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Is it possible that the Lakewood Zoning Board last night gave a developer some extra special treatment "just because?"

Back in November 2022, the Board approved Appeal ZB 4259, submitted by Lotzarich, LLC (owned by Shmuel Rabinowitz) for a Use Variance for a duplex structure on Florence Street, at the end of Colonial Drive. The application was represented by Attorney Sam Brown Esq. and Engineer Brian Flannery.

The property is located in the B-5 Highway Zoning District which permits commercial uses including office buildings, on a minimum of 2 acres in area.

The Board approved the use of a duplex structure on 13,340 sq feet.

Florence Street and the surrounding unimproved rights of way of Colonia Drive and Jonas Road habr several other Zoning Board approvals which will improve the right of way all the way to the Vermont Avenue Extension, which has not yet been open to the public. The Board conditioned their approval that no Certificate of Occupancy will be issued until the improvements to all these roads are completed to Vermont Avenue and that the Vermont Avenue Extension is complete and open to the public between Chestnut Street and Route 70.

Additionally, per the meeting minutes, the Board stipulated that at Site Plan approval the application must provide a 10 foot side yard setback to adjoining Lot 15.

Last night, again represented by Attorney Sam Brown Esq. and Engineer Brian Flannery, the applicant returned for Site Plan approval, which involves drawing the lot line down between the 2 duplex units.

As depicted in the Site Plan shown below, only a 7 foot side yard setback is provided to adjoining Lot 15 - despite them agreeing at the Use Variance approval to provide a 10 foot setback.

Board Engineer Terry Vogt who reviewed the Use Variance approval simply noted the variance without highlighting to the Board their previous stipulation of approval.

The Board approved the application with the 7 foot side yard setback, despite opposition from a neighbor who pointed out the Board's previous condition.

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