Minutes ago, Lakewood Township's Zoning Board approved the construction of a 3-story office building at the 2 acres site at 329 Cross Street, long used by Chelene Kennels.

The property was sold by Michele Constance Bryant and Darlene Mary Sansone in November 2022 for $2.5 million. The buyer was Benjamin Freidman of Cross Street 4 LLC.

The property is situated in the R-20 zoning district which permits single family residential homes on 20,000 sq feet lots. As such, approximately 4 single family homes could be constructed here by-right.

The new developers have instead submitted Application ZB 4280 to the Lakewood Township Zoning Board, seeking approval to construct a 3-story, 35,380 sq foot office building.

155 off-street parking spaces are proposed.

Sanitary sewer, water, and a fire service water lateral are proposed for the building. The developer proposes to connect all utilities within Cross Street, which is a County roadway.

As an office building is not a permitted use in this zone, the application required Use Variance relief.

Additionally, the application sought a Height variance to permit a building 43.5 feet high, where only 35 feet is permitted.

The application also sought a minimum rear yard setback of 17 feet where 20 feet is required, as well as design waiver buffer relief from providing a 50-foot buffer to adjoining areas zoned for residential land uses whereas only 20 feet is proposed (without supplemental buffering).

The Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners did not submit any concerns to the Zoning Board regarding this application.


However, Board Engineer Terry Vogt alerted the Board that the provided Site Circulation Plan is based only an SU-40 Single-Unit Truck, and does not provide adequate circulation to and through the property in an appropriate manner for refuse trucks, delivery vehicles, and emergency vehicles.

Additionally, Mr. Vogt noted that the Site Circulation Plan conflicts with multiple spaces throughout the site.

Accordingly, the Board conditioned their approval on the developer submitting a revised circulation plan.

McDonough & Rea Associates, Lakewood's infamous traffic experts, produced a traffic study for this application.

Their traffic counts along this section of Cross Street indicate that AM peak hours are 8:45am - 9:45am and that PM peak hours are 5:00pm - 6:00pm, and that the peak direction and traffic count is eastbound PM which is 702 vehicles.

McDonough & Rea then magically decided that only 40 vehicles will enter and exit this 155 vehicle parking space parking lot during the roadway's peak traffic hours. They additionally magically decided that 40% of traffic will go north, and 60% of traffic will go south.

Then, based on the County's roadway improvements plan for Cross Street, as well as the nearby Cross Street & Massachusetts Avenue intersection, they concluded their traffic report by confidently assuring the Board that "the proposed driveway will operate within acceptable traffic engineering parameters... and this application can be approved and operate compatibility with existing and future traffic conditions."

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Zoning Board previously approved an even larger office building just a little further up Cross Street.

The current office building application is situated adjacent to where the Planning Board has approved 175 duplex homes. Ocean County officials have granted major leeway to Lakewood developers which could ultimately speed up development of these homes. More information about those approvals and the County's major leeway is here on FAA News.

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ab said...

Cross street is completely clogged every day, this is insane.

Anonymous said...

This is actually a much better option then another school or another duplex development. It’s right near Massachusetts Ave which would will help the traffic flow from the building. And there won’t be 20 extra school busses a day holding up traffic. An office building with sufficient on site parking is a good thing for this property. No of the neighbors objected which is further proof that the use is actually wanted. No one wants another school or development.

Anonymous said...

And the Lakewood charades continue . . .

Common sense said...

You kidding me 5-6pm is peak hours? There are soo many schools on Cross st, peak begins before 3pm and goes through 6pm. Anyone who drives up at that hour we'll see it clearly on cross street that you can't drive starting way before 5:00 p.m.
So why do they need 155 spots if it's only going to be adding a 45 car increase to the traffic?
Will the other 110 cars park in their lot and never leave it, and therefore won't add any congestion to the Cross Street nightmare?

This traffic study is a complete fraud and those preparing the report should be charged with fraud and the "traffic expert" testifying should be charged for lying under oath.