Ridgewood’s Hospital Headache - My9 New Jersey

Ridgewood’s Hospital Headache

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Ridgewood, New Jersey (My9News) - Ridgewood’s Valley Hospital is looking to expand, but some residents have been pushing back against it for the past eight-years. The new plan would almost double the size of the facility and according to hospital officials, the construction would take six-years to complete.

Throughout the surrounding neighborhood, signs protesting the expansion are everywhere. Signs read everything from: “Stop the Valley Hospital expansion” to “Save our village, say NO to high density zoning changes”.

At the local Benjamin Franklin Middle School there was a heated public meeting regarding the hospital plans. Residents like Pete McKenna, President of Concerned Citizens of Ridgewood, the group behind the website stopvalley.com, says the expansion could start with the hospital and lead to the unwanted urbanization of Ridgewood.

“The whole idea behind Ridgewood is single family detached residential homes. The fact that you would take this kind of 24/7 somewhat industrial use and put it in the middle of the neighborhood is just out of context, it’s out of character for Ridgewood, for what we all pay dearly to live here,” he exclaimed.

However, the Vice President of Communications for Valley Health System, Megan Frasier, also happens to be a Ridgewood resident and she says in this case, what’s good for the hospital is also good for the people of Ridgewood.

According to Valley Health, in 2012, 25% of Ridgewood residents were cared-for at the hospital.

“To ensure our ability to care for the people who choose Valley for years to come, we need to go forward with this project,” she stated.

The meeting went late into the night as both sides pleaded their cases. The planning board will make its final decision on whether or not the hospital can expand on June 17th.


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