100 Zoning / Code Enforcement Violations

December 4, 2017

100 Zoning/Code Enforcement Violations


Who is in charge ! 




206 W 7th Street (flag sign and freestanding sign in MU Zone).


201-203 W 7th Street (windshield/tire repair operation, freestanding sign installed in residential zone, abandoned freestanding sign abandoned in front yard)


205 W 7th Street- Banner on 2nd floor, running business out of residential house in residential zone, freestanding sign installed in front yard


137 Park Avenue (New "Botanica” store still has old wall sign installed to chiropractor who is no longer there).


***125 North Avenue- New Chicken restaurant on North Avenue flag signs, wall sign without going to the Historic Preservation Commission


300 E. Front Street- New American Bay Seafood two new wall signs installed with permits that does not meet the sign code. The wall signs are too large by square footage, width and height; they are internally illuminated, and they are mounted on a raceway bar and not directly on the wall as called for in the Land Use Ordinance.


235 E. Front Street, Dollar Tree- Installed a new awning sign that is too large, internally lit, and is a waterfall, or convex, shape which the ordinance does not permit.


249 E. Front Street- Supremo changed signage without permits, put up nonconforming awnings. Zoning Officer sent several violations.


205 Park Avenue- Illegal house of worship in storefront. Wall sign installed without a CA from the Historic Preservation Commission. No sign permit at all. Landlord repeatedly warned and has not complied with having the illegal use. One house of worship voluntarily left the site in 2015 upon learning they were in a zone that did not permit houses of worship. Shortly after, a second house of worship moved in. This is unacceptable as the landlord has been warned several times of the use not being permitted in the zone; the use is a detriment to parking in the area for retailers and service providers along with apartment dwellers; the integrity of the Master Plan and Land Development Ordinance forbids the use in the downtown and set aside zones throughout the City of Plainfield that allow such uses.


332 Park Avenue- Two new businesses moved into the space and installed 4 wall signs, two on W. 4th street and two on Park Avenue. The LUO only permits two signs for the business on the corner with right-of-way frontage. However, the business second in from the corner at 330 Park Avenue also has a sign installed on W. 4th Street in addition to their Park Avenue sign. No other business in the downtown has that. These two new businesses should also abide by the code.


111 E. Front Street- 7 Flood Lights on Faroenes does not have permits on the front and back of the building. 4 banners and wall signs installed on the rear of the building with no permits and in excess of the permitted size and time period specified in the ordinance.


28 Somerset Street- Centro Cristiano Casa De Glr Church- Illegal House of Worship in upper level.


105 E Front Street- Boost Mobile Store- Banner sign installed for several years while the ordinance only permits 60-days twice per year. 


127 E. 6th Street- Installed a solid 6’ fence in the front yard on the Cleveland Avenue side. Installed a 4’ solid fence in the front yard. Both are not permitted. The LUO is clear when stating that 6’ fences are only permitted in the side and rear yard and not the front yard. Solid fences are also not permitted in the front yard.


624 W. Front Street- Installed a 4’ solid fence in the front yard when they were approved for a 4’ nonsolid fence. This is a vacant lot whereas the fence should have been installed with a non-solid style at prevailing setback or at the setback line designated in the R-4 Zone (25’ from the front yard property line).


319 E. 5th Street- Installed a solid 4’ fence in the front yard.


609 Park Avenue- Comedor Latino Restaurant installed flood lights on Park Avenue without permits.


1149 E. 7th Street- Vehicles parking in the front yard


1342 E. 7th Street- Parking vehicles and pull trailer in front lawn causing grass to erode next to the driveway. Homeowner should be made to replant the grass. 


1404 E. 7th Street- Placed gravel on side of driveway and parks cars in front yard area. Homeowner should remove the gravel and replace the grass.


1408 E. 7th Street- Paved side of garage to property line, which is not permitted in the ordinance. Single car garages are allowed to have a driveway width that is no more than approximately 12’. The driveway must have a setback of a minimum of 2’ from the property line.


1412 E 7th Street- Expanded the driveway pavement to the property line and made the driveway a double width driveway for a single car garage, which is not permitted in the ordinance. All driveways must be 2’ from the property line and single car garages can only have a single car driveway.


1424 E. 7th Street- ditto above


1432 E. 7th Street- ditto...


1456 E. 7th Street- Junk car and lift in front yard, cars parking in front yard, destroyed grass in the front yard from the cars. Homeowner should be made to replant the grass as a part of compliance. Terrible entrance to Plainfield from Terrill Road.


