RIDGEWOOD - Concerns over increased traffic and school overcrowding have sparked a battle over several new apartment complexes in Ridgewood.
Some residents in the upscale community have formed a grassroots movement called "Save Ridgewood," which is fighting to block three proposed apartment complexes from going up.
The group says the three- and four-story buildings would change Ridgewood's small town charm. They are also concerned hundreds of new residents could create traffic and parking problems.
"We'd like to know how our overall traffic will be affected when the whole zone is built out," says Amy Bourque. "No one has done that study yet."
Francis Schott is concerned that existing problems will be made worse. "Since we know we have traffic problems and parking problems, I don't see why we should aggravate those," he says.
Opponents also say the schools are filled to capacity and that could get worse with three new apartment buildings in town.
"For 25 years, we've had increased enrollment of about 50 kids a year," says Bourque. "And we're getting to a point now where we're pretty maxed out."
The apartment buildings are proposed on three properties in the heart of town, including a former car dealership and inspection site. Supporters say they would be an improvement to the landscape.
The town's planning board and council would ultimately need to approve a zoning change before the projects move forward.