Netherwood Proposals a Mixed Bag
In September 2006, Maxim Development failed to win approval for 64 condos on South Avenue, in part because there was no retail component in the plan. The East Third/Richmond plan was farther away from the train station and called for 352 condo units and parking for 700 cars. Tying it to the transit village concept, Public Works Director Jennifer Wenson Maier suggested that residents could ride bicycles to either Netherwood or the main train station. But nothing became of the proposal and the developer was recently granted release from the commitment.
A study of more than 90 properties on both sides of the tracks around Netherwood was scaled down to 15 properties, which were found to be "in need of development" in December 2007. Meanwhile, an Ohio firm, Omnipointe, floated the concept of a five-story, 224-unit structure with 30,000 square feet of retail space. An ordinance that would have increased density only on the target area north of the tracks and west of Leland Avenue was offered for City Council approval, but then withdrawn.
Last week's defeat of the apartment building proposal added another chapter to the unfinished Netherwood development saga. After the word got out about the massive Omnipointe concept, neighbors banded together to protest intense development in the area.
Some of the development proposals have surfaced only after talks behind the scenes. The public has received glimpses - a drawing here or there, a vague map - and few details until the time when developers must appear before land use boards. The variety of approaches to development around Netherwood has only one common thread, increased density. Neighbors will be watching closely to make sure any development is done right for Plainfield, not just for some developer's desire to jump on the transit village bandwagon.
Plaintalker hopes to do an update soon on all the redevelopment proposals out there. And as all the legal notices say, anyone may examine documents on file in the Planning Division to get details of proposals up for hearings before the Board of Adjustment or Planning Board.
Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to development.