PLAINFIELD, NJ — Plainfield Planning Board members were taken through a Master Plan draft presentation Thursday by Gerard M. Haizel, PP, AICP of the Nishuane Group. The document is a blueprint for the city, and the Municipal Land Use Law mandates municipalities to reexamine their Master Plan every ten years.

There were seven elements in the 2009 plan: Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Community Facilities/Social Services, Recreation and Open Space, Historic Preservation, and Utility Services. New elements include Economic Plan, Conservation, Green Building & Environmental Sustain, and Recycling.

Community engagement in the development of the plan, Haizel said, included:

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  • 4 community workshops (one in each Ward), engaging with 150 residents and stakeholders
  • 5 advisory committee meetings
  • 2 targeted workshops for Seniors and members of the Hispanic community, with just over 100 in each
  • An online survey — 120 participants, and from them, 5,300 responses

Chairman Ron Scott Bey said at the conclusion of the meeting, "What I want the board to know is that this is a living document. That means this document will grow, or can grow, I shouldn't say will, it can grow. The reason I wanted us to just talk about it tonight, ask questions, is so that we can see if there's any other kinds of things that might necessarily need to be added."

Bill Nierstedt, Master Plan Project Manager, said the 2020 goals are "to encourage transit-oriented development by creating increased density around the train stations, both downtown Plainfield and Netherwood, provide bicycle and pedestrian-friendly corridors, create a vibrant downtown, conduct a cultural and arts assessment in plans, promote the use of technology and applications to increase consumer convenience and improved customer experience."

Nierstedt noted additional goals are to "develop a sustainable and green infrastructure, develop plans that mitigate flooding, adopt an economic development plan, and update all the elements of the Master Plan to advance and strengthen the revitalization and economic development of the city."

Board Attorney Peter Vignuolo said, "Mr. Chairman, what we're going to do is we're going to carry this hearing to our next meeting in order to make sure that board members have an adequate opportunity to fully digest the plan, and make sure they have no other comments or concerns."

The public will also have an opportunity to comment on the plan at the August 20 meeting.

Download Nishuane's Master Plan presentationpdf. Review the full 300-page report, available on the city's website, here.

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