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Lakewood developer Yanky Lipshitz is once again doing all he can to avoid providing a shul and playground in a new Belz development.

On September 20, 2018, Mr. Lipshitz presented Application SD 2288 to Lakewood Township's Planning Board for 29 lots along Evergreen Boulevard starting at its intersection with Locust Street. The original right-of-way of Evergreen Boulevard meets up with Harrogate's driveway which its residents were unhappy with. As a result, Mr. Lipshitz agreed to pave access through a new roadway further east of Vermont Avenue. As shown in the photo below, this new roadway will loop around the 29 houses and meet up with the original right-of-way of Evergreen Boulevard.

The Board at the time discussed a shul and a playground, noting that these amenities in the nearby Belz developments are all full and they are anyways across a busy intersection. Mr. Lipshitz refused to provide any of his own, instead taking advantage of a legal loophole. The Township officially requires developers of over 25 units to provide open space, however, the Township permits developers of 25-29 houses to pay $500 per unit to a Township Open Space fund in lieu of providing a playground.

Additionally, Mr. Lipshitz was planning on a cul-de-sac bulb at the terminus of Evergreen Boulevard with no secondary access roadway. Planning Board members insisted on upgrading this plan with a real secondary roadway and ultimately they conditioned their approval on the developer not receiving any Certificate of Occupancies until June Street is paved with at least base coat so the buses would be able to use that road to get out to Vermont Avenue.

Just a few months later, on February 19, 2019, Mr. Lipshitz presented Application SD 2359 for 12 duplex units along June Street from the Evergreen Boulevard intersection out to Vermont Avenue.

Mr. Lipshitz purposely presented these two applications separately so that the Planning Board could again not require him to provide any shul or playground. (In fact, Mr. Lipshitz had no concerns presenting both applications as one to the Ocean County Planning Board as they don't require playgrounds and shuls.)

Pictured below are both of these approvals together. Application SD 2288 is to the right. Application SD 2359 is to the left.

As previously reported here on FAA News, back on May 24, 2022, Mr. Lipshitz was back at the Planning Board with Application SD 2522 for 2 units on the other side of Evergreen Boulevard at the unimproved Farry Street intersection.

Any subdivision of land creating more than 4 lots and/or a new street is considered a Major Subdivision, which requires legal notice to the neighbors and additional drainage work.

In this application, Mr. Lipshitz simply sought a waiver from improving Farry Street, thus claiming the application is now downgraded to only a Minor Subdivision, hence he was no longer required to provide notice to the neighboring property owners (who therefore had no knowledge that there was a road waiver request). In his 2018 and 2019 applications, in which Mr. Lipshitz did provide proper notice to the neighbors, numerous neighbors did oppose the applications.

So, now we are up to 43 housing units, plus basement apartments (86 families) with no shul and no playground.

As previously reported here on FAA News, once again, in December 2022, Mr. Lipshitz presented Application SD 2530 for Major Subdivision approval to construct 4 duplex units at the end of Evergreen Boulevard and Temple Street.

This application was originally submitted for 6 duplex units, however, the Board Engineer determined that that would have exceeded the maximum density of allowable units per acre and only the Zoning Board has jurisdiction to grant a Use of Density Variance, so Mr. Lipshitz reduced the number of units to 4.

Despite that this application now brought the number of new families to 94, the Planning Board's hands were again tied from being permitted to require a shul and playground.

However, one thing that the Board was able to require, only after much arm twisting: a proper cul-de-sac bulb at the terminus of Temple Street. Mr. Lipshitz had attempted to provide only a smaller turn-around.

As previously reported here on FAA News, in response to another application submitted by Mr. Lipshitz (on Chestnut Street) the Planning Board recently took a valiant, bold move to clamp down on these "piecemeal applications" that don't provide a playground and shul.

Essentially, the Board reinterpreted the Township's Open Space Ordinance to count each basement apartment as a separate "unit."

Under this new interpretation, applications with 15 houses, which include 15 basement apartments, will already be required to provide a playground as they will meet the Township's threshold of 30 "units." (Applications with 12-14 houses plus basement apartments will still be permitted to pay the $500 in lieu amount).

Apparently, Yanky Lipshitz is simply not one to get perturbed by valiant efforts to get playgrounds and shuls in new developments, as this Tuesday, Mr. Lipshitz is set to present Application SD 2552 to the Planning Board for construction of just 12 duplex units along June Street! Of course, no shul and no playground are provided in this application as this is being snuck in as yet another piecemeal application...

Even better, the application includes an unexplained "remaining vacant tract"...🤔

Unlike the previous applications which were mostly conforming, this application seek variances for lot area where 2 acres are required and .282 acres are provided; and lot width where 200 feet is required and 100 feet is provided.

Also, for good measure, the application requests a design waiver from paving Farry Street. Curiously, Mr. Lipshitz's legal notice to the neighbors leaves out this pertinent fact...

For those keeping score, an approval of this new application will bring this development to 118 families with no shul and no playground.

The Board's public hearing is scheduled to take place at Municipal Building located at 231 Third Street. The hearing will begin at 6:00pm.

When the case is called, any interested party may participate individually or through an attorney.

No construction on the previous applications has begun. Applications SD 2359 and SD 2288 received final resolution compliance in 2021, however, certain paperwork still needs to be submitted before the Township's Engineering Department will permit any construction to begin.

Application SD 2530 has begun the initial resolution compliance process.

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1 comment:

Mordechai Weissman said...

The developers work really hard to be able to sneak through all these "piecemeal applications" so they can avoid providing parks and community centers.

It is simply unfair to residents, both in the new development and to the nearby existing developments whose own community amenities are already packed to the brim.

The Township Committee seriously needs to figure out a way to clamp down on these "open space jumpers."