Saturday, September 20, 2014

Park, Apartment Buildings Out of Redevelopment Area

Click to enlarge
Only one property owner showed up for a public hearing Thursday on an "in need of redevelopment" study for more than a dozen properties on South Avenue.Two large apartment buildings and the Plainwood Square Park are not recommended for inclusion, but two single-family homes on East Seventh Street are now included.

The owner of an apartment building at 1332-38 South Avenue made no comment at the hearing after Planning Director William Nierstedt said the property and another apartment building will not be recommended for redevelopment.

In a draft report, the Ardmore House and Netherwood House apartment buildings are described as having "outdated and obsolete structure design" and "obsolete layout." Plainwood Square Park is described as a "vacant lot." On Thursday, Nierstedt said there was "not any thought whatever of changing Plainwood Park, except maybe to enlarge it." The park is bounded on one side by Old South Avenue and could be enlarged. if the street was vacated.

The full report is 55 pages, the last 30 pages being photos. It may be examined in the Planning Office.

Planning Board member Ken Robertson questioned the inclusion of the two East Seventh Street properties and Nierstedt said both have very deep lots that impinge on the study area and could be a "strong impediment to development." He said the issue had not been discussed with the residents.

Board Chairman Ron Scott Bey said he felt discussions should be held with the property owners. Nierstedt said the owners might sell the rear portion of their lots to any future developer. One property has a garage which might have to be reconstructed and the other has a pool. Board member William Toth said being included in the study does not compel them to take part.

Both properties, 1351-53 East Seventh Street and 1355-57 East Seventh Street, were included in the Sept. 5 notice for Thursday's public hearing.

Eminent domain will not be used to acquire any property in the study, Nierstedt said.

The first inkling of a large new project for South Avenue came at a July meeting where merchants and others were apprised of the "concept" of developer JMF Properties. See Dan's report here.
In August, the City Council asked the Planning Board to perform an "in need of redevelopment" study. Now that the 55-page study has been made, the next step is for the findings to go to the governing body, which may then ask the Planning Board to make a redevelopment plan.

The next Planning Board meeting is 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 in City Hall Library. The City Council's agenda-fixing session is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in Municipal Court and the regular meeting will be held at 8 p.m. Oct. 14 in Municipal Court.

All documents related to the "in need of development" study are on file in the City Clerk's office, 515 Watchung Ave., and may be examined during regular business hours.



  1. Out dated ?? What the heck is all this talk of Historic Preservation than ?

  2. And at least 6 of the properties have notice of settlements as per Union County Land Records.

  3. People always talk about greens boss but who are these so called bosses?

  4. We do not need more greedy developers coming in to our city and telling the planning board that they will build luxury apartments and we end up with section 8 apartments, and overcrowded schools. This city now has a problem with a lack of parking space. You can drive down Front St,7th St, South Ave, and many other streets at night and see all the cars parked on the streets.The apartment buildings on South Ave are old but so are our homes that is what makes Plainfield beautiful. Our tree lines streets and old homes 2 train stations and parks are all we have left. We need to clean up downtown and move the illegals who are gathering in the downtown area in the AM. Some people believe that Plainfield has become the dumping ground of Union County, we need to prove them wrong buy saying NO to apartment building developers.

  5. I hate to disappoint you anons, but developers / owners of rental housing are required to accept Sect 8 by law. You cant build and not take it if the person qualifies, ie credit & income. The only way out is if the rents are too high for Sect 8 to pay. Not every person on Sect 8 is a low life dirtbag. Yes, many are. But so are many millionaires.

  6. Jeff , Landlords are NOT required to take section 8. Check with the housing authority or your attorney. Would you like to have an apartment building with 200 units and parking for 400 cars, and triple the traffic, and a population of 6 to 8 hundred people living next door to you? Or would you rather have a single or 2 family home next door to you?

  7. 12;52 AM Landlords do not have to take section eight or any other rental assistance if they don't want to. You need to check your facts.

  8. I hate to disappoint you 406, but you most certainly do. The laws changed several years ago. Unless you are in an owner occupied 2 family, you must accept it. You anon, have absolutely no say or choice in the matter. I hope the lawsuit and fines do not hit you too hard, as they are steep. The only saving grace is that simply having a voucher does not mean you have to rent to them. They must qualify with income and credit guidelines just like every other applicant. Assuming you of course have set income and credit guidelines and are not one of those property owners playing landlord that does a handshake deal and cries later when they dont pay the rent. You anon need to check your facts. Mine are 1000% correct.

  9. If eminent domain is NOT being used why are they putting together a redevelopment study and plan? The only reason is to get state funding which will probably require a significant quota of affordable housing. Such BS. Merchants at the developer meeting several months ago were told this study/plan would speed up the development. Actually it makes it longer by 9-10 months!

  10. Jeff what law is that? I believe the law says you cannot discriminate, however if you have a more qualify tenant that's not on section 8 then that's who you rent to

  11. Anon, it is all under the fair housing act. You can not discriminate on a person based on their income source. They can have a job, retirement income, trust fund, welfare, alimony, etc. As long as they can prove it, you have to count it. Be careful how you judge what constitutes making 1 applicant more qualified over another. Having a job making 100K and bad credit vs having someone working pt while raising a child, having no or little credit and sect 8 is actually a better candidate. Not sure if you are a property owner or not, but even how you advertise, take applications, keep waiting lists etc matters. Be smart. Be careful. Be fair. Be successful.