1226 Watchung Avenue- Homeowner installed 4’ solid fence in front yard without a permit or going before the HPC. The city brought the homeowner to court in 2015/2016 and the homeowner expressed that she was concerned with safety and installed the fence because the house next door was vacant. The judge ordered that the fence must come down, but can stay up until a new person moves into the house next door in order to find a middle ground. The new person moved into the vacant house and renovated it. The homeowner can now be brought back to court to take the fence down, however I believe a nice letter would do. The judge and Zoning Officer at the time both agreed that the city can recite the owner after a warning letter goes out when the house next door is occupied and finishes renovations. Solid fence in front yard Watchung Avenue


600 Sherman Avenue- Double width driveway installed on a single car garage, no permit.


1055 Plainfield Avenue- double width driveway installed on a single car garage, against code.


1031 Plainfield Avenue- double width driveway installed on a single car garage, against code.


1282 E. Front Street- double width driveway installed on a single-car garage, the driveway is less than 2’ to side yard property line, and the driveway is expanded directly into the front of the house.


1243 E. Front Street- landscaping trailer in driveway.


1232 E. Front Street- Double width driveway installed, and less than 2’ from the property line.


1227 E. Front Street- Flag signs installed. Leland Gardens.


120 Randolph Rd- Plainfield Village Apartments. Flag signs installed. Not permitted in the city.


1041 South Avenue- Belvidere Food Store two wall signs installed on a raceway bar. Awning sign installed that does not meet the ordinance standards. The awning has a sign on the slope, which is not permitted. Storeowner received violations from Zoning Officer in 2016 and was to comply.


1111 South Avenue- South Avenue Liquors- Banner installed beyond 60 days. Window signs do not meet the ordinance requirements.


144 East Front Street- Embellish USA clothing store, installed a new sign without permits. The awning/wall Sign is not permitted in Plainfield and does not meet the requirements in the ordinance regarding size and type of sign permitted (lightbox sign and protrudes more than 9” from the building).


142 East Front Street- Grace Hill Bible College, School/House of Worship on 2nd floor. Installed a wall sign and has a window sign on 2nd floor.


210 Church Street- Illegal house of Worship, Abundance Grace Worship Ministries


159 East Front Street- Super Bello, installed an awning sign illegally. The storeowner was given time to comply in January of 2017, but did not comply by his second deadline. The owner should replace the sign with a conforming sign. All of his neighbors have replaced their signs with conforming signage or have permits. This is the only tenant on this section of the block without permits, which is a huge improvement from prior years.


17 Watchung Avenue- Inglesia Evangelica Ministerio International. Illegal house of worship. Same owner as 205 Park Avenue, that also has an illegal house of worship that he was warned about.


518 Park Avenue- Money Gram. Installed two wall signs and has a sandwich board sign without a permit. Only one wall sign is permitted per business and sandwich board signs are only permitted for retail establishments in the CBD zone.


500 Park Avenue- Garden State Auto. New business that installed several banners, flag signs and streamers and flag signs without permits. Flag signs are not permitted in the city, the banners and streamers have been installed beyond the 60 days permissible in the ordinance.


603 W. Front Street- SM Valentino Motors, LLC. Car dealer has multiple illegal banners, flag signs, streamers and illegal wall signs. 


551 West Front Street- 5M enterprises. This is a retail store that is an illegal business along with the auto repair shop as well. The auto repair shop has a junkyard of cars on the side and into the front yard of the property. The property owner was taken to court, but did not show. All signs on the property (both wall signs and freestanding signs) are illegal. The retail store and the auto repair were both accessory uses to the gas station that went out of business. The businesses never came before the Zoning Board or applied for a permit from the Zoning Officer. Both uses became principle uses on the property without any approvals. Tire sign on sidewalk (city property) without permits. Tire signs are not permitted.


300 Plainfield Avenue- Danny’s Auto Repair. Fixing vehicles outside in front yard of commercial auto repair. May not be a legal business. Installed a wall sign without permits and has several illegal flag signs and a tire sign.


318 Plainfield Avenue- Car storage yard with 20+ vehicles illegally parked on a vacant lot. Owner installed an illegal 6’ wooden fence in front yard area and chain link fence.


205 Netherwood Avenue- Entire backyard paved without permits. Less than 2’ from all property lines and way over the lot coverage for the R-4 Zone.


410 E. 5th st.- Solid fence in front yard, creating site triangle. Owner cannot see pedestrians on the sidewalk existing the driveway.


414 E. 5th Street- Solid fence in front yard, creating a dangerous site triangle. The property is next to Bryant Park. The owner was cited twice previously. A summons should go out as this is a dangerous condition. Neighbor complained on this violation previously because they have young kids that go back and forth to the park and has to pass this property. The owner expanded their driveway also, illegally.


846 E. 2nd Street- Illegal awning sign and LED lights installed on convenience store on the corner. The awning sign does not meet the requirements of the Land Use Ordinance in size, and the letters are on the slope which is not permitted. Several wall signs are installed without permits. Window signs do not meet the guidelines of the ordinance (way too much window signage, looks extremely messy).


