Sunday, May 24, 2009

Parking, Charter School on Land Use Agendas

The fine print of legal notices has yielded a few interesting items coming up at land use boards.

An apartment project that won preliminary site plan approval last year will be the subject of a public hearing June 4 on the issue of parking. Eight apartments are proposed on the second floor of the former Eiseman's building on Park Avenue, but the developer is asking the Planning Board to waive the requirement for one parking space per apartment. The public hearing is 8 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave. For Plaintalker's previous blog post on this application, click here.

Also up for a public hearing the same night is a proposal to convert an 11,595-square-foot commercial building at 401-411 West Second Street into a church. Genesis Seventh-Day Adventist Church of North Plainfield seeks preliminary and final site plan approval for the conversion to a house of worship seating 200 people. The group also wants to have a fellowship hall and meeting, reading and study rooms, along with a kitchen/pantry and classrooms. While 50 parking spaces are required, the applicant proposes three, along with use of 47 municipal parking spaces.

Zone requirements include a lot area of one acre, while the site is just over one-quarter acre. Frontage is a little over half the required 200 feet.

There has been a trend recently of seeking relief from parking requirements downtown and proposing use of municipal lots. North Avenue developer Frank Cretella recently dropped the idea of a multi-story parking deck on Municipal Lot 6 in favor of parking at numerous underutilized downtown parking lots. A proposal for state office space on East Fifth Street relies on purchase of a couple dozen permit slots in Municipal Lot 7, two blocks south. Because none of the projects are complete, the issue has not been tested in reality. The new senior center/condo complex at 400 East Front Street will have 93 parking spaces for 63 two-bedroom residential units as well as the senior and veterans' centers. The developer was also allowed to omit the required eight landscaped traffic islands.

Another legal notice tells us that the YWCA at 232 East Front Street needs site plan approval to permit a charter school on the property. Schools are not a permitted use in the central business district. That matter is up for a hearing at 7 p.m. on June 3 before the Zoning Board of Adjustment in City Hall Library. The school is the Dr. Ellen G. Pressman Charter School, slated to open in September. It will be the fourth charter school in Plainfield and in all of Union County.

Documents on all these matters are on file in the Planning Division on the second floor of City Hall and may be inspected by the public between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. City Hall will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would Plainfield waste commercial space on a church which is exempt from taxes? Is there no sense in this administration?

8:43 PM  
Blogger olddoc said...

The waiving of parking spaces and the developer's plan to annex municipal parking slots as a substitute can be a fatal fault for both the projects and the city.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again spot zoning at its finest. I am all for putting apartments in the Eiseman building, but you have to have parking. This is not NYC with a parking garage nearby.

Yet another church?? Why do we need another one?? We have more than enough. There are still several for sale in town. Let them buy or rent one of the existing ones. Use of the NEARBY municipal lot would be great for the location, but we really dont need another.

We have a multi-story garage at the new Park-Madison building. It was supposed to be part of the parking count for EVERYONE to use. It is restricted to tenant/govt use only. This was not the way it was supposed to be. Cretella or any other developer should be required to provided the spaces needed for their projects to succeed.

Parking at the senior center?? Its for the residents who are paying for the units. They are not going to give up their spaces for the senior & vetrans center...Oops, no parking?? Not like the current location which only needed renovating and could have possibly been purchased from the owner as a condo. Big savings and parking all in one. The savings comes from the tax ratables that would have come in from the storefronts/offices that could have been in the bldg instead.
Just a few words of thought.

3:29 PM  

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