Mahwah December 16, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 9 Vehicular weight limit considered for Ridge Road by Frank J. McMahon The Mahwah Council has introduced an ordinance that would, if adopted in January, amend the township code to place a limit on the weight of trucks that can travel on Ridge Road between Macarthur Boulevard and West Ramapo Avenue. The ordinance states that its purpose is to provide for the orderly flow of traffic and to address public safety concerns for pedestrians and other persons in the vicinity of Mahwah High School, which is located on Ridge Road. Mahwah Traffic Safety Officer Lieutenant Robert Sinnaeve advised that accident records indicate there have been about 15 traffic accidents a year during the past three years in that stretch of the road but they were accidents in general and he could not confirm if any of them involved trucks. The ordinance would eliminate the subsection of the code entitled “Trucks and Buses Over Four Tons Excluded from Certain Streets” and replace it with one that states that vehicles over six tons gross weight will now be excluded from Ridge Road in both directions between Macarthur Boulevard and West Ramapo Avenue, and on the entire length of East Mahwah Road and the entire length of West Airmount Road, two roads that were already listed on the previous ordinance. While Ridge Road is the only street to be added to the existing code, the change in the weight limit from four tons to six tons would allow bigger trucks to travel on the other two roads listed in the ordinance. Council President John DaPuzzo explained that, while that increased weight limit would permit pickup trucks, small box trucks, vans, and landscape trucks with small trailers, it would not permit tractor trailers and large trucks registered at over 12,000 pounds. DaPuzzo said the council has been looking at this type of an ordinance for about four years but they could not introduce it in the past because it would have required the approval of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. DaPuzzo said that earlier this year the NJDOT changed its regulation so that only an engineering report in support of the weight limitation is now required for municipal roads. The township engineer is in the process of preparing that report. “I only thought we were able to do stop signs and speed limits,” DaPuzzo said. “I found out later that we could do weight classifications and so I brought it back to the council and the council said they would like to do it.” DaPuzzo acknowledged that the ordinance would effectively prohibit the use of the Ridge Road access to the Pilot Corporation’s site to tractor trailers, but not to cars and small trucks. He said, however, the council is also concerned about the large trucks that are using Ridge Road in the northbound direction down the hill to West Ramapo Avenue. “There’s been a bunch of accidents there,” he said. The Ridge Road access to the Pilot site was a focal point in the recent public hearings before the zoning board of adjustment, which granted a use variance to Pilot to renovate and expand its site into a service station with diesel fuel pumps for trucks and gasoline pumps for automobiles. That plan calls for the permanent closing of the Ridge Road access to the Pilot site with an eight foot high small link chain link fence. The weight limit ordinance is expected to be considered for adoption at the Jan. 7 meeting of the township council. Certificate (continued from page 5) planner, testified about the age of each of the buildings and he described their construction. Ashbahian said the four buildings were intended to be residential and they include eight units with hot air oil heat, wells, and utilities served by separate meters. He said the construction of all of the buildings predates the zoning ordinance, although there might have been some modification to the perimeter walls after 1946. According to testimony by Ashbahian and Marchesi, there is one two-story building that has three separate units, each with two bedrooms, kitchen, bath and living room, and a full basement. Based on the construction, Ashbahian estimated the building is from the late 1920s. A second building on the site is considered a log cabin. The one unit includes two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, a full bath, and a crawl space. Based on the rudimentary construction, he estimated it was built in the late 19th century or early 20th century. A third building is a log house with three units, each with two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, a small living room and a full basement. Ashbahian testified that it was built in the early 20th century with an addition built in the 1920s. The fourth building was described as a country cabin with two bedrooms, a kitchen, a full bath, a living room with a smaller room that could be a den, and a full basement. He estimated that it was constructed between 1910 and the early 1920s. Marchesi told the board that all the buildings are structurally sound, and he intends to gut the buildings to the studs and upgrade the interiors with all new materials and utilities. He told the board that he has no intention of expanding the buildings and he will obtain the approval of the township’s board of health to upgrade the septic systems. He also agreed to provide the board with an as-built plan to identify what is now on the property for the record. JAC K V I C TO R • B U G ATC H I E • T H O M A S D E A N • Z A N E L L A AG AV E • 7 F O R A L L M A N K I N D • P SYC H O B U N N Y • T RU E R E L I G I O N