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Despite the Lakewood Township Planning Board attorney fighting in court to permit the Board to continue approving dormitory applications, the Board tonight pushed back against hearing Migdal Bais Yaakov's dormitory application.

As the news was first broken here on FAA News, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford last month overturned the Planning Board's approval of Yeshiva Toras Chaim's dormitory expansion, saying that because the Township Committee have only deemed dormitories a permitted use as part of a Planned Educational Campus, the Planning Board lacked jurisdiction to approve the application.

As clarified by Judge Ford, Lakewood Township's zoning ordinances permit dormitories only in Planned Educational Campuses which are permitted in certain zoning districts on a minimum lot area of 3 acres, and only for a "not for profit institution of higher education that is a not for profit entity that is fully accredited and licensed by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education of the State of New Jersey and one that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and is devoted to higher education and no other forms of education."

Subsequently, as the news was first broken here on FAA News, Yeshiva Toras Chaim filed a Motion for Reconsideration seeking to reinstate their dormitory approval, arguing that the Planning Board has historically approved many dormitories and they should continue to be permitted to approve dormitories.

Shortly afterwards, as was reported here on FAA News, Planning Board Attorney Jilian McLeer submitted a letter to the Court joining in YTC's Motion and arguing that the Planning Board should be permitted to continue to permit dormitories (despite the neighbors assertion that dormitories are not a permitted use)!

Despite their attorney heroically fighting in court for them to be permitted to continue approving dormitories, the Board tonight pushed back and held off from hearing Migdal Bais Yaakov's application.

The Board will reconsider the matter on Tuesday, February 21, following the return of the pending Motion for Reconsideration which is scheduled for Friday February 17.

Migdal Bais Yaakov, located at 541 Joe Parker Road, is a girls seminary which last year received Planning Board approval to change the use of a residential dwelling into their school for 25 students.

Migdal recently applied to the Planning Board for Major Site Plan approval to construct 2 school buildings.

Application SP 2499 is for construction of an approximately 16,572 sq foot elementary school building for 675 students, with a gymnasium and pool.

Application SP 2498 is for construction of an approximately 27,263 sq foot building for a seminary with a dormitory for 200 students, and a gymnasium, and pool.

As previously reported here on FAA News, neighbors retained Paramus, New Jersey-based Attorney Peter Humblius who wrote to the Board that as the applications include a dormitory, based on Judge Ford's recent decision, the application requires a Use Variance which only the Zoning Board can grant.

Subsequently, the Board approved only Application SP 2499 but held off from hearing Application SP 2498 as it includes a dormitory.

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