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As previously reported here and here on FAA News, Lakewood Township officials have been working on receiving approval from the New Jersey State Planning Commission for several projects in the Township, including a new Hatzolah garage and solid waste transfer station.

Approval from the State Planning Commission is necessary in order to allow for an increase in permitted impervious cover and a reduction in vegetative cover requirements.

As previously reported on FAA News, the State Policy Commission has already given approval to 3 projects in the Township.

However, State officials have just halted approval of these projects until the Township implements certain infrastructure improvements, FAA News has learned.

On December 7, 2017, the State Planning Commission granted the Township State Plan Endorsement for their Master Plan. This endorsement requires biennial reviews of how the Township is improving its infrastructure, including roadways. On October 20, 2022, the the Township’s Professional Planners for this matter, T & M Associates, submitted a report for this biennial review. In addition to the Biennial Review, the Township proposed amendments to the State Plan Policy Map to permit the Hatzolah garage and solid waste transfer station to be constructed with an increase in permitted impervious cover and a reduction in vegetative cover requirements.

The State Planning Commission has now responded by giving the Township a Final Plan Implementation Agreement which includes items required to address changes in the Municipal Land Use Law, Resiliency and Environmental Justice.

The State Planning Commission stated that out of 56 items in this list, the Township has fully completed 11 items, an additional 16 items are being addressed, however, 29 items remain outstanding.

Therefore, the State Planning Commission has halted approval of the Hatzolah garage and solid waste transfer station until the Township agrees to work on the remaining 29 items in the Plan Implementation Agreement.

The Plan Implementation Agreement items include:

• Implement the use of impact fees when approving new land use developments

• Continue to review the needs of community facilities to determine the need for replacement or additions including, but not limited to: schools,
fire substations, police station, highway department and recreational facilities

• Continually prioritize high value open space lands for acquisition. Implement the Open Space Plan Element of the Township Master Plan that identifies parcels for potential acquisition.

• Design, obtain funding and construct the trail network and pedestrian linkages with assistance provided by Environmental Commission.

• Create linkages between open space and recreation sites.

• The Township shall propose a detailed circulation strategy that describes circulation patterns and justifies how these proposals would help enhance
mobility without negatively impacting pedestrians.
The updated Circulation Element should include a clear statement that recognizes the role of state roads for conveying through rather than local
traffic. The plan should provide access to local businesses on local roads.
The statement should acknowledge that the State does not have the funds to widen Route 9 in the foreseeable future and that Lakewood has
investigated alternative north-south roadways to lessen the traffic congestion on Route 9.
It is also important that the plan integrates existing bus and shuttle services to address capacity issues.

• Implement a Parking Study for which the Township already received a State funded grant - Ensure that opportunities for growth do not impede the ability to construct and to effectively address parking. Utilize best transit-oriented development and center-based design strategies.

• Develop an implementable plan to improve Express Bus service along Route 9.

• Continue to work with NJTPA, NJ DOT and Toms River to address access management planning along Route 9 and other state highways.


• As part of the Circulation Plan update, incorporate a strategy for dealing with retail, commercial or truck freight traffic along state, county and municipal roadways as it relates to existing and future land use patterns.

• As part of the Circulation Plan update, incorporate a strategy to utilize transportation demand management measures for trip reduction
where applicable, such as ridesharing, vanpooling, transit and park-and- rides.


• Implement land use controls consistent with the
desirable typical section for Route 9 in the Access Code. The Township's zoning along Route 9 south of downtown provides for setbacks to help preserve a right of way for future Route 9 widening. However, based on field observation, there appears to be significant development close to the highway. The Township shall provide copies of variances and other provisions that have allowed for encroaching development.

• The municipality shall enhance its zoning regulations and building codes to encourage building outside of the flood zone and to minimize construction in flood prone areas to reconstruction of existing buildings. Placement of critical facilities and utilities in flood zones should be avoided whenever possible. Affordable housing should be sited to avoid flood zone and hazardous areas.

Township officials have not made any public statements as to when they anticipate implementing all of these infrastructure upgrades.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope kick the can down the road finally hit a wall