Join Our Telegram Channel


Noticed missing pitch pine woods on Oak Street? Yet another expansion of the burgeoning Oak and Vine neighborhood is on its way.

Site clearing is underway on the north side of Halsey Street, the east side of Elroy Street, and the south side of Oak Street to make way for a total of 11 duplex structures (22 homes plus basement apartments).

This expansion to the neighborhood was approved by Lakewood Township's Planning Board on April 5, 2022.

The application, SD 2512, was submitted by Elroy Properties (which is owned by Saul Mizrahi), and it was represented by Attorney Adam Pfeffer and Engineer Brian Flannery.

The application received Preliminary and Final Major Subdivision approval for 11 duplex structures on 22 zero lot line properties and a vacant Lot 5 in Block 1006 (which fronts on Oak Street) that will be the subject of a future site plan - but is to be restricted to a nonresidential use.

Each unit will include 4 off-street parking spaces.

The project will be constructed in 2 phases because one of the duplex structures encroaches on a public right-of-way known as Croton Avenue and the developers need the Township Committee to quietly vacate that right-of-way before homes can be built over it. Therefore, Phase 1 will consist of 20 homes. Phase 2 will consist of an additional duplex dwelling and will be built once the Township Committee quietly vacates the right-of-way.

The project includes installation of sidewalk along the east side of Elroy Street, and the south side of Oak Street as well as connection of sanitary sewer and potable water laterals to the existing systems within these streets. Drainage systems exist within the surrounding streets. Proposed stormwater management facilities are associated with this project. The proposed underground recharge systems have been designed in the rear yards and behind the existing curb to account for the increase in runoff from the development. Street trees are proposed along portions of the subdivision. Streetlighting is only proposed on Elroy Street since it has been installed on Oak and Halsey Streets.

These units will be smaller than the rest of the Oak and Vine neighborhood as those duplexes are in the R-10 zoning district and are therefore on 10,000 sq feet lots while these duplexes are in the HD-7 zoning district where duplexes are permitted as a conditional use on 8,500 sq feet in area and 60 feet wide.

The developers presented a Traffic Study, prepared by McDonough and Rea Associates which assured the Board that the intersection of Oak Street and Elroy Street is projected in 2032 to operate at a level of service “C” or better for both the AM and PM peak street hours, and the Oak Street westbound left turn movement onto Elroy Street is projected to operate at a level of service “A” for both peak street hours.

The Board happily granted variances from minimum side yard setback variances for most of the proposed lots (except for the corner lots, minimum side yard setbacks of 5’ are proposed, whereas 7’ are required) after Mr. Flannery testified under oath that the granting of these variances would be a benefit to the community as Lakewood lacks sufficient housing to meet its growing population and the granting of these variances would enable the developers to assist the Township in meeting the need for housing.

Board Member Justin Flancbaum fully agreed and eagerly offered a motion to approve the application. The rest of the Board unanimously supported the motion to approve.

The Board adopted a Resolution of Approval which states as follows:

The Board finds that the applicant has met the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-50 for amended preliminary and final major subdivision approval. The Board grants the variance relief under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(c)(2) as the benefits of granting the relief far outweigh any detriments. The Board recognizes that the applicant is creating a development consistent with the existing development in the area and the granting of the application will not cause any detriment to the zone plan and zoning ordinance and that the benefits of same outweigh any detriments. By granting the application, there will be no detriment to neighboring properties; there will be no impairment of light, air and open space to and from adjacent properties; there will be no detriment to the public good; and this development plan will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the municipal zoning ordinance and master plan.

There is only one issue which still remains outstanding: The planned use of new lot 5.

In the HD-7 zoning district, duplexes are a conditional use with a density limit not to exceed 8 units per acre. If density is exceeded, then a Use Variance would be required from the zoning board.

Based on the Board Engineer's review, the application only conforms to this density limit only if there are no duplexes ever on lot 5.

The application as presented did not propose any construction at all on lot 5, but did seek for it to be subdivided into its own lot and for approval to grade the lot to prepare it for some future, yet unspecified use.

The Board got nervous with this "for reasons not specified" request and approved it only with the condition that new Lot 5 is restricted to a nonresidential use and any future application for lot 5 shall be reviewed for density based on this entire tract.

Public records obtained by FAA News indicate that Mr. Mizrahi purchased this entire tract of land together with 2 additional lots, back in 2021 from Yeshiva Kol Torah for $4.4 million.

Records also indicate that a sales on a number of the planned homes are already under contract.

To join a FAA WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA WhatsApp Status, click here.

No comments: