Lakewood residents and commuters who have gotten used to the "typical" Cross Street traffic should brace for impact as the Township's Planning Board is set to hear applications for an additional 125 homes plus basement apartments (500 cars), and 2 yeshiva campuses with dormitories and Simcha Halls in this area.

Note that the Township's zoning ordinances do not permit dormitories or banquet halls in this zone or as accessory uses to schools, so actually, the Planning Board lacks jurisdiction to even hear these cases. However, that has not stopped the Planning Board in the past from approving numerous dormitories and banquet halls in schools, so residents are welcome to attend the upcoming meeting this Tuesday, 6:00pm, at Town Hall, 231 3rd Street, and voice their opinions on the matter.

As previously reported here on FAA News (https://www.faanews.com/2022/06/will-lakewoods-planning-board-require.html), Yeshiva Gedola of South Jersey, under SP 2458, is seeking approval to construct a new yeshiva campus at 105 Newport Avenue, off Cross Street.

The plans submitted propose to build a new building for the Beis Medrash and Simcha Hall, and to gut the existing house and convert it into a dormitory, and to also build 2 houses for faculty members.

Additionally, Bet Midrash Ohel Torah, under SP 2468, is seeking to construct a full blown campus at the corner of Cross Street and Niemann Road (just north of Yeshiva Sha'agas Aryeh), with a separate 3-story building for a dormitory, and another building for a gymnasium.

Their main building includes a nearly 7,000 sq feet Beis Medrash, as well as 2 "dining rooms" with kitchens in between. One of the "dining rooms" will have its own separate entrance, and a lobby with 2 separate sets of coatrooms and restrooms. (Does that resemble a banquet hall? Who are the developers of this yeshiva trying to hide from??)

The decent part is that they are proposing 144 parking spaces. All together, their 2 "dining rooms" will contain 6,110 sq feet.

Finally, application SD 2511 filed under the name Yeshiva Chemdas Hatorah, (and fully owned by developer Sharon Dachs of Deerfield Holdings), seeks approval to build a brand new residential development at the 

17.5 acre parcel on the northeast corner of Cross Street and James Street with 125 homes plus basement apartments. That is 250 families, and approximately 500 cars.

There will be a full movement driveway on James Street and a right turns only driveway on Cross Street.


subdivision plans propose a 13 foot wide right-of-way dedication along Cross Street and a 3 foot wide right-of-way dedication along James Street. Their traffic study indicates that the Cross Street intersection of 

James Street/Franklin Blvd is slated for significant improvements to provide 3

 approach lanes on Cross Street and 2 lane approaches for James Street

and Franklin Boulevard and that this intersection will operate at a level of service “C” for 

peak street hours in the post-development condition.

The plans submitted show 32 foot wide pavement for the public rights of way, 5 foot wide sidewalks, and 4 off-street parking spaces which will be double stacked.

There is a 35,100 sq feet lot being reserved for a future shul. The actual Site Plan will come at a later date, which means we do not yet know how many parking spaces the shul will have, or if it will accessories such as a Mikvah or simcha hall.

There is also a 7,500 sq feet playground lot, which is oddly designed far from the shul. Many Lakewood developments actually thrive from the playground being close to the shul.

After the roadway dedication to the county, the playground is only the size of 1% of the remaining tract. The Township's Open Space requirement (UDO 18-808), however, requires 5% of open space of land area for Board approvals of 25 or more units. This area, which shall be preserved as common open space or shall be utilized and dedicated to passive or active recreation, community facilities or left as undisturbed open space and/or wildlife habitat, shall be contiguous, free of environmental constraints such as flood plains, wetlands, bodies of water, storm water drainageways and basins (exclusive of underground facilities), or steep slopes.

According to the review letter from Board Engineer Terry Vogt, even the proposed lot for the future shul site plan would be 

deficient of the 5% open space calculations for recreational purposes.

500 families will have numerous children. Why in the world does the developer feel the need to be stingy on providing adequate open space?

By the way, fun fact: The subject site is actually located within the R-40 Residential Zone District which only permits single family homes on 40,000 sq feet lots, and no duplexes. However, the property was previously the subject of an application for a Planned Educational Campus. That means that the developers once presented plans to the Planning Board for an "education campus" with houses to be owned by a school. In 2018, the Township Committee adopted an ordinance which permits developers who previously submitted applications for a Planned Educational Campus to return to the Board with plans which are in accordance with the 

provisions of the R-7.5 Land Use District, which permits single family homes on 7,500 sq feet lots and duplexes on 10,000 sq feet lots.

Final thought: The development roadway can easily be paved out to Atlantic Avenue to the east. This would provide an additional connection to Drake Road.

What do you think? Should a development of this scope provide a third access way?

Before we end, keep in mind that the Zoning Board last week approved ZB 4247 which granted permission to PD Sheldon Trust Fund to develop 10 houses on a cul-de-sac off Cross Street, north of Niemann Road, next door to the proposed Beth Medrash Ohel Torah campus.

*Follow FAA's WhatsApp Status for all post updates*

SD 2511 Yeshiva Chemdas Hatorah🔽🔽⃗🔽

SP 2468 Beit Medrash Ohel Torah🔽🔽🔽

SP 2458 Yeshiva Gedola of South Jersey🔽🔽🔽


Anonymous said...

You don't get it. These people are extra frum and need separate dining rooms for milchigs and fleishigs. They also wear separate clothing for milchigs & fleishigs, so they need the separate coatrooms. LMAO!!

Anonymous said...

This is just another example of a private investor/developer using the name of torah by using a school name (e.g. campus zone) to reap huge profits at the expense of the residents. This ridiculous ordinance to allow extremely flexible zoning regulations, which was originally written by a certain college to benefit itself, has been getting abused by greedy developers to unfairly destroy our town.

Anonymous said...

They are building homes that are not affordable
The rentals are over 2000 also not affordable for a young couple but the biggest issue is they are building it for chasidim from outsider Lakewood so all this need for new housing is not helping solve anything but enrich the investors. The young couples of Lakewood have been priced out and all are moving ti Jackson,Manchester, Howell and further. People are fed up with the traffic. There has been zero infrastructure improvements despite all the new planned building.

Anonymous said...

We NEED MORE housing - that will decrease the rents (in theory).
We for SURE NEED more Simcha halls especially wedding halls. Try to get a date in the existing halls and see how long you must wait unless you agree to a Thursday or sof Chodesh.
Let my people built
Let my people eat.
Let my people make a parnooseh.

Anonymous said...

You left one out:
Let my people take 45 minutes to go 3 miles in Lakewood