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Lakewood Township's Planning Board is set today to consider the Township Committee and Industrial Commission's proposal to permit construction of 150 feet high rise buildings in the Township.

Township Fire officials have expressed some concerns with the proposal, including a budgetary impact.

East of the Garden State Parkway, near the Brick Township border, (bounded by Cedar Bridge Avenue and Route 70), are several blocks of Township owned land. A portion of the land is located in the ABC zoning district, which does not permit development of schools, and a portion of the land is located in the LP zoning district which does permit development of schools.

At the request of the Lakewood Industrial Commission who is seeking to facilitate the anticipated sale of property in accordance with certain standards, the Township Committee recently introduced an Ordinance which would rezone the portion of the ABC zoning district to the LP zoning district, eliminate schools as a permitted use, and amend the maximum height permitted from 65 feet to 150 feet.

The LP zone currently permits professional offices and office buildings; banks and other financial lending institutions; doctors, dentists, and other recognized medical practitioners; medical laboratories; assisted living facilities; nursing homes; corporate headquarters and executive offices; hotels and conference centers; public and private schools; recreational facilities including ice skating rinks, bowling alleys, and other indoor recreational activities; facilities for the provision of health and human services including spas, gyms, health clubs and like facilities; scientific or research laboratories devoted to the research design or experimentation and processing and fabricating incidental thereto; restaurants; and retail centers, department stores and supermarkets.

The Amended Ordinance will eliminate schools from this list. It will also include warehouses, outdoor storage, and terminal facilities; manufacturing, compounding, processing, packaging; monument signs; as well as parking garage structures and automated parking systems as accessory uses to permitted principal uses.

Currently, the LP zone has the same area, yard, and lot requirements as the M-1 Zone (which includes most of the industrial park):

Minimum Lot Area: 3 acres
Minimum Lot Width: 300 feet
Front Yard Setback: 50/100 feet
Rear Yard Setback: 30 feet
Side Yard Setback: 30 feet with an aggregate of 70 feet
Maximum Building Coverage: 40%
Maximum Building Height: 65 feet

Accessory Building
Rear Yard Setback: 10 feet
Side Yard Setback: 10 feet

The Amended Ordinance will create a separate area, yard, and lot requirement for the LP zone, as follows:

Minimum Lot Area: 3 acres
Minimum Lot Width: 50 feet
Front Yard Setback: 50 feet
Rear Yard Setback: 30 feet
Side Yard Setback: 30 feet with an aggregate of 70 feet
Maximum Building Coverage: 65%
Maximum Building Height: 150 feet

Accessory Building
Rear Yard Setback: 10 feet
Side Yard Setback: 10 feet

So the takeaway is... 150 feet high buildings, but no schools allowed.

The Township forwarded this proposal to the Board of Fire Commissioners for their review. At their Future Planning Committee, which is led by Commissioner Harrison Pfeffer, Board Attorney Ian Goldman reported that the Mayor and Township Committee notified him regarding their high rise building proposal and asked for a report from the Chief about any ideas or recommendations that he may have in reference to this proposal.

Commissioner Larry Loigman asked that the report should also include financial implications.

Commissioner Steinberg pushed back, saying that they were requested to make recommendations only regarding safety concerns, and they were not asked to a financial impact study.

However, other fire commissioners responded that financial impact should be taken into consideration, noting that the high rise buildings will only be located in one area in the Township and will provide a benefit only to a limited number of property owners, yet all taxpayers in the Township will see an increase in their taxes due to this proposal. 

Citing this fiscal impact concern, the Board of Fire Commissioners recently solicited a quote from VFIS for an impact study to be done regarding this proposal to permit High-Rise buildings in Lakewood.

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Shea Kleinman said...

So refreshing to see that the Future Planning Committee of the Board of Fire Commissioners is led by none other than Harrison Pfeffer, the brother of everyone's favorite land use attorney!

Even more refreshing to see that their Board Attorney is Ian Goldman. He just so happens to be Adam Pfeffer's partner.

The drain needs a major swamping!

Goldy Feldman said...

Something really odd is going on here!

Mayor Ray pinky swore to LNN that "there are no plans to build high-rise buildings on the site."

Had he truly not been too involved in the specifics of the proposal, I could understand that he might mistakenly tell LNN that he didn't review the plan but that he didn't think there would be high-rise buildings there.

However, now that it's clear that he spoke about the full proposal to Ian Goldman on behalf of the Board of Fire Commissioners, it's absurd that LNN would keep up an article that includes Ray's false pinky swear that "there are no plans to build high-rise buildings on the site."

Indeed, the swamp needs some serious draining.

Unfortunately, Lakewood is not well known for having a good drainage system...

Jake said...

What about Lakewood Airport!?!?!?
There are low flying aircraft in the area- something to take into account.