Yeshiva Ruach Hatorah recently submitted an application to Lakewood Township's Planning Board for a total of 30 houses on a cul-de-sac off Ridge Avenue between County Line / Lanes Mill Road and New Hampshire Avenue.

The application is playing some zoning tricks and the applicant is apparently hoping no one will realize.

The 4.5 acre site previously contained a one and half story frame dwelling, a detached garage, and a shed. The site has been virtually cleared.

The proposed application is for 14 duplex structures (28 houses) on approximately 10,000 sq feet lots for each structure (5,000 sq feet per home), and 2 single family homes on approximately 10,000 sq feet lots.

The lot is in the R-20 Single-Family Residential Zone District which only permits single family homes on 20,000 sq feet lots. Duplexes are not permitted in this zone.

However, duplexes and single family homes of this size are permitted in this particular case because, back in 2014 the Planning Board granted the yeshiva an "education campus" approval and, back in 2018, the Township Committee adopted an ordinance which permits anyone who already has an education campus approval to resubmit to the Planning Board as if they were located in the R7.5 zone which permits single family homes on 7,500 sq feet lots and 2-family homes and duplexes on 10,000 sq feet lots. Therefore, this application is being submitted as "an R7.5".

Issue is that the application proposes all 30 houses to be accessed from one single cul-de-sac, and the New Jersey Residential Site Improvements Standard (RSIS) does not permit more than 24 single family or duplex units on a cul-de-sac unless there is also an additional secondary access road.

To work around this "issue", the applicant's professionals have told the Planning Board that they are changing the classification of their "duplexes" to "Multi-Family Housing" as RSIS does permit more than 24 "Multi-Family Housing" units on a cul-de-sac.

Problem is ... Lakewood Township's zoning ordinances ... do not permit Multi-Family Housing units in the R7.5 zone! The only residential dwellings permitted in the R7.5 are single family homes on 7,500 sq feet lots and 2-family homes and duplexes on 10,000 sq feet lots.

Oh well!

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