Sunday, November 11, 2007

Speak Out on Redevelopment

This was the map presented this summer in Westfield showing the quarter-mile and half-mile radii from each of four transit hubs in Plainfield. It was shown to the Raritan Valley Coalition. Have you ever seen this map? Do you know how it affects your neighborhood? The administration wants to build high-density structures around the two existing train station and the locations of the two demolished train stations at Grant and Clinton. Last week, the Planning Board was given maps of these four places with indications of the high- and lower-density areas around them. So far, only one contract has been signed for redevelopment and that is for the three blocks near the main train station. But that area is going to be expanded to include the parking lot behind the stores on East Front Street, between Watchung and Park avenues. Next time you are down there, imagine a five-story parking deck and buildings eight stories or higher.
The three original blocks are in the lower right corner of this map. The expansion itself has gone through a few changes and I myself have lost track of where it stands. The Netherwood study has been scaled down from 93 properties to 16 and is still at the stage of an "in need of redevelopment" study. But a redevelopment plan may be offered before the end of the year. The print media is not covering Plainfield redevelopment closely and even the blog can't include every detail. Residents who want to track it should try to keep abreast of Planning Board and Board of Adjustment meetings, where details emerge eventually from the administration's weekly closed-door meetings on redevelopment. Also there are only two voting meetings left for the City Council this year, Nov. 21 and Dec. 6. Keep an eye out for redevelopment news at these meetings. Each is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.


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