count of bacteria in the water was consistently below the state standard for even concrete-bottom pools. That led into the issue of water management, which has improved since 2007, according to many Graydon users.

“I’m sure most of you have seen a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection, with the department stating quite clearly that this pool can be run successfully through proper maintenance,” Lieberman said.

The eight-page letter to which he referred, written in March 2008, identified inadequate levels of sodium hypochlorite in the water in 2007 and suggested ways to better implement the chemical. The last paragraph of the letter, however, stated that if these measures could not be followed, the DEP would suggest that the “plake” be replaced with a cement-bottom pool.

Lieberman’s last point dealt with the financial aspect. He pointed out that many residents in Ridgewood worked in the financial district in New York City, and said the current economic meltdown affected many people in town and elsewhere, which could have contributed to declining membership at Graydon over the last two years.

E-mail: [email protected]

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • NJ Supreme Court rules that property owner committed extreme violation of the Agriculture Retention and Development… https://t.co/EWqdQWErcv
    2 hours ago
  • Governor Murphy signs bill for marine fisheries management. https://t.co/j9hch68gSB
    1 day ago
  • North Jersey flooding is worst since Floyd, says Little Falls mayor. https://t.co/Euy7aVHVts
    1 day ago
  • With Lawsuits, New Jersey Signals Tougher Stance on the Environment. https://t.co/1Zcrce6Cur
    1 week ago

Recent Blog Posts

NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval

On August 2, 2018, New Jersey’s Supreme Court held that a holder of a municipal tax lien may have standing to challenge a local planning board’s approval for a neighboring
Read More
NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval

The Downside to Higher Ground: Appellate Division affirms finding of a townhome owner’s negligence and responsibility for water damage to a below unit caused by a prolonged leaking washing machine hose

On August 1, 2018, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division ruled in favor of plaintiff in the matter captioned Joseph S. D’Elia v. Joyce Campisi and Liberty Mutual
Read More
The Downside to Higher Ground: Appellate Division affirms finding of a townhome owner’s negligence and responsibility for water damage to a below unit caused by a prolonged leaking washing machine hose

United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, et al. 583 U.S. ____ (2018) Decided January 22, 2018 Since the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the definition of “the waters
Read More
United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

New Jersey Voters to Decide Important State Constitutional Amendment concerning the Environment

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, New Jersey voters will be asked to decide on a state constitutional amendment regarding the use of natural resource damages collected by the State in
Read More
New Jersey Voters to Decide Important State Constitutional Amendment  concerning the Environment

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form