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Bais Yaakov High School is seeking to expand their existing campus at 277 James Street Street.

This expansion is planned to be a 2-story expansion to the existing school as well as a new driveway access.

This expansion project requires a NJDEP conservation restriction to be lifted.

The school purchased the 6.75 acres parcel from the Township back in 2000, for $25,400. The reason for this low sale price is because the Township imposed a deed restriction that the property is to be used "for school or educational purposes only," and that "the property shall not be put to woodlands usage and the use of the property for woodlands management purposes is prohibited."

Along with the sale, the Township Committee also granted a freebie road vacation.

The parcel is now assessed at $9,637,600.

The site is now partially developed with a school building, a pool, a parking lot, stormwater management features, and undeveloped forested areas.

The school site is adjacent to valuable freshwater wetlands. Therefore, the development of the existing school required special permitting from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

As part of this permitting process, which is known as a Transition Area Waiver Averaging Plan, DEP required the school to place a conservation restriction on a portion of the property to ensure that there is no future construction on that portion of the property.

The area of the school's now proposed expansion is located within the deed restricted conservation area.

As such, Bais Yaakov has submitted an application to the DEP for a partial release of the conservation restriction.

To offset the proposed disturbances to deed restricted areas, Bais Yaakov has proposed alternate deed restricted compensation transition areas on their property, as well as the preservation - through deed restriction - of an off-site land, Block 284 Lot 72 within Lakewood.

As previously reported here on FAA News, NJDEP's Division of Land Resource Protection held a hearing on July 18, 2023 on this request. This application remains pending.

To advance this expansion plan, Bais Yaakov has now closed on the purchase of the off-site land which they are proposing to preserve through deed restriction in return for approval to expand their school on their existing campus.

Bais Yaakov purchased 2 lots in the Crystal Lake Preserve area for a total of $30,000. One lot is Block 299 Lot 2; it appears to contain 8,000 sq feet in area. The second lot of Block 284 Lot 72; it appears to contain 12,000 sq feet in area.

The seller is Dov Gross of Brooklyn-based Gross Foundation Inc. Public records obtained by FAA News indicate that Mr. Gross purchased both lots from Eli Weinstein in 2003 for $50,000.

In addition to securing DEP approval for the partial release of the conservation restriction, any future school expansion would require Site Plan approval from Lakewood Township's Planning Board.

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1 comment:

Tracht! said...

Fascinating when the fire department decides to buy a new fire truck they have to put it up for a vote since it is a big expense in the $100,000 range however when the township choses to give away 9 million dollars no voters needed......