www.FriendsOfWyckoff.org News Volume 2 Number 2 Winter/Spring 2011 Clock Ticking on Large Russell Farms Grant Wyckoff - Wyckoff officials have until Oc- tober 21, 2011 to complete the acquisition of Russell Farms or lose the $1,859,000 grant provided by the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund. The five-acre tract, located on Russell Avenue near Sicomac Avenue, sits at the headwaters of the Goffle Brook and was formerly an orchard with green- houses and a farm stand. The Wyckoff Planning Board approved the subdivision of property for six homes in 2007. Negotiations for acquisition began in 2009, with Wyckoff applying for the Bergen County grant that summer and receiving the award in 2010. The appraised value of the property is $2.8 million, and Wyckoff planned to fund the balance of the purchase price from its Mu- nicipal Open Space Trust Fund. The Wyckoff Aerial view of Russell Farms (outlined in white line) as it appeared in 1938. Photo courtesy Wyckoﬀ Historical Society; www.wycko istory.org Municipal Open Space Trust Fund which was approved by the voters in 2006 and began in 2007 (see related story on page 3; Initial plans for the property called for a mix blending in clean soil under a clean-up Open Space Trust Fund Up for Renewal”). of active and passive recreation, with a plan approved by the state Department of En- Wyckoff officials have noted that our mu- small field surrounded by trees and a walk- vironmental Protection. nicipal open space trust fund made the ing trail, perhaps with an outdoor exhibit Wyckoff must have a contract to purchase the large county grant possible. Wyckoff has on the history of farming in Wyckoff. Cur- property by the deadline to keep the grant. also applied for a grant from the state rently the developer is removing pesticide- Green Acres office to apply toward the contaminated soil from the site and Russell Farms purchase. In This Issue Join in June! Save The Dates June is Membership Drive Month! June 11 Development Update Page 3 Become a new “Friend” or Wyckoff Day; Wyckoff “Y” renew your membership! noon till dusk Go online or watch for our Open Space Trust Fund Page 3 membership le er in your mail! Visit our booth and pick up a sapling! What is the Enter our drawing to win a composter! Wyckoff Master Plan? Page 4 Visit www.wyckoffymca.org for information about this event. October 13 Thanks to everyone who attended our first annual 5th Annual Pasta Night! f Pancake Breakfast! Follow us on FACEBOOK! A portion of the proceeds will Wyckoff Reformed Church Search: “Friends of Wyckoff” support a Wyckoff school environmental project. See Page 2. Page 2 Friends Of Wyckoﬀ – Winter/Spring 2011 Meet Members of the trepreneur. Stan’s favorite causes: government Friends of Wyckoff Executive Committee transparency, preserving our trees, and pre- venting overdevelopment. Stan enjoys: gar- dening and rowing (he is former President of Linda Vreeland, Chairperson Dow Chemical in Sales and Marketing. the East Arm Rowing Club). Stan says: “I Linda grew up in Wyckoff and returned in George’s favorite causes: saving our trees. would like to see members of the community 2006, when she joined Friends. She is also George enjoys: playing tennis, and has par- recognize that the future of Wyckoff depends active in: Wyckoff Historical Society, a do- ticipated in an investment group for 30 years. on their involvement.” cent and Trustee at the Hermitage Museum, George says: “Friends is our best chance to Elaine Fichera and Communications Director of Merlin's preserve Wyckoff’s beauty and character.” Elaine has lived in Wyckoff for 3 years, and KIDS. Professionally: Linda is self-employed Toni Brienza, Secretary joined Friends soon after moving here. Elaine as a communications consultant and graphic Toni has lived in Wyckoff for 25 years, and is also active in: she is Secretary of S.A.V.E. designer, and owner of Ifence pet contain- joined Friends one year after it was founded. Wyckoff. Professionally: Elaine is self-em- ment. Linda’s favorite causes: historic preser- She is also active in: the Design Review Ad- ployed as a freelance creative consultant and vation, especially remaining Wyckoff visory Board 2011. Professionally: Toni has advertising copywriter. Elaine’s favorite structures; Open Space and using funds to been a real estate professional for 24 years. causes: historic preservation, saving our trees, preserve areas for passive recreation. Linda Toni’s favorite causes: historic preservation, preventing overdevelopment, and preserving enjoys: collecting antiques, outdoor activi- saving our trees, protecting our environment, Open Space for passive recreation. Elaine en- ties. Linda says: “Wyckoff was a great place preventing overdevelopment, preserving and joys: collecting antiques, art, outdoor activi- to grow up, with dairies and farms (with protecting Open Space. Toni enjoys: reading, ties. Elaine says: “Seeing Boulder Run cows!), and evolved into a charming com- walking. Toni says: “The Friends of Wyckoff motivated me to join Friends so I could play munity. Sadly, the last 25 years have taken brings awareness of the vital importance in an active role in preserving the history and away much of Wyckoff’s charm. Historic preserving what little there is left of our ‘little charm of Wyckoff. My hope is that the people homes have been razed, the ravine is com- bit of country.’ Wyckoff is a family friendly of Wyckoff will realize that every voice promised with 9 large homes within feet of Friends Donate Composter town, and maintaining our quality of life is makes a difference.” its precipice, and Boulder Run makes one very important to me.” and Red Wigglers wonder if ‘aesthetic’ ever crossed the minds of those who approved it. I’m optimistic that Janet Gaglione residents will become more involved.” Janet has lived in Wyckoff for 30 years. She was a founding member of Friends. She is Students at Coolidge School and Jan Mike Brienza, Co-chairperson also active in: the Garden Club of Wyckoff, Kochanek, School Nurse/Health Educator, Mike has lived in Wyckoff for 25 years, and The Depot in Midland Park/childrens aid and have been busy planting herbs, vegetables, is one of the co-founders of Friends. Profes- family counseling, and Seniors of Wyckoff. and flowers in the newly renovated court- sionally: Mike is self-employed as a historic Professionally: Janet is a licensed realtor with yard that is nestled between the original restoration carpenter. Mike’s favorite causes: Re/Max Real Estate. Janet’s favorite causes: building and new wing. historic preservation, saving our trees, pre- historic preservation, protecting our canopy After a tour of the courtyard, Friends de- serving and protecting Open Space. Mike en- trees, protecting the environment, preventing cided to donate a much-needed composter joys: cars, collecting antiques, and studying overdevelopment, and preserving Open so the students can complete their com- architecture. Mike says: “We’ve made great Space in Wyckoff. Janet enjoys: antiquing posting process on-site. Vermicomposting, progress with the updated Wyckoff Master and gardening. Janet says: “Preserving our also called worm composting, is the final Plan, and I’m hoping to see it put into ac- history in Wyckoff is a challenge.” phase of the composting process, where tion.” Stan Goodman compost is turned into dirt. Friends also do- George Pitts, Treasurer Stan has lived in Wyckoff for 24 years, and nated a new crop of red wiggler worms for George has lived in Wyckoff for 34 years, and joined friends 2 years ago. Stan is also active the school’s vermicomposting program. joined Friends 5 years ago. He is also active in: UJA of Northern NJ, and is founder and “It’s important for the students to know in: unlimited activities! Professionally: President of S.A.V.E. Wyckoff. Professionally: where food comes from, and why compost- George had an international career with Stan is a beauty industry executive and en- ing is vital to the environment,” said Kochanek. Join Friends of Wyckoff or Renew Your Membership The Friends donation was a result of their recent Pancake Breaskfast fundraiser, where YES! I’d like to be a Friends of Wyckoff member and help improve the quality of life in our town. a portion of their proceeds benefit local school environmental projects. New Member $25 Read full article at:www.FriendsOfWyckoff.org. $50 Renewal $100 Oﬃcers of the Name Other Friends of Wyckoﬀ Chair: Linda Vreeland Street Address State NJ Zip 07481 Co-Chair: Michael Brienza Secretary: Toni Brienza Phone Email* Treasurer: George Pitts Checks should be payable to “Friends of Wyckoff” and mailed to: Members of the Executive Committee (in addition to the officers above): Elaine *Please provide your email address to help us save on paper and snail mail costs. Friends of Wyckoff, P.O. Box 302, Wyckoff, NJ 07481 Your email will be used solely for communication from us, and will never be rented, lent, or sold. Fichera Janet Gaglione, Stan Goodman, 6.11 Ray Steele, and Susan Steele Friends Of Wyckoﬀ – Winter/Spring 2011 Page 3 Development updates As Mr. Doug Struyk, CEO of CHCC, testified Most troubling, in a meeting with the In Our Opinion Friends of Wyckoff Executive Committee in before the Planning Board, he still hasn’t Why the VISTA Development provided clear or reassuring answers to 2010, and at both Planning Board meetings, Could Make Boulder Run pressing questions such as these: Mr. Struyk stated that the VISTA will meet an Look Good Where will the water come from to serve important need of the elderly in the sur- rounding area. To justify that need, he refers As Zoning Board Meetings continue, it ap- the 258 new apartments? repeatedly to a study done by a company pears that the proposed VISTA complex on He doesn’t know yet. called ProMatura. Yet, when asked to share the Christian Health Care Center campus the data from that study with the Planning could overtake Boulder Run as one of the Who will provide ambulance service to the hundreds of elderly new VISTA residents so Board and the people of Wyckoff, he refused biggest “mistakes” this town has ever made because the information is “proprietary.” — an even bigger mistake than Boulder our emergency responders aren’t overbur- Run. dened? Whether you live in the immediate CHCC