The Plainfield Land Use Ordinance has been in existence in its current form since 2002 and was last updated in 2014. The Downtown regulations are very flexible, allowing for 6 stories in total height in most of the Downtown and up to 100 dwelling units permitted per acre. The North Avenue Historic District has additional restrictions in order to keep the character and historic stock of the District intact. Get familiar with Plainfield's requirements and expectations with the City Master Plan, Land Use Ordinance, Urban Enterprise Zone Design Guidelines and Historic Sites and Districts Design Guidelines:
Transit Village- The purpose of the Transit Village is to provide the foundation for a complementary mixture of appropriately intensive commercial and high-density residential land uses in close proximity to the downtown train station. The Transit Oriented Development Downtown (TODD) Zones are intended to be pedestrian friendly to create a symbiotic benefit through the provision of an aesthetically improved, vibrant, and commercially active downtown for Plainfield residents and visitors. The TODD Zones consolidate most of the existing zones within an irregularly based one-quarter (1/4) mile distance from the downtown Plainfield train station. The TODD Zones are seven (7) distinct zone districts, with different purposes, that foster formation of an active, thriving downtown appropriately buffered from surrounding lower density residential uses. Related goals include the following: Plainfield was granted Transit Village Status by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) in 2014. The Transit Village status opens the area within the district up to grants, awards, and technical help from various state agencies, such as NJ Transit, NJDOT, and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The Transit Village has the following goals:
To increase the use of the downtown train station by providing for a concentrated mix of retail, office, residential, public and open space uses that are within walking distance of each other and the train station for shoppers, commuters, residents, employees and visitors;
To revitalize the downtown train station area by providing for land uses that generate train ridership and enhance economic activity and vitality during day and evening use;
To improve the appearance and safety of the downtown from the transit corridor to attract shoppers and visitors;
To encourage a safe, efficient, user friendly, and environmentally conscious pedestrian and bicycle oriented system linked to transit use;
To encourage public and private investment and thereby improve the tax base of the City;
To provide transit supportive and user-friendly site-design guidelines;
To preserve and maintain residential neighborhoods in and adjacent to the zones;
To advance the development of the Green Brook walkway through the area and to add a linkage between the train station and Green Brook through physical and visual connections;
To address existing and future parking needs of residents, businesses, shoppers and commuters;
To develop an improved coordinated, visual streetscape within the zones.
Minimum Unit Size- 500SF Studio, 750 SF One-Bedroom, 1000SF Two-Bedroom, 1250 SF Three-Bedroom.
Note: All applications that require a board decision are required to have certain amenities for tenants, including laundry facilities in each unit, individual HVAC systems and the above minimum unit sizes among other regulations.
Parking- Perhaps one of the hidden features that make Downtown Plainfield so unique is the many municipal parking lots. These surface lots are conveniently located throughout the downtown. The City also has plans to construct a parking deck on East Second Street near Gavett Place, which is located in the midst of the redeveloping areas, East Second Street and North Avenue. The City requires developers to purchase parking permit passes for each residential unit at one space per unit. If your development will be a mixed-use or full commercial building, the amount of parking depends on what the use will be. There are also provisions in the ordinance for the city to make a public fund available for developers to make contributions to the new parking garage once it gets closer to construction.