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The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Water Quality Treatment recently paved the way for 43 single family homes to be built off of the east side of Brook Road, north of Ridge Avenue / 7th Street, by granting approval to New Jersey American Water to lay their water lines.

The development, known under the application name Brook Burnside has already secured approval from Lakewood Township’s Zoning Board and Ocean County's Planning Board.

The total buildable area of the tract is 12.73 acres.

Township zoning laws permit single family homes in this area, but only on lots of 15,000 sq foot each.

In July 2021, at their very first in-person meeting since the beginning of the pandemic, Lakewood Township’s Zoning Board granted a Use Variance and Major Subdivision approval to permit construction of the 43 single family homes on lots as small as 11,033.43 sq feet. All homes will have 4 off-street parking spaces (which will not be stacked!)

According to the plans submitted, the application would develop 3 paper roads through the development. All roads will be paved 32 feet wide.

The applicant proposed one main access road off of Brook Road, and to satisfy state requirements of a secondary access road for developments of more than 25 units, a 16-foot wide emergency access road to be constructed of gravel.

The board conditioned the approval on the secondary road being properly paved.

The plans did not propose a shul. The board conditioned the application that at least one house must be sold to a rabbi who will have a shul in his house. The developer will not be permitted to receive a Certificate of Occupancy on his final home unless one of them was sold to a rabbi who has a shul in his house.

Numerous residents who live in the area testified in opposition to the Use Variance due to the traffic congestion in the area. Some developers testified in support of the application, claiming that traffic was not so bad.

On November 17, 2021 the application received initial approval from the Ocean County Planning Board, contingent upon the applicant widening Brook Road to 23 feet from centerline to accommodate a 3-lane section, constructing drainage facilities behind the curb line along Brook Road to address the increase of stormwater runoff volume from the road widening for water quality and groundwater recharge, installing curbing along Brook Road, and analyzing traffic at the nearby Brook Road intersections with Ridge Avenue/ 7th Street and with County Line Road, as well as to pay an off-tract drainage improvement fee and an off-tract transportation improvements fee, both of which were to be determined by the Ocean County Engineer.

On April 20, 2022, the Ocean County Engineer determined the off-tract drainage improvement fee to be $6,000, and the off-tract transportation improvements fee to be $35,833. The applicant agreed to all conditions and the Ocean County Planning Board granted final approval.

The water permit, which was recently granted, was the final necessary approval prior to commencement of construction. Clearing of trees has recently begun.

The project is owned by Mordechai Sternstein and Dudi Zions together with Saul Mizrahi. The sewer infrastructure is being constructed and paid for jointly with Menachem Gutfreund of Bais Reuven Kaminetz, Inc. for his residential development on adjacent Farmers Drive (next to the Kamenitz School on Ridge Avenue). (Read more about the Kaminetz and Farmers Drive application, which is embattled in a lawsuit currently pending in the New Jersey Appellate Division, and which has forced Ocean County officials to step up to the plate and more strongly scrutinize school applications, here and here.)

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