SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Tom Strowe, Project Coordinator for Redevelopment, presented the key findings and recommendations on behalf of the Scotch Plains Downtown Redevelopment Committee (SPDRC) at Township Council Business Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Based on its research, the SPDRC proposes that Township do the following:
- Continue to explore opportunities/possibilities for redevelopment plan(s) for the public properties including the library, Municipal Parking Lot #1, Municipal Parking Lot #3, and the Northside Fire House areas.
- Incorporate applicable affordable housing requirements into downtown redevelopment plan(s) now that the Council has approved an affordable housing agreement in December 2017.
- Screen RFP/RFQ submissions for builders/developer proposals in declared areas in need of redevelopment.
- Interface with existing and prospective landlords and businesses to help plan for private development in areas with and without official “areas in need of redevelopment” designations.
- Approve funding for a needs study for a new building(s) for the police and fire departments, rescue squad, and municipal administration.
- Work with the Scotch Plains Public Library to apply for a State grant to fund 50 percent of the expense of a new library building on the public property next to the existing one.
- Continue to work with Union County to: a) Petition the State for a different traffic pattern for Park Avenue that will substantially reduce/remove the truck traffic, b) Create a bus park and ride location on Route 22 or nearby, and c) Apply for State/County grants to provide a Township jitney service. (The goal is to have the Township of Scotch Plains designated as a transit village.)
- Pass a “Complete Streets” resolution that will guide the Township to create safe, multiuse, walkable streets. This resolution is also key to successfully obtaining transit village designation and receiving grants to support complete street projects.
The Town Council voted to accept the report and publish it on the Township’s website. The SPDRC will continue to hold public meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Scotch Plains Municipal Building.