Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seniors new bargaining chip in developer dispute?

Seniors fear being forced to park in open-to-the-elements lot.

Plainfield seniors who use the new Senior Center on East Front Street are not happy to contemplate that they may be used as bargaining chips in a dispute involving the center's developer and the Robinson-Briggs administration.

There are actually two open items: the completion of a parking plan to satisfy a requirement of the Planning Board, and an outstanding bill from the developer -- most recently known as P&F Management -- for $287,000 for 'outfitting' the space occupied by the Senior Center.

Funding the payment of $287,000 has been stalled since last spring, when the Robinson-Briggs administration was asked by the Council to explain in detail the charges and the process by which they were approved. To date, the administration has not complied with the Council's request. (Clarification: The Council has been supplied with answers to their questions, but the Administration has not made any further move to resolve the open item).

In the rush to get the Senior Center built, seniors pummeled both City Council and the Planning Board. At the time, issues about how the parking would be shared among condo owners, senior center staff, seniors and veterans who drive to use the center and visitors were simply skirted, with the Planning Board only requiring that a plan be worked out and presented.

Seniors worry now that they will be forced to park in the open-to-the-elements space at the rear of the property (toward 2nd Street) rather than in the sheltered space under the condos' roof garden/terrace.

With only 19 units said to be sold, seniors say there is no reason at present that they should be forced into the outer lot.

The Robinson-Briggs administration cannot be happy to contemplate possible slip-and-fall suits against the City in the event the seniors are forced into parking in the open lot in inclement weather.

Will this mean the Robinson-Briggs administration will finally complete its explanation to the Council, giving it a stronger hand in negotiating with P&F management?

One can only hope.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Well, the mayor calls them "Her Seniors" who voted for her. Let her seniors suffer for their ill thought out vote.

Blackdog said...

From the President and Congress on down to the local level. . . the Seniors are always the first to get screwed! Then comes the disabled, then the veterans

Anonymous said...

Every greedy developer who wants to build in Plainfield only wants to build units and not make room for parking. When will this administration listen to the residents? People are not going to give up their cars! There is a rule in Plainfield - 2 parking spaces per unit,but if you donate to the Green/briggs campaign you get special treatment and can break the rules. The developer of the Senior building did not make enough allowance for the senior bus or senior parking. Seniors still drive, just look a Jerry Green he would never ride the senior bus.

Anonymous said...

While "her seniors" are getting screwed, Blackdog hit the nail on the head. But there is also a sense of entitlement that goes along with it. They paid into something and are entitled to it. Where in life does it say you have to have a senior center. This is a privilege, not a right. If the money was in place to build it AND support it, then fine. If not... you don't get a new center. The old center was fine, could have been renovated and provided the amenities they wanted AND, more importantly, provided more than ample parking. Its not just the "greedy developers" in Plainfield that try to skimp on parking. They all do it. Its one of the first things to get cut, and the landscaping too, like the roof deck. And when they build senior housing, the engineers and planners all feel that they are seniors and don't drive. WRONG!! Not only do they drive, but many have more than one car. I know if I were a homeowner buying a condo in that building, I would be pissed if I had to park a distance because a "tenant" wanted to use it.