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"Some gave all, all gave some" is a slogan famously related to the United States military.

When it comes to Lakewood construction approvals, certain players seem to "give none, get all", or at least they try for that.

Luckily, last night the Planning Board finally did their utmost to ensure that one developer at least "gives some" - a prized cul-de-sac bulb at the end of a long, congested block.

Application SD 2530 for MLMS Holdings LLC sought Major Subdivision approval to construct 4 duplex units at the end of the currently unimproved Evergreen Boulevard and Temple Street.

This Evergreen Boulevard is off of the north side of Locust Street, east of Vermont Avenue, and is unrelated to the existing Evergreen Boulevard off of Chestnut Street. (Hopefully, prior to actual road construction, Township Zoning Officer Fran Siegel will remember to rename this similarly named road).

On September 20, 2018, the Planning Board approved Application SD 2288 for Locust Holdings, LLC for 29 lots along Evergreen Boulevard starting its intersection with Locust Street. The original right-of-way of Evergreen Boulevard meets up with Harrogate's driveway which its residents were unhappy with. As a result, this developer agreed to pave access through a new roadway further east of Vermont Avenue. As shown in the photo below, this new roadway will loop around the 29 houses and meet up with the original right-of-way of Evergreen Boulevard.

The Board at the time discussed a shul and a playground, noting that these amenities in the nearby Belz developments are all full and they are anyways across a busy intersection. The developer refused to provide any of his own, instead taking advantage of a legal loophole - the Township officially requires developers of over 25 units to provide 5% open space, however, the Township permits developers of 25-29 houses to pay $500 per unit to a Township Open Space fund in lieu of providing a playground.

Additionally, the developer was planning on a cul-de-sac bulb at the terminus of Evergreen Boulevard with no secondary access roadway. Planning Board members insisted on upgrading this plan with a real secondary roadway and ultimately they conditioned their approval on the developer not receiving any Certificate of Occupancies until June Street is paved with at least base coat so the buses would be able to enter off Locust Street and use June Street to get out to Vermont Avenue.

On February 19, 2019, the Planning Board approved Application SD 2359 for Vermont Equities, LLC for 12 duplex units along June Street from the Evergreen Boulevard intersection out to Vermont Avenue.

Being that the Township doesn't require open space for approvals of less than 25 units, the Planning Board's hands were tied. They could not require any shul or playground.

Pictured below are both of these approvals together. Application SD 2288 is to the right. Application SD 2359 is to the left.

As previously reported here on FAA News, back on May 24, 2022, the Planning Board approved Application SD 2522 for Vermont Holdings 2 LLC for an additional 2 units on the other side of Evergreen Boulevard at the unimproved Farry Street intersection.

Any subdivision of land creating more than 4 lots and/or a new street is considered a Major Subdivision, which requires legal notice to the neighbors and additional drainage work.

In this application, the developer simply sought a waiver from improving Farry Street, thus downgrading the application to only a Minor Subdivision with no requirement to provide notice to the neighboring property owners (who therefore had no knowledge that there was a road waiver request). In the past when this developer presented applications to the Board with proper notice to the neighbors, numerous neighbors did oppose the applications.

So, now we are up to 43 housing units, plus basement apartments (86 families) with no shul and no playground.

Last night, the Planning Board heard Application SD 2530 for MLMS Holdings LLC which sought Major Subdivision approval to construct an additional 4 duplex units at the end of Evergreen Boulevard and Temple Street.

The application was represented by Attorney John Doyle and Engineer Brian Flannery.

This application was originally submitted for 6 duplex units, however, the Board Engineer determined that that would have exceeded the maximum density of allowable units per acre and only the Zoning Board has jurisdiction to grant a Use of Density Variance, so the developer reduced the number of units to 4.

Curb is proposed for the paved streets to be installed with this application. Sidewalk is proposed on the side of the road where the new dwellings would be located. Streetlighting is proposed as well.

Street trees are proposed along the Evergreen Boulevard and Temple Street frontages where the new dwellings would be constructed. Mr. Flannery testified that they would provide the total number of trees that are required for these roads, however they are requesting a waiver from providing them with the required spacing distance.

Underground utilities are proposed. Sanitary sewer and potable water mains will be extended on Evergreen Boulevard and Temple Street from existing systems within the nearby Route 70 right-of-way. Sewer and water laterals would connect to the proposed systems within Temple Street. Proposed stormwater management facilities are associated with this project which would be constructed within Temple Street.

No bulk variances were requested.

A minimum of 4 off-street parking spaces are proposed for each dwelling unit. The architectural plans which were submitted depict a total of 10 bedrooms in each house, which requires 5 off-street parking spaces. Mr. Flannery testified that they would either revise the architectural plans to reduce the number of bedrooms or add a 5th parking space, to be determined during resolution compliance and at plot plan.

The applicant did seek a single design waiver for proposed sidelines which are parallel to the outbound instead of perpendicular to the right-of-way. The Board granted this waiver which is very typical and the Board Engineer determined is "good practice."

