Join Our Telegram Channel


There are multiple applications for shuls pending before the Lakewood Township Planning Board in which the neighbors are telling the Board that the shuls are not proposing a sufficient number of parking spaces.

In fact, a number of neighbors have been spending money on hiring attorneys to represent their parking concerns.

However, the Board's hands are legally tied.

Over 5 years ago the Planning Board implored the Township Committee to introduce an Ordinance increasing parking requirements for shuls.

The Township Committee has simply refused to do anything about the issue.

The Planning Board hears applications involving only permitted uses of the land in question as defined by the Township's zoning ordinances (Use Variances can only be granted by the Zoning Board), and generally, the Board has no jurisdiction or power to deny an application that fully complies with the zoning ordinance. Therefore, the Board can not deny an application for an office building unless there are bulk variances (i.e. for lot area, lot width, and setbacks).

Shuls with less than 800 square feet of "main sanctuary space" does not require ANY parking! (And yes, there have been a number of applications for 799 sq feet shuls!)

Shuls with more than 800 square feet of "main sanctuary space" require parking as follows:

800 to 1999 square feet

1.0 spaces for every 100 sq. ft.

2000 to 2999 square feet

1.25 spaces for every 100 sq. ft.

3000+ square feet

1.50 spaces for every 100 sq. ft.

If a catering facility is also on site, the following shall apply (in addition to the parking required parking for the shul):

800 to 1999 square feet

0.75 parking spaces for every 100 sq. ft.

2000+ square feet

1.0 parking spaces for every 100 sq. ft.

Now get a load of this!

"Main sanctuary area" shall not include secondary sanctuary space, mikvah, hallways, bathrooms, kitchen, and other ancillary and/or support rooms. (Think Ezras Noshim, Otzar, Cheder Sheni etc!).

A mikvah does not require parking if it has less than five changing rooms. Facilities with five or more changing rooms, require one parking space per changing room.

Over 5 years ago, in March 2017, the Planning Board discussed the deficiency in parking at shuls.

Board members discussed that shul applications were being presented with zero parking spaces and these applications were causing neighbors to complain, and the Board's hands were tied as the shuls were simply complying with the Township's ordinance.

The Board decided to send a letter to the Township Committee asking them to increase parking for shuls (and office buildings).

The full letter, shown below, requests that the Committee amend the Ordinance to require parking for all shuls even less than 800 sq feet (i.e. 1 space per 100 sq feet for shuls where the main sanctuary area is 0-1000 sq feet).

The Committee decided to simply ignore the issues raised by the Planning Board regarding shuls.

In addition to increasing the general parking requirement for shuls, the Committee also needs to take a hard look at the "main sanctuary area" wording of the Ordinance, which specifically stipulates that an otzar or "cheder sheni" does NOT require any parking. This loophole continues to be abused by developers of shuls who design a 1,500 sq foot "main shul" with an adjoining 500 sq foot "Cheder sheni" and no parking for the "Cheder sheni."

By the way, Election Day is Tuesday, November 7. It's not too late to register here to vote! As previously reported here on FAA News, this election has the potential to turn the tide in Lakewood!

To join a FAA News WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA News WhatsApp Status, click here.


Anonymous said...

This is just further proof that the committee-men make themselves deaf to the people's cries. How are they not embarrassed to keep cashing their outsized salary checks?

Anonymous said...

Automatic deposit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:51,

Good point. Not that long ago, Menash used to personally pick up the check for his land-swapping and township land management consultant friend, which famously used a non-existent mailing address. Nowadays, he's able to keep his fingerprints off the money thanks to direct deposit.

Anonymous said...

Why is 485 locust street geting a tax abatement but don't have to pay the non residential fee? Why is out committee just giving away money??