Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Joint Meeting Saturday on Land Use

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..



  1. We all must all Thank Bernice for keeping the city updated and honest. If we did not have this blog to read, we would never know about these types of meetings and the agenda. The City website is like searching for a needle in a haystack to find out what is going on.

    1. I agree with the comment.. Thank you Bernice. Please keep it up as long as you can.

  2. Timothy O'ConnorMarch 2, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    We all need to start going to Council meetings and pushing the town government to be more transparent in the posting of meetings. The town website needs to be redesigned so that it is more user friendly. Not sure why its not. I have lived in a lot places all over the country from NYC, Miami and California and this town seems to be an outlier in terms of informing the citizens.