Then the Board addressed the proposed turn-around as, although additional development applications will likely be submitted on Farry Street and the other side of Evergreen Boulevard further south, this application is the northernmost tip, as Route 70 is to the north and the old Harley Davidson site is to the east.

Instead of a proper cul-de-sac bulb at the terminus of Temple Street, the developer proposed a turn-around as shown below.

Board Engineer Terry Vogt stated that this proposal is not in compliance with the New Jersey Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) which requires a minimum centerline radius of 100 feet and that the proposed turnaround be moved to the terminus of Temple Street.

Board members went even further and insisted that the developer install a proper cul-de-sac bulb at the terminus of Temple Street, citing safety of the residents and emergency responders. They also noted that if they don't require a cul-de-sac bulb now, the developer will run to the Zoning Board for a Density Variance to get an additional duplex structure at the end of the block.

Mr. Flannery argued that he disagrees with the Board Engineer and he feels that their proposed turnaround is sufficient under the RSIS requirement for a "cul-de-sac street" which is defined as "a street with a single means of ingress and egress and having a turnaround, the design of which may vary" - the proposed turnaround is in compliance as RSIS doesn't specify what kind of "turnaround" is required.

Mr. Flannery further testified that while Lakewood Township has different definitions for various types of housing, due to the proposed basements, this road qualifies for the RSIS definition of a "multi-family development" which is "a development other than one-or two-family detached dwellings where the dwellings are arranged so that there are more than two units attached, regardless of the presence of lot lines", and because their proposed project meets the RSIS criteria for a "multi-family court" which are streets which provide a single means of ingress and egress and are limited to 300 feet in length and therefore do not require any turn-around at all.

Mr. Doyle noted that the Lakewood Township has different definitions for various types of housing, however, what counts is that the proposed duplexes meet the RSIS criteria of "multi-family development".

Mr. Doyle and Mr. Flannery proposed that because they disagree with the Board Engineer, as a condition of an approval with the turnaround they are proposing, they agree to seek an interpretation from the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs to ascertain that they do meet the RSIS criteria.

Mr. Flannery also emphasized that this is a by-right, variance-free application and the Board could not require more than the RSIS maximum requirement.

Chairman Moshe Neiman held his ground and insisted that this development does require a proper cul-de-sac bulb.

The Board voted to approve the application with the stipulation that the developer is required to install the cul-de-sac bulb. (No Certificate of Occupancy will be granted before the cul-de-sac bulb is installed).

Still no shul and no playground, and we are up to 94 families but at least we got assurance of a cul-de-sac bulb!


As previously reported here on FAA News, the Planning Board is currently being sued by a developer who was denied an approval due to his refusal to agree to a stipulation to install a cul-de-sac bulb.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Board has filed an Answer to this lawsuit and it is now gearing up to be a very pivotal case which will decide how much latitude the Board has in denying - over traffic safety concerns - applications which the Township Committee has deemed to be "by-right".

All parties in the case have just submitted pre-trial memos. Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford has scheduled a Status Conference on the case for this Friday, December 9th.

It appears to be seen if this developer will also sue in Court to try to overturn the Board's condition.

Either way, from reviewing the RSIS, it appears that the Board is correct in their stance.

Mr. Flannery testified that the road is already 290 feet long and this approval will lengthen it an additional 100 feet long to 390 feet.

Evergreen Boulevard already has approvals for 31 units. (June Street has an approval for an additional 12 more units, but they likely don't count for this calculation). RSIS considers each single family home (or "half of a duplex") to accumulate 10.1 trips per day. As such, this road will accumulate 313.10 Average Daily Trips.

RSIS has 3 different types of roads:

A "multi-family court" does not require any turnaround at all, but is maxed at 300 feet long. As their road will be 390 feet long, they don't meet this criteria.

A "cul-de-sac" requires a "turnaround, the design of which may vary". This is for roads at a maximum of 250 Average Daily Trips. They already have more trips.

A "multi-family access cul-de-sac" is for roads over 300 feet long and can have up to 1,000 Average Daily Trips. These roads require a "means for vehicles to turn around".

They sound like they are a "multi-family access cul-de-sac".

Perhaps their proposed turnaround would suffice for a "cul-de-sac" which requires only a "turnaround, the design of which may vary", however a "multi-family access cul-de-sac" requires a "means for vehicles to turn around" which must mean a cul-de-sac bulb.

These photos in the RSIS book appear to depict our calculation.

One more final thought: RSIS states that "cul-de-sacs shall provide for a cartway turning radius of 40 feet... No agreement to exceed the turning radius specified shall be executed... for purposes of emergency vehicle access unless supporting documentation prepared by the planning or zoning board of adjustment engineer is submitted demonstrating that the specific emergency vehicle in question cannot negotiate this turn."

This appears to mean that if the Lakewood Fire District would demonstrate to the Planning Board Engineer that a wide fire truck can not negotiate a turn on a cul-de-sac bulb of a radius of only 40 feet, then the Board would have jurisdiction to require even wider cul-de-sac bulbs.

However, it appears that Lakewood fire trucks do not have any difficulty turning on our roads as the Lakewood Fire District actually stamps their approval on the vast majority of Site Plan applications which they review.

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