PLAINFIELD, NJ - Plainfield's Planning Board met at the duCret School of Art to review the JFK Muhlenberg Hospital Redevelopment Plan on Monday evening.

Chairman Ron Scott Bey explained to the crowd of about thirty residents that only the plan would be vetted to determine the types of uses for the Muhlenberg site.  He noted that the plan would then have to go to City Council members, who could make changes and additional comments.  

The plan was reviewed page by page, with edits and suggestions made.  Under definitions of principal uses, Board Member Sean McKenna wanted Cognitive and Behavioral Health Facility to mean a non-residential healthcare facility.  Time was also spent on Dwelling Unit, which means market rate apartments.

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During the public comment section, residents filed up to the microphone with a variety of concerns, including parking and speeding.  But it was resident Rowand Clark, a veteran himself, who railed against the possibility of a group home, one that could receive funds from the government, for veterans with drug, alcohol and mental illness problems.  Plaintalker II details further commentary.

Barbara Fuller wanted to know more about getting “local designation” status for the building, and acquiring an “opinion of eligibility” from the State of New Jersey.

And Nancy Piwowar was quick to add that there are many items of historical value to retain.  She noted the medical museum in Philadelphia, Mütter Museum, draws 130,000 visitors a year, and that something similar could be done on this site.

Plainfield Chief of Staff John Stewart, Jr. told TAPinto Plainfield, “Over the past several weeks, residents and local artists have expressed the need for a performance and cultural arts space in Plainfield.  The arts are important to Mayor Adrian O. Mapp as they celebrate our history and diversity while providing creative development opportunities for our youth and seniors, while enriching everyone’s experience in Plainfield.  The Mapp administration is exploring the possibilities of repurposing the auditorium and other spaces on the Muhlenberg site for such purposes.”

Scott Bey encouraged the public to attend the City Council meeting when the plan is slated for the agenda.