638 East 2nd Street- Chain link fence installed around property and without a permit. Chain link fences are not permitted on residential properties. Property is a vacant lot after suffering a fire in 2016. The property owner called the Zoning officer after the fire and was told the rules, to which they did not comply.


143 Johnston Avenue- Installed a solid fence in the front yard on both the Johnston Avenue and E. 2nd Street side.


141 Johnston Avenue- Installed a 6’ solid fence in the front yard. 


144 Johnston Avenue- Installed a parking lot when the property was renovated in late 2016/early 2017. The property is way over lot coverage and installed an illegal curb cut and apron that needed engineering approval.


142 Johnston Avenue- Installed a 6’ solid fence in the front yard, and without permits.


605 Richmond Street- Installed a 6’ solid fence in the front yard, and without permits.


609 Richmond Street- Installed a 6’ fence in the front yard on both the Richmond Street side and the E. 7th Street side. The fence was subsequently painted white.


511 Richmond Street- Illegal front yard parking space created without permits. Vacant lot. Parking spaces being rented out to tenant in house next door against city ordinances. No parking should be on a vacant lot in the city as it is not permitted unless a permitted use is on-site. The property owner should mitigate by removing the gravel driveway (which, non decorative gravel driveways are also against city rules), remove the curb cut, and reinstall the grass in place.


1256 South Avenue- Cars/tow trucks illegally parking in vacant parking lot on South Avenue. The cars and tow truck belong to B&B auto across the street.


1332 South Avenue- Ground sign installed without permits. Ground signs are not permitted on residential properties, and in the NC zone.


190 Terrill Road- New Dunkin Donuts/Shell Gas Station. Streamers, flag signs installed, no permits and against the ordinance. The streamers have been installed for months.


400 W. Front Street- Always Home Care. Installed a wall sign that’s internally illuminated, when a non illuminated sign was approved. The owner has been advised and did not address the violation. Internally illuminated signs are not permitted downtown.


341 Park Avenue- Villa Supermarket awning signage illegal. No permits. Awning has been up for several years without being addressed. The awning does not meet the specs in the Land Use Ordinance. The ordinance does not permit signs on the slope of awnings.


500 Central Avenue- Entire rear yard, side yard and part of front yard paved without permits. The lot is over the lot coverage permitted in the R-4 Zone. Pavement should be removed or sent to Zoning Board for variance approval.


446 W. 8th Street- Carriage house has several apartments inside without permits or Certificates of Occupancy.


177-185 North Avenue- The building Division issued the wrong permits for this building. The building does not have all the final signoffs and has tenants living in the building. The property was granted the wrong certificate as per the NJ Uniform Construction Code. A Certificate of Continued Occupancy (CCO) was issued instead of a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for each of the apartments when the building was gut renovated in 2015. Even worse, the CCO was also issued without all the signatures from inspectors. The city cannot locate all the paperwork for the building and is in violation of several NJ Department of Community Affairs codes. This is a potentially hazardous situation that needs attention as multiple tenants are having major construction related issues with the apartments.


36 Watchung Avenue- Punto Peruano new business installed an internally illuminated sign, lightbox sign without permits. Lightbox signs are not permitted in the city and internally illuminated lighting is not permitted 


215 W. Front Street- Dunkin Donuts. Banners without permits constantly and beyond the 60 day limit. Banner hanging on city garbage can. 100% window coverings in rear facing plaza that are against the zoning code. The Zoning Officer spoke with the manager about removal of the window coverings, but the manager indicated a bathroom is directly behind the glass. As a compromise, both agreed that Dunkin Donuts would replace the window coverings with reflective tint to hide the bathrooms and remove the full window advertising, which Sochin, the manager, agreed. Dunkin Donuts continues to be in violation of the window sign ordinance.


234 W. Front Street- McDonalds continues to break the sign code by installing several flag signs and banners (some on the roof) without permits and longer than the code permits (60 days).


444 West Front Street- Illegal hair salon business. The owner turned the house into a business without going to the Planning Board for site plan approval. The business also has flag signs (which are not permitted in Plainfield) and sidewalk signs out daily (which are not permitted for personal service establishments).


462 West Front Street- The city has failed to get this car repair shop removed. This shop is completely illegal and knows he is in violation of the code as he does not have a zoning permit and was notified. He submitted an incomplete application to the Planning Office and never answered their letters or calls for him to submit outstanding documents. The owner should be brought to court to comply. This property started out as a gas stations years ago with an accessory auto repair shop. The gas station went out of business. The auto repair shop stayed through the years and turned over several times. Auto repair is not a permitted use in the MU zone. None actually went to the board to become an auto repair shop. This is required as a change of use triggers site plan approval in Plainfield, and the principle use (a gas station), changed. The property is dilapidated and the board can ask for improvements if they choose to grant the variance.