That’s still “under discussion.” neighborhood or on the other side of town, Yes, Boulder Run has wiped out the small the proposed VISTA could affect all of our town feel of Wyckoff in the heart of the busi- How will runoff be controlled in an area daily lives. While Friends of Wyckoff has ness district. Folks continue to shake their that already has flooding issues after heavy taken a public stand against the VISTA, and heads over the lost trees, expanses of pave- rains? will continue to track events as they unfold, ment, and boxy construction. Our concern Even though there’s a “plan,” we can only we urge every single one of YOU who grows as we speculate about new busi- hope that it will work. If it doesn’t, it will be agrees with us to share the responsibility for nesses that might move into the buildings too late. what happens to the future of Wyckoff. still under construction. Many even refuse to patronize Stop’n’Shop as a form of How much more traffic will be created by Please…attend public meetings, ask ques- protest. new VISTA residents, their visitors, and tions, and express your concerns to the their home deliveries? Wyckoff Township Committee. There’s still But the appearance of Boulder Run only of- time to save Wyckoff from an even bigger fends us. To date, Boulder Run has not com- To paraphrase, we’re assured that the elderly probably won’t drive much, and will most blunder than Boulder Run. promised our safety in the streets, flooded our neighborhoods, or drained our precious likely get rid of their cars. But that’s just Visit www.FriendsOfWyckoff.org resources. However, the VISTA development speculation, not fact. and www.Wyckoff-nj.org for Zoning Board meeting dates Open Space Question on Ballot in November has the potential to do all three. Wyckoff – At the April 26 Township Commit- Space grant to put toward the purchase of Rus- tected from development and have the poten- tee meeting, the Township Committee in- sell Farms. tial to enhance our property values. structed the township attorney to prepare an For more information about the Open Space Trust Fund, visit On November 8, 2011, Wyckoff residents will ordinance to put a public question on the No- vember ballot asking voters if they would like have the opportunity to vote on continuing the www.FriendsOfWyckoff.org Open Space Trust Fund. to continue Wyckoff's Open Space Trust Fund Wyckoff after it expires at the end of 2011. The Township is also negotiating with the owners of the Maple Lake site, a beautiful 28- “Green Team” The Township Committee’s action follows acre parcel of woods and wetlands through from an article in the Suburban News (April which the Goffle Brook flows. Maple Lake 21, 2011) about the Friends of Wyckoff peti- tion drive to ensure that the public question would be an ideal nature sanctuary. Wyckoff has applied for funding from both Bergen Under Way be put on the ballot. We applaud the Town- County Open Space and the state Green Acres In July of 2010 Wyckoff registered for and ini- ship Committee for its decision. office to acquire Maple Lake. Having our own tiated the first steps towards certification under The Open Space Trust Fund is a key reason Open Space Trust Fund doubles the Green the Sustainable Jersey Program. The Green Wyckoff attracted a $1.9 million Bergen Acres funding from 25 to 50% of appraised Team will help set guidelines and generate County Open Space grant for the acquisition value. ideas for the Environmental Commission from of Russell Farms, and the Township has ap- public outreach and programming on envi- Wyckoff has about 90 acres of undeveloped plied for additional grants from Bergen ronmental issues, to buy “local campaigns”, land in Wyckoff. When a landowner wishes County and the state Green Acres office green building and design, sustainability plan- to sell in Wyckoff, the Open Space Fund cre- which are pending. ates an “alternative buyer”…the town. Thanks ning, open space, and waste management, to to our existing Open Space Trust Fund, Wyck- name a few. Harriet Shugarman, Co-Chair- Wyckoff’s current trust fund raised approxi- off has already obtained a $1.9 million grant person of the Environmental Commission is mately $900,000 over its first four years. Be- to purchase Russell Farms. These five acres, spearheading the Green Team. For more in- cause the township has this source of funding, with their historic significance, will be pro- formation, visit www.wyckoff-nj.com. it was able to attract the Bergen County Open Page 4 Friends Of Wyckoﬀ – Winter/Spring 2011 What Our Master Plan Means To Wyckoff historic value to the community • Preserving and reducing impact on the By Elaine Fichera Three primary factors are considered when environment through use of green build- updating a Master Plan. These statistics and ing techniques and materials It’s something we should all know about and other key facts are included in the Master • Controlling development in a responsi- care about. Plan document: ble and energy efficient manner Until recently, I had a vague idea that a • Changes in the town’s population. They Together we can help enforce our new town’s Master Plan has