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Lakewood Township's Planning Board planned meeting for Tuesday night was cancelled due to lack of a quorum. All applications on the agenda have been rescheduled to a special meeting for next Tuesday, August 2nd.

Except for one application.

SD 2405, for Yeshiva Ruach Hatorah, is now being carried to the September 6th hearing, after their attorney Mrs. Miriam Weinstein reached out to Attorney Joseph Michelini who is representing the neighbors who are objecting, and offered to negotiate with them prior to presenting the application to the Board.

As first reported here on FAA News ( this application is for a cul-de-sac off Ridge Avenue between County Line / Lanes Mill Road and New Hampshire Avenue, with 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 each.

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 apparently permitted in this particular case because, back in 2014 the Planning Board granted the yeshiva an "education campus" approval on these lots, and, subsequently 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".

As we previously reported, despite this allowance to resubmit as an R7.5, the application is still playing some zoning tricks and the applicant was hoping no one would realize.

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.

As we reported at ( following our initial exposure, neighbors of the proposed project have retained Brick Attorney Joseph Michelini of the O’Malley, Surman & Michelini firm and Engineer Gordon Gemma to represent them in opposing the application.

Back in June, despite pushback from Mrs. Weinstein who tried to push the Board to immediately hear the application, Mr. Michelini successfully got the Planning Board to carry the meeting to tonight's meeting.

Just a few days ago, Mrs. Weinstein reached out to Mr. Michelini with an offer from her clients (the developers) to negotiate with the neighbors! Apparently, the pressure is on.

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