459 West Front Street- Solid 4’ fence installed in the front yard. Solid fences are not permitted in the front yard in Plainfield. Also, the fence is very dilapidated and missing teeth.


121 Park Avenue-Tax John. Placed a flag sign in the right-of-way, tied to a city tree. Flag signs are not permitted in the city.


112 North Avenue- Hustle Mania North Avenue illegal flag sign. Flag signs are not permitted in the city.


150 Church Street- Installed illegal canopy sign replacement and replacement signs on the canopy without going to the Zoning Board for approval.


243 E. 2nd Street- U-haul 2nd street sidewalk signs without permits. Wall signs installed without permits. Rose from U-Haul was to submit a Zoning Board application, but failed to. The business is legal, but the long-time installed freestanding sign and signage is not. U-Haul agreed to submit the application and failed to do so. The signs have been installed for a long time illegally, and it is time that they rectify the situation, especially if they agree.


336 E. 5th Street- New chain link fence installed on the corner of E. 5th Street and Franklin Place. Fence replaced another chain link fence and metal fence.


332 Franklin Place- Front yard parking and gravel driveway installed for tenant. Gravel driveways and Front yard parking is not permitted in Plainfield.


722 Watchung Avenue- Front yard parking. Zoning Officer brought them to court, and after several adjournments from the applicant not showing, the judge ruled that the car must stop parking in the front yard. Another summons should be sent as the behavior has not ceased. This is a problem property in a visually prominent location.


500 Watchung Avenue- Bakery across from City Hall's awning sign is too large, and was installed with a permit. 


201 Pemberton Avenue- New 6’ solid vinyl fence installed on the corner without a variance from the Zoning Board. The fence is solid and over the height permitted in a front yard.


700 S. 2nd Street- ABC Supply Co.’s new building has an illegal wall sign. No permits or variances were given for the sign. The sign is over the permitted allowance in the Land Use Ordinance in the Light Industrial Zone. This is simply unacceptable for a new building. The city can’t locate permits in the Building Division or Zoning, because they don’t exist.


333 East 7th Street- Entire rear yard asphalted on the corner of E. 7th Street and Franklin Place.


400 Franklin Place- Living God Church. Church replaced one post and most railings on the porch without going to the HPC within the last 1-2 years. The church was sent a violation and did not come forward.


212 E. 9th Street- House installed new front door without going to the HPC.


139 E. 9th Street- House on the corner of 3rd place and E. 9th Street installed new post on rear porch without HPC approval. Can be seen from 3rd Place and E. 9th Street.


301 West Front Street- LED lights installed corner of Madison Avenue and W. front street salon, against city code.


217 Richmond Street- Chain link fence installed within last 1-2 years and was not cited.


31 Somerset Street- Aaron’s Furniture Store has a banner and flag sign on Somerset Street. flag signs are not permitted. banners are out past 60 days, two times per year.


Mattresses on the sidewalks on East Front Street


1469 Terrill Road- EZ mart. This is a brand new business. New sign face installed on the nonconforming freestanding sign. This is a change to a nonconforming sign, which is against the Land Use Ordinance. The nonconforming sign should have come down.


521 North Avenue- Chic’s Auto Body Repair. Illegal business that is operating without permits. Never submitted for a use variance to the Zoning Board. Another illegal contracting business is also in another building on site. They were told repeatedly by the Planning Office, Zoning and Building that they must come forward with a Zoning Board application for site plan approval, but did not. They installed a chain link fence, which is also not permitted, around the perimeter of the site. Possibly some permits. Summons should be issued for this property owner. These are illegal businesses that are running with state licenses. Body shops require city approvals by state standards and are operating without the proper approvals.


312 Fillmore Avenue- Installed a chain link fence and paved the lot without any permits or engineering approvals. Lot coverage expanded as the previous lot was smaller than the lot that was paved.


814 E. 3rd Street- RCCG Dominion Lighthouse house of worship in a residential zone. Houses of worship are not permitted in the zone and the commissioners were told this prior to taking occupancy of the site. They took occupancy anyway and installed an illegal ground sign. This is completely illegal and is a drain to the tax ratables to the city. The house of worship is illegal and is not paying taxes! Amazing performance!


701 W. 3rd Street- A front yard fence was installed that replaced an existing fence that was nonconforming in the front yard. The fence is a 6’ high solid fence next to the driveway, which is not permitted and causes a site triangle, which is dangerous to pedestrians and motorists alike. The fence should be removed, as you cannot replace a nonconformity with a nonconformity, as the ordinance states.


914 Madison Avenue- Renting room illegally.


556 W. 5th St- Paved lot, went to ZBA and was not granted the variance for the parking lot. The illegal parking lot is still in operation and the applicant has not removed the asphalt.


923 West Front Street- Illegal rooms in the attic being rented, illegal basement apartment.

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