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At their last meeting on May 2, Lakewood Township's Zoning Board began hearing an application to install a 140 feet high cell phone tower on Georgian Court University. The Board is scheduled to continue this application at their next meeting on June 13. The meeting, which will take place at Town Hall, 231 3rd Street, will begin at 7:00pm and it is open to the public and members of the public will be given an opportunity to speak in support, or in opposition to, the application.

Verizon currently has a temporary wireless communication tower on Georgian Court University. The permanent tower would be installed in proximity to the location of the temporary tower.

Lakewood Township's zoning ordinance only permits wireless communication facilities in the M-1 industrial area zone or on properties owned by the municipality. Therefore, this proposed tower requires a Use Variance from the Zoning Board, which requires an affirmative vote of at least 5 board members.

The application also seeks an additional variance from the Board. The Township ordinance requires wireless communication facilities to be setback 1,500 feet from residential dwelling units. The proposed tower would be situated about 358 feet away from at least one residential dwelling.

Board Chairman Abe Halberstam noted that Beth Medrash Govoha recently purchased 42 acres of land from Georgian Court University in order to expand the yeshiva campus and build houses and a child care center. Mr. Halberstam asked if the location of the proposed tower would be impacted by the Setbacks required for the future BMG expansion. Verizon's Attorney Paul Schneider stated that to his knowledge, "no".

In middle of the hearing on the application, Board Member Meir Gelly stated that he is also a board member of BMG, and that Board Member Moish Glieberman is also an employee of BMG. Mr. Gelley stated that the 42 acres of land which BMG purchased is "a separate but adjoining property" from the location of the proposed cell tower. Board Chairman Halberstam permitted these board members to continue to sit on this application.

Board members who own or are "related to" properties within 200 feet away from an application site are legally required to recuse themselves from applications. At the very least, prior to the continuation of this application on June 13, these Board Members Gelley and Glieberman should ascertain if these properties are within 200 feet of each other in order to ascertain if they are required to recuse themselves.

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WATCH: Zoning Board hearing 05/02/22 on this application

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