Four city land use boards will meet Saturday to share information and common concerns.
The meeting is from 9 a.m. to noon in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave. and will include the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation and Shade Tree Commission. A legal notice says the purpose is to review the master plan, land use regulations, development proposals and the roles of the boards. Agenda items of high interest are the status of the former Muhlenberg Hospital tract and the status of a 212-unit, $50 million development project on South Avenue.
The agenda kicks off with a welcome from Mayor Adrian O. Mapp and remarks by Economic Development Director Carlos Sanchez and Public Works & Urban Development Director Oren K. Dabney. Chairmen of each board will give brief opening remarks before a discussion of ongoing planning and zoning initiatives including a reexamination of the Master Plan and what's coming in redevelopment.
Guests will be Michael Bange, Manager Operations of New Jersey American Water; Sheridan Balmeo, Regional Public Affairs Manager of of Public Service Electric & Gas; Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director Daniel Mejias; and Housing Authority of Plainfield Executive Director Randall Wood.
Topics for an open discussion for board members and the public include board jurisdiction, group homes/historic districts, the annual ZBA report and future planning and zoning initiatives.
Issues of mutual concern among the boards and commissions are listed as "information on city web site - current, additions, public notices" and "Social Media - prior to, during and after meetings." Regarding public notices, Gov. Chris Christie has suggested doing away with paid legal notices in newspapers in favor of posting online, a concept that newspapers have vigorously challenged. As for social media use around land use meetings, hearings usually are matters of legal record, which would seem to preclude any offline exchanges. Both topics represent new challenges related to technology..