Thursday, July 19, 2007

Taking the LEED

The Planning Board will hear a presentation on LEED principles at its meeting 8 p.m. tonight (July 19, 2007) in City Hall Library.

For the uninitiated, LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”

Councilman Cory Storch, who is both liaison to the Planning Board and chairman of the City Council’s Economic Growth Committee, has advocated using these guidelines in all the city’s many proposed redevelopment plans.

The LEED designation involves registration of a project and then a look to see what level of certification a project may receive.

To this writer, it seems to be like the “Energy Star” program to help consumers find the best appliances and other uses to save the most energy.

A recent Courier News article about a certified Hillsborough building described elements as simple as adding guinea hens for insect control and as complicated as solar voltaic and geothermal systems to save energy.

The Planning Board meeting has other interesting topics, including a presentation by the Plainfield Organization for West End Revitalization (POWER) group on plans for a large swath of the West End.

There will also be a discussion of the North Avenue Extension “In Need of Redevelopment Study” that could add a significant amount of territory to the already quite ambitious North Avenue Redevelopment plan to create massive amounts of housing and stores, an entertainment center and a 500-space parking deck near the main train station.

The PNC Bank block and the current city parking lot south of stores on East Front Street between Park and Watchung avenues are both under consideration as additions to the North Avenue redevelopment project led by Landmark Development.

Please note this is only North Avenue between Park and Watchung, There is another North Avenue reference for the stretch in the East End.

The Planning Board will also review NJ Transit bus routes in the city. A previous map omitted the 59 route. The board is looking for ways to increase use of public transportation.

--Bernice Paglia


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