PLAINFIELD, NJ — Members of Plainfield's Planning Board met Thursday to hear from one applicant about a mixed-use project, and to review amendments made to the TODD-West and TODN-South Avenue redevelopment plans.
The TODN-South Avenue Redevelopment Plan was originally drafted in June 2017, and amended in February 2019. According to the report prepared by the Nishuane Group, LLC, the boundaries are South Avenue (South), Berckman Street (West), and the Netherwood Train Station (East) and NJ Transit rail lines (North), and occupies approximately 10.2 acres.
Planner Steve Martini of the Nishuane Group, presented the amendments that include:
- Train Side Commercial Zone: Permitted uses to include Meeting Center or civic space and co-working or shared work space.
- Density: Increase from 70 to 100 units
- General Standards: Parking to be allowed beneath the building and non-residential areas to have street frontage and Board may require a contribution to the Plainfield Shade Tree Fund
The TODD-West Redevelopment includes a 3.27 acre area within the boundaries of Madison Avenue, Central Avenue, West Front Street and West Second Street. The original plan was drafted in May 2017 and amended in August 2018. The February 2020 amendments include:
- Bulk Standards: Increase in building height from 10 to 11 stories. The report states that the maximum height of 11 stories applies only if the top floor is used as a restaurant space.
- Parking: 0.8 spaces for each dwelling unit and 1 space for every 500 sq. ft of retail or restaurant space.
Amendments to both plans were unanimously approved by the Planning Board.
The Board also heard from applicants Atul Sethi and Pavneet Sachdeva, seeking to convert an existing one-story masonry building located at 1052 East 2nd Street into a 3-story mixed-use building.
Site plans call for a first floor retail space, second floor office space and two 3-bedroom residential units on the third floor. The site, purchased in 2019, was described as extremely dilapidated in desperate need of repair, but it has a solid masonry foundation.
After hearing from the applicant’s team, a recommendation was made by the Board that revised plans be submitted to include recent revised architectural changes with required lot fencing, adequate landscaping plan, and a trash and recycling plan.
Chairman Ron Scott Bey stated that the plan had a lot of “ifs” with respect to prospective retail and office tenants, and encouraged the applicant to consider fewer uses requiring fewer waivers.
Board member William Toth asked if any other 3-story buildings were nearby in the neighborhood to which Manny Pereiras, the architect for the applicant, responded “no, but it was a permitted use.”
Toth suggested that a 2-story would require fewer variances.
The application will be presented again at the March 19th Planning Board Meeting.
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