Lakewood Township's Planning Board tonight complained about the parking congestion at Bais Hamedrash of East End, caused by the "numerous simchos held there during the week," and then approved a minor expansion of the shul and basement.

The shul, which is located on East End Avenue and East Harvard Street, originally received Site Plan approval back in 2006.

The tract consists approximately 20,204 sq feet of land. The Beis Medrash and associated rooms currently contains approximately 1,900 sq feet.

Tonight's Site Plan Exemption/Change of Use application sought permission for a 900 sq feet addition. Attorney Miriam Weinstein Esq. and Engineer Brian Flannery represented to the Board that the expansion will not actually increase floor space to make room for any additional congregants, rather, the expansion will be realigning the Ezras Noshim to make additional room for the Shul's many existing congregants.

Curb and sidewalk currently exist along the property frontage. No new exterior site work was proposed other than a handicap ramp in the rear of the proposed addition.

There are currently two separate driveways for the shul and Rabbi's residence. Rabbi Heshy Pinter testified that the shul parking lot contains 15 parking spaces and the driveway to his residence contains 2 spaces.

Board members opined that the shul currently rents out their simcha hall numerous times throughout the week and parking is very insufficient. They asked if the original 2006 resolution permitted rental of the basement.

Board Attorney John Jackson stated that the Resolution and meeting minutes do not mention any basement at all.

Rabbi Pinter testified that the simcha hall was depicted in the architectural plans of the 2006 application so it was his understanding that its use was included in that application and approval.

Board Chairman Moshe Neiman noted that he has attended numerous simchos on weeknights at this shul, and suggested that perhaps, due to the parking issues, the Board should now restrict the use of the simcha hall for Shabbos only. Other board members echoed this sentiment.

Mr. Flannery originally testified that there was simply no way to add any parking, however, he ultimately agreed as a condition of the approval as submitted (with the continuation of use of the simcha hall during the week), to add a few gravel parking spaces in front of the Rabbi's residence.

The board then voted to approve the application. Board Member David Helmreich abstained from voting.

The Board conditioned the approval that the expansion of the basement only be for foundations and storage, not for an expansion of the simcha hall.

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Anonymous said...

All the numerous neighbors came in support of the expansion. Not a single person opposed from the public. If someone isn't happy with the parking situation there, then they don't need to impose on their guests by making a simcha there.

Anonymous said...

That is absolute nonsense! I live in the neighborhood and go crazy with all the traffic and insane parking whenenver there is a night simcha. I would have loved to complain and object but the hate I would have gotten from some of the neighbors would have been horrible (you know who you are). And its not a question of imposing on my guests, you are imposing on me!