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Lakewood's Lake Terrace banquet and concert hall was scheduled last week to present their case at a special meeting of Lakewood Township's Zoning Board for a Use Variance to legalize the use of their banquet and concert hall.

However, the meeting was cancelled because, prior to the meeting, Attorney Rob Shea representing Clayton Associates, wrote to the Board that they failed to provide "adequate notice" of the special meeting by only publishing notice in one newspaper and not two.

The New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act (NJSA 10:4-7 & 8) ensures "the right of its citizens to have adequate advance notice of and the right to attend all meetings of public bodies at which any business affecting the public is discussed". "Adequate notice" means written advance notice of at least 48 hours, giving the time, date, location and, to the extent known, the agenda of any regular, special or rescheduled meeting... which shall be... delivered to at least two newspapers... designated by the public body to receive such notices because they have the greatest likelihood of informing the public within the area of jurisdiction of the public body of such meetings...

[In case you are wondering which 2 newspapers Township officials determined "have the greatest likelihood of informing the public within Lakewood", they are the Asbury Park Press and the Star Ledger...]

At a Court hearing on Friday regarding the banquet hall use lawsuit, Mr. Shea told Judge Ford that the Use Variance may need to be moved from Lakewood to Toms River's Zoning Board as there may not be a sufficient number of board members without a conflict of interest.

The New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (NJSA 40:55D) requires an affirmative vote of 5 Zoning Board members in order to grant a Use Variance. The MLUL (NJSA 40:55D-69.1) also provides that if the Zoning Board lacks a quorum because any of its members are prohibited from acting on a matter due to their personal or financial interest therein - whether direct or indirect - Class IV members of the planning board shall be called upon (in order of seniority of continuous service to the planning board) to serve, for that matter only, as temporary members of the Zoning Board.

Mr. Shea asserted that numerous Zoning and Planning board members have "direct or indirect personal or financial interest" to Lake Terrace and therefore the Use Variance appeal may need to be moved out of Lakewood and over to Toms River's Zoning Board.

The Lakewood Zoning Board has tentatively scheduled the next hearing on this matter for January 23rd. That date is tentative on adequate notice being provided.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lake Terrace was only able to get a zoning variance because they testified they were a school for Beis Rivkah Rochel. They pulled the wool over our eyes. We should not let a sinner profit from his transgression. Honesty should be the only policy.