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Lakewood Planning Board's application SP 2487 for Sunset Road Sephardic Congregation at 220 Sunset Road was carried to November 29th after neighbors retained an attorney to fight the application.

As first reported here on FAA News, the Sunset Road Sefardic Congregation, located at 220 Sunset Road near Liberty Drive has submitted an application to Lakewood Township's Planning Board to demolish the residential house they currently use "ad hoc" for their Shul and Kollel and replace it with a new 2-story building.

According to the architectural plans submitted to the Board, the first floor will contain a 2,218 sq foot Beis Medrash as well as a 544 sq foot Otzar / Cheder Sheni, and the second floor will contain a 1,273 sq foot Ezras Noshim as well as a 93 sq foot warming kitchen.

The Township's zoning ordinances require 1.25 parking spaces for every 100 sq feet of "main sanctuary space" if such space is more than 2,000 sq feet. The ordinance specifies that "main sanctuary area shall not include secondary sanctuary space, mikvah, hallways, bathrooms, kitchen, and other ancillary and/or support rooms."

As such it appears that the Beis Medrash would require 28 off-street parking spaces. The Site Plan which was designed by Engineer Eric Halpert of Haler Consulting of Jackson, provides only 9 off-street parking spaces.

Interestingly, the application as submitted indicates that they only require 18 parking spaces. This appears to be incorrect.

The total lot area is 12,000 sq feet, and the lot width is 100 feet, as required by the Ordinance for this zone.

The application seeks variances for Front Yard Setback of 25 feet where 30 feet is required, and for Side Yard Setback of 4 feet where 10 feet is required, and for Rear Yard Setback of 4.8 feet where 20 feet is required.

The application also seeks a parking setback variance as all of the parking spaces will go up to the property line, as the proposed buffer will be only 10 inches instead of the required 20 foot.

The shul has provided a traffic study which was performed by McDonough and Rea Associates. It confidently assures the Board that "the parking supply is adequate to support the anticipated demand and use of the shul since the shul is intended to serve congregants within the neighborhood and it is expected that a number of congregants will walk to the shul."

The shul is being represented by Jackson Attorney Adam Pfeffer. The neighbors, who are opposing all of the requested variances, are being represented by Toms River Attorney Ed Liston. Mr. Liston requested that the application be carried so he could have an opportunity to review the entire application.

The application also requires approval from the Ocean County Planning Board. The application was already presented to the Ocean County Planning Board, who conditionally approved the application on a contingency that the applicant "clarify if nine parking spaces adequately addresses the parking requirements for the proposed use. Construction shall not commence until all the conditions are met".

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