click to enlargeA large lot formerly used by Shiloh Baptist Church for parking, along with other properties on the next block south, will be studied for redevelopment, if the City Council adopts a resolution Monday directing the Planning Board to do so.
The large single lot has frontages on Plainfield Avenue, South Second Street and West Third Street. It is directly across Plainfield Avenue from Hannah Atkins Playground. The other area to be investigated fronts on Plainfield Avenue, with three lots facing West Third and three others opening onto West Fourth. In all, 10 lots comprise the proposed investigation area.
Correction: Properties on the south west corner of Plainfield Avenue and West Fourth are also included.
From the agenda packet:
Background information on the resolution
Block 111, lot 18.01 has existed as a partially completed parking lot for Shiloh Baptist Church since 2005 as part of a Zoning Board of Adjustment use variance decision requiring the church to purchase other surrounding lots for additional parking. Now that the church has purchased and received approval for parking lot improvements on those lots, the city is encouraging the redevelopment of this property, as well as adjacent properties to the south along Plainfield Avenue for redevelopment. This resolution directs the Planning Board to undertake the research necessary to make a determination, to conduct a public hearing, and to forward their recommendation to Council.
All costs associated with this redevelopment- both the study and the plan process- will be charged to the designated redeveloper upon City Council designation.
As followers of redevelopment know, the process involves both the governing body and the Planning Board through all steps. It is a long and thorough process, moving from an investigation to a possible declaration that a site is in need of redevelopment, and then to a redevelopment plan. The public has opportunities to speak at each juncture.
The best way for interested parties to follow the action is to have representatives, maybe from a block or neighborhood association, monitor the steps and report back to the group. Often I am the only member of the public at some of these land use meetings, but they are open to all.
In 2008, redevelopment projects overflowed my big red folder, but not all came to fruition. Since then, Plainfield's Transit Village designation and rezoning for transit-oriented development has helped to attract new developers, and there is talk of revisiting the roster of past proposals.
Plainfield is changing, and residents need to gather information and weigh in on redevelopment as it occurs.
Tonight's regular City Council meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave. See the full agenda here.
(As Dan has mentioned, the 2017 Budget is also on this agenda for passage.)