Saturday, March 4, 2017

Muhlenberg, More From Joint Land Use Meeting

Residents who turned out for a joint meeting of land use boards Saturday heard that a "medical mall" will be part of Muhlenberg's redevelopment and that the developer will require some medical care-related housing on the shuttered hospital site.

The three-hour session also revealed concerns about group homes in historic districts and the news that the city currently has 67 projects in various stages of development.

Regarding the 10-acre Muhlenberg campus, residents will have their say at open public meetings on plans as the project progresses through many stages. Heyer, Gruel & Associates, a Red Bank firm that conducted a city-funded study of the site in 2014, will be writing the redevelopment plan, officials said. Residents in 2014 vehemently opposed any type of residential use on the site, which is surrounded by a neighborhood of 1- and 2-family homes.

One group home concern was about  Abbott Manor in the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District. Owner Andre Yates received Historic Preservation Commission approvals in 2012 for a new roof on the former nursing home and has since conducted a fundraising campaign for a veterans' home.
According to HPC Chairman William Michelson, the roof has not yet been repaired. Among general concerns with group homes were the types of needs to be met and impact on districts. Michelson said as boards hear applications for such uses, residents must attend and express their views.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp praised members of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, HPC and Shade Tree Commission for their voluntarism. (Information on all the boards, including members and schedules, may be seen at the Planning Division link.)

Economic Development Director Carlos Sanchez described his efforts since 2014 to make Plainfield more welcoming to developers, noting 19 new developments completed in the past year. He said another task is getting more residents to use the downtown.



  1. A resident asked a question and was given a answer. But unfortunately planning board chair scott bey. Offered his opinion of the validity of the residents question. That was very rude and crude and unprofessional of him. One Plainfield yeah right. Not with arrogant people such as himself chairing meetings. Mr. X

    1. If you are referring to the question that was more for the Inspections Division. Mr. Scott Bey simply brought the attention back to what the meeting was about. If all you got out of that very informative meeting was how arrogant Mr. Scott Bey is in your opinion, then you might as well stayed home. There was a lot of good information delivered and explained that should have given positive hope in the direction of the City. With the meeting under time constraints a good chair is going to keep everyone on the message. It's too bad you didn't understand this was not just an open town hall meeting so you felt the need to attack both Mr. Scott Bey and the Mayor's slogan. Or here's another thought. There is none so blind who refuse to see.

    2. Just for the record the question was answered. So if anybody was wasting time it was Mr. Scott Bey and his snide comment. And also one Plainfield is not a slogan that belongs to anyone person . But a hope and desire of all residents. Peace be unto you. Mr.X

    3. Mr. X - you are so out in left field on this - anyone that knows Mr. Scott Bey knows that he is anything but arrogant. You discredit yourself with silliness like that.

    4. We're gonna conclude this issue. But suffice it to say you cannot define for the injured party. The pain of their public injury. If I offended Mr. Scott Bey I apologize but if he would've been more considerate of a residents/guest willingness to engage and ask questions. This wouldn't even a conversation. Mr. X

  2. Last year at the Senior Center there was aa meeting attended by the Hospital Corporation , the prospective Developer, and Plainfield officials. The Developer stated unequivocally that the project did not make financial sense absent the inclusion of residences on three of the seven floors of the main hospital building. During the public comment session those who commented were almost, if not universally, opposed to having "residents" of any nature. It seems to me that this fundamental issue should be resolved immediately. For all parties to proceed with meetings, plans and engineering designs, incurring costs, while kicking this very large can down the road seems imprudent. What has not been reported is what is the quid pro quo for Plainfield? There are 10 acres of City property. If we theorize that the class of house in that area occupies 1/3 and acre, it suggests that if the area were developed it could accommodate 30 homes. If the average property tax were $10,000 per home it suggests a prospective revenue of $300,000 per year. The fact that the proposed development will bring new jobs, and perhaps use some local businesses should be considered as an offset. The fact that the City is currently receiving nothing is another consideration. So, what is fair? The negotiations appear to be mature. Is there a deal and if so what are the terms? Are there any financial guarantees, such as a Forfeiture Bond, that if the project were to proceed, not be a financial success and be abandoned by the Developer that Plainfield would not be stuck with another empty building? Bill Kruse