Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Be Prepared for Zoning Board Wednesday

Attendees at Wednesday's Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting may arrive in an emotional state, but they will soon learn that the board proceeds at its own pace - like, keep calm, no carrying on allowed.

The issue is an application to convert a Central Avenue property into a charter school. While neighbors may feel it will destroy the neighborhood, the board will be weighing the application against zoning laws in a quasi-judicial manner, with expert witnesses and sworn testimony. A legal notice dwelt on items such as "buffering and screening requirement," and how four-foot evergreen hedges would be needed to screen HVAC equipment.

The point is, this matter may or may not be quickly resolved.

Commenters are throwing shade at the real estate broker and the board president of a  neighboring art school for being involved, while the Zoning Board will be dealing with standards for signs, parking and fences .The main issue is that a school is not a permitted use.in the R-2 zone, but the applicant is entitled to seek relief.

Plainfielders can be very tenacious over land use issues. Examples are the Abbott Manor, Kingdom Hall and Muhlenberg cases (ask a longtime resident). Some cases go on for years. Correction:This property is not in an historic district - reference removed.

Whether you are for or against the proposal, just be forewarned that the Zoning Board will hear from both sides, including the public, before rendering a decision. So with your feelings, bring a lot of patience Wednesday.



  1. With so many great empty buildings available throughout all of Plainfield that wouldn't require variance and have adequate space, the owner of this property and their friends want to destroy the character of a grand neighborhood! So infuriating and all-around disgusting.

    Hasn't this charter school already moved once? And with the track record of charter schools, in general, the likelihood is that it won't exist for very long and the property will end up empty and abandoned, unable to find a suitable tenant/owner who can afford to operate on the premises - and never to return to its former grandeur.

    I sure hope that the community comes out in full force to oppose what is bound to be nothing more than an eyesore and total destruction of one of Plainfield's treasured neighborhoods.

    Mistakes like this have been made before, please don't let it happen again.

  2. There will always be another school to fill the space. Let's move the charger school out of our prime downtown real estate and full them up with lutxury rentals.