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The Lakewood Planning Board is scheduled this Tuesday to consider yet another application for a shul with major parking and buffer variances.

Congregation Tiferes Mordechai has submitted Application SP 2500 for Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval for the construction of a proposed three-story shul building with a Kiddush room and warming kitchen at 118 7th Street, between Lexington and Monmouth Avenue's.

There are currently 2 homes on the site.

The architectural plans depicts a 1,714 sq feet main sanctuary and 1,429 sq feet study on the first floor, a 956 sq feet Ezras Noshim on the second floor, a two bedroom apartment for the Rabbi's residence on the third floor, and a 1,400 sq feet kiddush room and warming kitchen in the basement.

Curb and sidewalk exist along the Seventh Street frontage in fair condition.

The property is in the R-M Multi-Family Residential Zone District. Places of worship are a permitted use.

The combined lot area of the 2 lots which are proposed to be consolidated is 15,000 sq feet which conforms to the zone.

The application seeks a Minimum Front Yard Setback variance of 20 feet where 25 feet is required.

The application also requests variance relief from installing a buffer of twenty feet to the adjacent residential use.

Per Board Engineer Terry Vogt's review letter, no landscaping has been proposed, nor have screening plantings been designed to justify the buffer variance required. In lieu, a buffer fence around the site is proposed. The fence will be a maximum height of 4 feet within the front yard setback areas.

The Township's zoning ordinances require 1 parking spaces for every 100 sq feet of "main sanctuary space" if such space is less 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."

If a catering facility is also on site, in addition to required parking for the shul, 0.75 parking spaces are required for every 100 sq feet if such space is less than 2,000 sq feet.

As such, the main sanctuary space would require 18 parking spaces, and the Kiddush room would require an additional 14 parking spaces. It appears that under the New Jersey Residential Site Improvements Standards, the 2 bedroom apartment would require an additional 2 parking spaces, for a grand total of 34 parking spaces.

The proposed parking lot in the rear of the building consists of only 17 spaces, including 1 van accessible ADA space. Two 12 feet wide, one-way access driveways are proposed from Seventh Street for ingress and egress to the site and parking area. 

One-way, counterclockwise circulation is proposed for the site. The proposed standard parking space would be 9’ X 18’ in size.

The application is represented by Attorney Miriam Weinstein. The legal notice sent to the neighboring property owners indicates that "the kiddush hall for use on the Sabbath only."

A Traffic Study has not been provided for review.

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