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Tandem parking (a long, narrow parking space where two cars occupy the same parking space with one car in front and the other behind, commonly referred to in Lakewood as "stacked parking") often leads to homeowners parking on the roads, which causes congestion along our already narrow roadways.

Noting this concern, this past week, the Lakewood Planning Board took a firm stand against tandem parking in an application for a row of duplexes.

The application, SD 2550, submitted by Petal Holdings LLC and owned by Yitzchok Rokowsky, seeks approval to construct 2 duplex structures (4 duplex units) at the southeast intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Center Street.

There is currently no sidewalk along the MLK Drive frontage. Sidewalk is proposed with this project.

The proposed homes would front MLK Drive. The Site Plan depicts tandem parking areas of 36 feet long, sufficient for 2 cars in front and 2 cars in back.

Board members pushed back on the application saying that stacked parking actually encourages more residents to park on the street in order to avoid needing to maneuver their cars when they need to pull out of their driveway, and this leads to more parking congestion on our already narrow roadways.

The Board directed the applicant's professionals to go back to the drawing board to see if they could redesign the driveways to have less stacked parking.

As previously reported here on FAA News, Lakewood Township's Planning and Zoning Board members have a strong difference on priorities regarding choosing between; 1) a driveway with tandem parking that leaves room for grass between homes as well as on-street parking, or, 2) a driveway with straight across parking and that leaves no room for grass between homes or on-street parking.

Planning Board members prefer to have no stacked parking, so as to not encourage residents to park on the roads.

However, Lakewood Zoning Board Chairman Abe Halberstam has a differing look on the matter. Chairman Halberstam often prioritizes the aesthetical look of a layer of grass in between homes, even at the expense of making the parking tandem, and, at times, even at the expense of removing an off-street parking space. Chairman Halberstam says that the parking in front of homes should not resemble "a parking lot" (where all you see are parked cars and more parked cars).

At several Zoning Board hearings, applications were presented with straight across parking but lacking grass in between the houses, and the Board directed the applicants professionals to convert the parking to tandem, or even to eliminate a parking space in order to free up space for grass.

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