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CHEMED Health Center just recently announced that their new southern facility at 1171 River Avenue is finally set to open on June 1.

The new site will initially offer only a pediatric department, a walk-in department, for immediate care and a behavioral health department, however they plan to expand their offerings in the future with the ultimate goal to "provide comprehensive medical care to patients in the South Side of Lakewood."

At one parking space per 150 square feet of gross floor area, Lakewood Township's off-street parking space requirement for medical and dental office space is greater than most other uses permitted in Lakewood's various zoning districts.

Under this ordinance, a typical medical or dental office building with 24,850 sq feet of gross floor area would require 166 off-street parking spaces.

Per the architectural plans they presented to the Planning Board on June 23, 2020, CHEMED's new building contains 24,850 sq feet of gross floor area including a pharmacy, 30 examination rooms for Adult Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health and Dental Care, and 3 waiting rooms with 27 seats each on the main floor, and a partially-completed basement with 10 offices and a conference room.

However, CHEMED's Site Plan only provided a grand 53 parking spaces. This was deemed conforming thanks a special carve out that the Township Committee did for CHEMED. Read more about that in full here on FAA News.

Aside from this special parking carve out - which will benefit absolutely no one, the Township Committee is now set to real quietly hook up CHEMED with another real huge favor.

CHEMED's Site Plan only included a right in / right out driveway on Route 9.

The good news is that they are preparing to pave an additional access road off Chestnut Street, adjacent to the shopping center.

Curiously, this new roadway, Pineview Avenue is being approved now directly by the Township Committee instead of by the Planning Board, and with zero notice to the neighbors.

It's super odd that the Township Committee is now thrilled with the plan to pave Pineview Avenue, as, at one point, Brian Flannery testified that paving Pineview Avenue would be a super awful idea!

At their Planning Board public hearing, Board Engineer Terry Vogt noted that they were required to pave Pineview Avenue from Chestnut Street. Engineer Brian Flannery requested that the Board grant a design waiver from improving Pineview Avenue including roadway dedication, curbing,
sidewalk, and street trees and shade tree easement.

Mr. Flannery specifically testified that "We are not expecting Pineview to ever be improved. Pineview should never be developed because it would be a detriment. Improving Pineview out to Chestnut Street would be a nightmare."

So why is CHEMED now presenting their top secret plan to pave Pineview Avenue only to the Township Committee after Brian Flannery testified to the Planning Board that they should grant a design waiver from them having to pave the road??

The answer lies in the fact that the Township Committee is going to approve the public right of way to be dedignated as an "emergency access drive aisle," with appropriate signage that this driveway improvement is solely for emergency access to CHEMED.

By posting this special signage, the road does not become dedicated to the public, allowing CHEMED to get away with paving a narrow road with no curb, sidewalk, street lighting, and utilities. This special signage also helps keeps out certain prying eyes such as the Ocean County Planning Board...

The good news is that this "secondary access" may also be used for a delivery unloading area, which their Site Plan did not provide.

Additionally, at their public hearing, CHEMED testified to the Planning Board that they are aware of parking constraints in Lakewood and they therefore plan on implementing a parking study every 6 months during the use of this site, and, should the need for more parking arise, they are prepared to implement certain strategies, including possibly shuttle services.

With no loading area it would be difficult to fit a shuttle bus through this site. Thanks to the secondary access road, it may be possible to implement shuttle services.

CHEMED does not own this lot. The lot is owned by Lakewood Township. In November 2016, the township leased this lot to LRRC/ Chemed for 50 years for nominal consideration of $1 per year.

In 2018 the LRRC was awarded a $1 million federal grant through the HRSA HIP grant to build and open this additional site. Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health and Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus are also partners in bringing the CHEMED South Site to fruition.

Construction on the southern campus began in October 2021, following completion of a prerequisite environmental cleanup. A formal groundbreaking ceremony was held in November 2021. The guest of honor was Congressman Christopher Smith who was very helpful in obtaining the $1 million federal grant for the construction. Mayor Ray Coles, Senator Bob Singer, as well as the heads of Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health and Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, were called out and lauded for their support of this project.

As previously reported here on FAA News, BMG / CHEMED / LRRC together received over $23 million in federal COVID relief aid.

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Anonymous said...

What’s going to stop regular people from regularly using the newly paved Pineview Avenue?

Anonymous said...

What is the plan with the no left turn into Chemed? Do they have to present to the planning board exactly how a car coming from route 9 north is going to access Chemed? I wonder what the claim was? Most of their patients will be coming from tr? Did they claim a car is going to drive around 5 minutes to turn around- cause everyone knows it’s either going to be many cars disregarding the sign and making the left turn or going into the nearest plaza to turn around! these no right turn gimmicks that the builders throwing are nothing but a distraction to their upcoming man made disaster!

Anonymous said...

What do you think? I noticed it as well. Also no left turn out of chemed.. give it one week both signs will be down. Give it 6 months, the township will build a road behind chemed with a driveway in and out of chemed... I called it first..