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Yeshiva Toras Ahron recently installed a sidewalk along their entire Summer Avenue frontage, and a staircase connecting the sidewalk directly into the parking lot.

The yeshiva was required to install this sidewalk and staircase because neighbors demanded them as a condition of the Township Planning Board's approval for their new gym building.

On June 2, 2020 the yeshiva, represented by Attorney Adam Pfeffer and Engineer Glen Lines, presented plans to Lakewood Township's Planning Board for a separate 8,400 sq foot gym building on the side of their existing yeshiva building.⁣ There previously were trailers at that site. The trailers have since been removed to make way for the new gym.

As all Site Plan applications submitted to the Planning Board, the application required installation of curb and sidewalk along the lot frontage.

In this case, the yeshiva requested a waiver from providing curb and sidewalk. Mr. Lines claimed that they did not propose sidewalks because there are no other sidewalks along either side of Summer Avenue and "if we put sidewalks in, it’s just inviting kids out there when they should be staying on the property". He further explained that there is a fence and a very substantial landscape buffer in front of the school which would need to be removed, all in order to make way for a sidewalk which would not connect to any other sidewalk.

To their dismay, several neighbors reminded the Board that the Board previously approved a Site Plan for Bnos Hadassah adjacent to Toras Ahron, and - due to several other neighbors speaking up back then - the Board conditioned that approval on Bnos Hadassah installing a sidewalk along their Summer Avenue frontage. (That school has not yet been built so their sidewalk has not yet been installed.)

Mr. Lines who was also the engineer for the Bnos Hadassah application, sheepishly admitted that he had "forgotten" about that other application and that their application did include a sidewalk.

Thanks to these neighbors speaking up, the Planning Board conditioned the approval on the yeshiva installing a sidewalk. Then-Member Chaim Sabel also asked Mr. Lines if they could provide a pedestrian access directly from the street to the building, in order to keep the kids from walking in the driveway, and from the main building to the gym room and the pool. Mr. Lines agreed to install a walkway directly from the road to the building, and to paint a crosswalk on the pavement between the main building and the gym room and the pool.

We have good news to report: Thanks to those neighbors speaking up, and then-Member Chaim Sabel insisting on these additional pedestrian accomodations, these sidewalks have now been installed!

Once Bnos Hadassah builds their building, they will extend this sidewalk all the way out to Prospect Street. The talmidim of Yeshiva Toras Ahron who walk to and from yeshiva will benefit from these sidewalks.

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