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As first reported here on FAA News, Lakewood's largest school, the Lakewood Cheder / Beis Faiga has plans to build 2 girls elementary schools, a girls high school, and a separate gymnasium building on a 37.9 acres site at 245 & 279 East Veterans Highway, which is near Royal Grove, The Vineyards, Dunhill Road, and Butterfly Road.

East Veterans Highway is a narrow, 2 lane collector roadway with barely no shoulders and not many traffic signals to help break traffic. The parallel collector roadway, Butterfly Road looks very much the same.

The application documents indicate that the schools can contain 2,500 students.

The parking lot will technically contain 503 parking spaces, however, 136 of these spaces are indicated to be "land banked / recreational area".

Is it possible that the 9,800 sq gymnasium building could be turned into a rentable banquet hall?

It's ironic that there is one "separate gymnasium building" for 3 schools, instead of each school having its own gym or no gym for any of the schools.

It's also ironic that the gym building has its own dedicated parking lot (which may indeed start off as a "land banked / recreational area" but then may be converted into a parking area.

When the Lakewood Cheder presented their Site Plan and architectural plans to the Lakewood Township Planning Board, they depicted "open recreational space" which was then turned into two banquet halls. The Township never granted any Certificate of Occupancy for these banquet halls.

Additionally, when Beis Faiga's Gratter Building expansion presented their Site Plan and architectural plans to the Lakewood Township Planning Board, they depicted an "auditorium" which they solemnly affirmed "will not be rented out". The Township also never granted any Certificate of Occupancy for this banquet hall.

Will the Lakewood "no banquet hall becomes banquet hall" story line play out with the 9,800 sq foot gymnasium? Will Royal Grove neighbors wake up one morning and discover a banquet hall in their backyard?

[Note that in Lakewood, currently the only banquet hall that pays property taxes is Lake Terrace which pays $138,000 annually; the banquet halls in schools including in The Cheder and Beis Faiga do not pay property taxes. In Jackson, revenue producing banquet halls in schools likely would be assessed property taxes.]

The school has submitted an application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for prerequisite environmental permits. This permit remains pending.

As recently reported here on FAA News, the school has already submitted their Site Plan to the Ocean County Planning Board. County officials have deemed the application incomplete and have refused to even hold a hearing on the application due to traffic concerns.

An application has been submitted to the Jackson Township Planning Board. No public hearing has yet been scheduled.

The proposed school site is currently 3 separate lots, totalling 37.9 acres. According to public records obtained by FAA News, Bais Yaakov of Jackson already closed last year on a $3,950,000 purchase on 2 of the lots at 245 East Veterans Highway; the remaining lot at 279 East Veterans Highway is currently owned by Chaim Grunwald.

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