PLAINFIELD, NJ — Developers for applicant 911 South Avenue, LLC received approval from Plainfield's Planning Board on Thursday to construct an elevated emergency ramp addition to the property known as Netherwood Flats (PB-2019-18). The applicant had been working to satisfy project conditions required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection due to a flood zone designation, and appeared before the board to present details of said vehicle ramp that has since received approval from the NJDEP.

Additionally, the 829 South Avenue LLC, a Paramount Assets project, sought an amendment to previously approved preliminary and final site plan approval to construct a mixed-use 4-story building that consists of commercial space on the first floor, and 70 residential apartments on the three floors above (PB-2017-19).  The project was approved on March 1, 2018, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held this September.

Engineer Michael Dibble described the elevated 4-foot high concrete ramp with wooden rail guards that will be built along the rear of the building and curve around towards the Family Dollar property that is also owned by Paramount Assets. Appropriate lighting will also be installed.

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The newly constructed ramp will result in a loss of nine parking spaces, but Dibble noted that the remaining 38 spaces would still comply with code requirements. The ramp will be used only in the event of a major flood to provide emergency egress to residents, and access will be restricted by gates at other times. Board members inquired about where the key to unlock the gates would reside, and suggested that a plan be in place to allow emergency agencies like fire and police easy access.

During public comment Plainfield resident Nancy Piwowar commented on the floods that occurred in the early 1970s that impacted several areas of Plainfield, and said she believes that the ramp would not sufficiently address the intended issue.

The topic of a bike path that appeared to be a condition carried over from the Family Dollar application was also raised.  After some discussion it was determined not to be feasible and the condition was to be removed, but there was agreement to add a bike rack to the Family Dollar property.


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