something to do with include: shifts by age, race, and gender; Master Plan. “rules” for new development. I became in- income statistics; size and number of oc- While Friends of Wyckoff is gratified to see terested in learning more when I heard that cupants per household; building permits these recommendations, we must remem- the Wyckoff Master Plan was due to be re- approved; and residents’ employment ber that they’re only recommendations. newed in 2010. (It must be revised every 6 characteristics. Whether they are put into practice is up to years according to the NJ Municipal Land • Conditions that affect residents’ well- all of us. If every resident of Wyckoff takes Use Law.) I had the opportunity to sit in on a being. They include: road conditions; just 2 small steps, we can realize these and meeting of the Master Plan Ad-hoc Commit- safety of pedestrian traffic routes; traffic other admirable goals set forth in our new tee while the current plan was in develop- flow; parking space; recreational opportu- Master Plan. ment. After all was said and done, I realized nities; sewerage; zoning requirements; just how important the Master Plan really is. • Step 1: Awareness. Staying on top of pro- placement of cell phone towers; and posed commercial and residential devel- This is more than a plan for the town of specific sites of future development. Wyckoff in abstract terms. It’s a plan that has opment is critical. It’s easily done by • The town’s connection to the surrounding reading the papers, logging in to an impact on each and every one of us who area. Proximity to adjacent towns and Patch.com, and talking to your neighbors. resides here. I also realized that the recom- geographic location are also considered Check out FriendsOfWyckoff.org for regu- mendations in our new Master Plan can help as they affect traffic flow, accessibility to lar updates. to keep Wyckoff a wonderful place to services, sewerage, etc. • Step 2: Participation. The members of live…but only if they are fulfilled. After all of the facts have been reviewed, and our Township Committee listen. If you ob- From the Introduction to the 2010 new recommendations are agreed on, a draft serve something that is contrary to the rec- Wyckoff Master Plan, as stated at NJSA of the updated Master Plan is reviewed by ommendations in the new Master Plan, 40:55D-28: the committee. When the document is final- bring it to their attention. If you believe “The planning board may prepare and, ized, the Master Plan is put to a vote at a some of the new recommendations are not after public hearing, adopt or amend a public meeting. being fulfilled by our town leaders, speak master plan…to guide the use of lands up. Take an hour to attend a town meeting, within the municipality in a manner which write a letter to our Committeemen, sign a Wyckoff residents interested in obtaining protects public health and safety and petition. Meeting dates are posted on the copies of the 2010 Master Plan may promotes the general welfare.“ Friends of Wyckoff web site and the town inquire at Town Hall or visit our website: web site. These small investments of time www.FriendsOfWyckoff.org/archives and energy can have a tremendous impact. This is how a Master Plan update “works” Remember…the Master Plan is Wyckoff’s in broad strokes. These highlights of the 2010 Wyckoff plan for the future. But it will only help us Master Plan are in keeping with our goals. keep Wyckoff a wonderful place to live if New recommendations for an updated Mas- ter Plan don’t come out of thin air! They’re Members of Friends of Wyckoff contributed we put it into practice! based on a comparison of what was (when suggestions for the new Master Plan, espe- cially regarding tree preservation and histor- Friends is looking for the previous Master Plan was prepared) and what is (conditions as they are today). Two ical sites. These recommendations are very a few good Friends! questions are asked and answered in an up- much in line with our hopes for the future. dated Master Plan: They include: • Were the old problems identified in the • Maintaining the residential character and Join our Executive Committee: previous Master Plan addressed, and small town feel of Wyckoff were previous objectives met? • Preservation of open space, which Email: info@FriendsofWyckoﬀ.org • What new problems do we face, and includes recommendations for: if you would like to help. what are our new objectives? — Renewing the Municipal Open Space Old problems and objectives may carry for- Tax that will expire on December 31, Help Wyckoff ward into the updated Master Plan. New 2011 problems are identified, and possible solu- — Establishing an ordinance that protects reach its 50% tions are discussed. Ideally, town residents trees from destruction are included in these discussions, as was the — Exploring the potential acquisition of recycling goal! case with our new Master Plan. This provides Russell Farm a “citizen’s eye view” of what needs to be • Historic preservation, by exploring ways addressed, as well as a variety of opinions www.wyckoff-nj.com/NiftyFifty of recognizing structures and places of and ideas.