PLAINFIELD, NJ — The Plainfield Zoning Board of Adjustments met virtually Wednesday to conduct its business as in-person April meetings were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite many technical difficulties, board members were able to hear from two applicants and vote on their applications.
First to be heard was the South Second Street Realty, LLC application (ZBA-2019-13) seeking a use variance to permit storage and parking of 23 tractor trailers on the site, not associated with the principal use of the property.
The property, located at 1000 South Second Street, and is home to Injectron Corporation, one of the largest plastic injection molders on the East Coast since 1959, according to its website.
The application of South Second Street Realty, LLC first appeared at the February 12 meeting.
Later at the March 4th Zoning Board meeting, Bernice Paglia reported that in addition to owner Lou Pollak’s presentation on the history of the company, additional testimony was provided by a trucker who resided in Plainfield and cited the convenience of the location and not having to park on the city streets.
Pollak addressed the chain-link fence which is no longer permitted by the city ordinance, saying that he was not likely to replace it as recent bids were extremely cost prohibitive and would present an economic hardship. Pollak also mentioned that he currently has written agreements with the truck drivers to limit access to the property between 10 pm and 7 am and a plan in place to monitor and enforce.
During public comment, a nearby homeowner expressed safety concerns after her car was damaged by one of the trucks backing into the lot. The applicant indicated that he maintained records of the owners and truck drivers, as surveillance video that could provide additional information.
Resident Nancy Piwowar praised the applicant for keeping the industrial business in Plainfield and noted that it was essential service for truckers residing in Plainfield.
The application was approved 6 to 1 with Board member Robert Graham voting against the application, stating that very little regard was being shown for the community. Board member Mary Burgwinkle commented that while she was not fond of the applicant’s unwillingness to replace the fence, industrial and residential has existed in the past and today, and was in overall support of the application. The applicant agreed to the removal of barbed wire on top of the fence in certain areas and repairing and maintaining damaged portions of the fence.
The Board also heard from Dennis Ryan seeking to construct a two-car detached garage with a widened driveway at his property located at 1015 Prospect Avenue. Ryan, representing himself, explained that the original garage built in 1917 was inadequate to house today’s motor vehicles. The application, ZBA-2019-05, seeks to replace the existing 508 sq ft garage with a 840 sq ft space to accommodate two vehicles. Ryan indicated that his vehicles were previously vandalized when parked on the street.
A design of the garage was shared online during the meeting and board members voted unanimously in favor of the application.
The next Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting is scheduled for June 1st, 2020. Additional information can be found on the city’s website.
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