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The Lakewood Zoning Board tonight again denied a request from Atlantic Site Construction to legalize using a vacant site at 1122 East County Line Road for an outdoor parking area for their heavy construction machinery.

The site has a previous approval for a 2-story mixed-use office/retail building.

In the meantime, as the site is not yet ready for construction, Atlantic Site Construction has been using the lot to park 30 heavy machinery vehicles which go out daily to various construction sites.

The Township's Code Enforcement Department has issued a violation for this illegal use which is not permitted in this residential zone.

Subsequent to the issuance of this violation, Atlantic Site Construction submitted an application to the Zoning Board to request to legalize their use of the lot as a parking lot. The Code Enforcement Department agreed to halt proceeding on the violation while the Zoning Board appeal was pending.

In December 2022, Atlantic Site Construction presented an application to the Zoning Board seeking to legalize their use of the property for 3 years, saying that construction on the approved building is anyways likely still 3 years away as the developers await sewer extension coordination.

Board Chairman Abe Halberstam opined that such a parking lot does not belong in a residential neighborhood "where there are big beautiful new homes."

Board Member Meir Gelley agreed.

The Board ultimately denied the application, with only Board Members Moish Lankry and Moish Ingber voting for the application.

Atlantic Site Construction returned tonight, represented by Attorney Adam Pfeffer Esq., seeking a Reconsideration for only a one single year approval.

Mr. Pfeffer told the Board that they have a pending Code Enforcement violation which has been stayed pending the outcome of tonight's application, and with a denial they will need to move the trucks to another site which they will need to immediately find.

Board Chairman Halberstam and Board Member Meir Gelley again opined that trucks don't belong on this site.

A local resident supported the application, saying that they prefer these trucks rather than the future building which is already approved.

The Board ultimately denied the application, with only Board Members Moish Ingber voting for the application (Moish Lankry was not present tonight).

After the vote, Board Chairman Halberstam said "good luck at your court hearing over the Code Enforcement violation."

As a side note, it's mighty interesting to see Attorney Adam Pfeffer taking a parking lot application to the Zoning Board as this means he is conceding that parking lots are not permitted as a principal use in this residential zone.

As previously reported here and here on FAA News, Mr. Pfeffer last year presented to the Planning Board an application for a parking lot in a residential zone adjacent to Bnos Yaakov. At that public hearing, which was well attended by numerous neighbors objecting to the application, Mr. Pfeffer insisted that a parking lot as a principal use is permitted in a residential zone as long as it is "adjacent to a school."

A 1960 New Jersey Appellate Division case known as Suesserman v. Newark Bd. of Adjustment seems to affirm this matter. 

In that matter, the Board of Adjustment of the City of Newark recommended to the municipal council that the defendant, Sidney Steiner, be granted permission to construct and operate a private automobile parking lot on a now vacant lot adjacent to the lot on which he operated a catering business. The Trial Court later tossed out this approval, saying that a parking lot as a principal use requires a Use Variance. The Appellate Division subsequently affirmed the Trial Court's decision.

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