Board backs Plainfield Ave. revamp by halting ‘cheapest’ development

Kent County

An undated courtesy photo provided by Plainfield Township shows Plainfield Avenue in Plainfield Township.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Plainfield Township officials are halting certain types of development on Plainfield Avenue as leaders look to revitalize the bustling corridor.

The Plainfield Township Board of Trustees voted last week to enact an immediate one-year moratorium on permits, licensing and zoning for any new one-story commercial businesses on Plainfield Avenue between Northland Drive and 4 Mile Road NE. The restrictions do not apply to current single-story businesses expanding or remodeling existing buildings.

The move is meant to give the Reimagine Plainfield committee time to create a plan to improve the corridor’s appearance, business climate and visitor experience.

“The clock is on and the work is cut out for us,” one committee member said during Tuesday’s committee meeting.

The group of residents, business owners and board members spent the past several months researching corridor issues and surveying the public

“Some clear themes (from those surveys) are beginning to emerge,” Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden wrote in a July 9 memo to the board.

“One strong theme is a desire to move away from low scale development that is very land-intensive with single story structures and large parking lots. This type of development is the cheapest to build, but does not lend itself well to reuse, and generally provides low value to the community,” he continued.

During the July 13 board meeting, members also backed creating a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to incentivize redeveloping vacant and underused property through “creative financing and grant options” when the restrictions are lifted.

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