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Meeting for Hartman's Property Plans Postponed

The Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board postpones Tuesday night's meeting to Wednesday, June 20 after too many people filled the township's board room, creating a safety hazard.

Due to an over-capacity crowd and safety concerns, the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board was forced to postpone its meeting Tuesday night to discuss the future of the Hartman's Family Restaurant property at 5920 Sullivan Trail.

The meeting -- on plans to turn Hartman's into a facility to serve the mentally disabled -- will now be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 20. The location will also be moved to the , where the capacity is 500.

The crowd was not happy with the township's apparent lack of planning, leading solicitor James Zulic to say, "We will not allow a gang mentality to take over this meeting."

Several residents were willing to step outside to bring the head count below the maximum of 62, but Chairman Glenwood Rismiller made the final decision to reconvene the meeting.

Proposed for the site is an "extended acute care facility," which would house individuals who suffer from some type of mental disability, according to a report in The Express-Times.

NHS, a Philadelphia-based human services organization, went before the township's Planning Commission in May to discuss its plans.

Christine Hunsberger, director of adult services at NHS Human Services, said the 24-hour staffed, inpatient treatment center would serve patients suffering from anxiety, depression and bipolar disease for an average period of four to six months.

Local residents, however, weren't shy about voicing their concerns, which focused largely on safety.

The Zoning Hearing Board was expected to vote on allowing relief of a 50-foot minimum setback requirement.

Does a mental healthy facility such as this concern you? Take the poll and tell us in the comment section below.

Ben Miller June 07, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I would say that I understand people are concerned with safety and that is a valid concern, but this is not a prison being built, it's a treatment facility. The people being treated here did not choose to have the disabilities that they do, that was simply their lot in life. I don't live far from the old Hartman's site and I am not concerned about safety. What does concern me is the stigma attached to mental disabilities as opposed to physical disabilities. Would people be so indignant if it were an extended care facility for people with cancer or an acute care facility with heart problems?

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