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Lakewood Township's Zoning Board has just approved an application for two new multi-family apartment buildings in Ocean Park Village off New Hampshire Avenue.

Board Member Avraham Naftali was the sole voter in opposition to the approval.

Application ZB 4283, submitted by East County Line Holding, LLC, (which is managed by the Schron family), sought approval for the construction of 2, three-story multi-family apartment buildings consisting of a total of 16 units. Each multi-family apartment building will contain 8 units. According to the architectural plans, each apartment building will contain 3 one-story, two-bedroom units, 1 one-story one-bedroom unit, and 4 two-story, three-bedroom units. 

The site is on the south side of Pinehurst Drive in Ocean Park Village.

The site is located in the B-4 Wholesale Service Zone District, which does not permit multi-family uses. Therefore, use variance relief was required.

The project also required a Use of density variance as a density of 33 units/acre is proposed, whereas the maximum allowable density is 15 units/acre.

The application further required variances for Minimum Front Yard Setback (7.24 feet is proposed, 25 feet is required). Furthermore, a proposed balcony would have a front yard setback of less than four feet. Additionally, the application required variances for Minimum Rear Yard Setback (10 feet is proposed, 25 feet is required), Minimum Side Yard Setback (10 feet is proposed, 25 feet is required), and Maximum Building Coverage (building coverage of 41.26% is proposed, whereas the maximum allowable building coverage is 40%).

Oddly, the developer has not bothered to submit a traffic study, a site lighting design, or a complete landscaping plan. The application also did not include a Circulation Plan which would indicate if emergency vehicles can access the site.

In addition, the application sought multiple design waivers, including from providing frontage on a public street as Pinehurst Drive is a private road, from providing a shade tree and utility easement along Pinehurst Drive, from providing sufficient street trees, and from providing a refuse storage enclosure.

The kicker is that, while 34 parking spaces are required, however, the application did not propose any new off-street parking spaces.

At the Board's previous public hearing on the application, Attorney John Doyle Esq. and Engineer Brian Flannery told the Board that they are proposing to use the existing on-site parking for the new apartments.

Mr. Flannery confidently assured the Board that there would be shared use agreements drafted for this shared parking plan.

The Board pushed back heavily, noting that they have heard this testimony before on other applications and then after the fact, the shared agreements fall apart.

The Board said that they need to see "the hardware" for this before they can even consider the application. Accordingly, the Board directed the developers to do a proper parking study of the current facts on the ground.

At Monday night's public hearing, the applicant returned, along with an easement which will be recorded in the Ocean County Clerk's Office which will ensure that the parking will be shared perpetually.

Additionally, the applicant's professionals testified that they checked out the parking on a Sunday, when residential parking is typically at a premium, and they found sufficient unused parking spaces.

Board members asked why the Schron family is presenting this application under a separate LLC name from the LLC under which they own the rest of the development. Mr. Flannery responded that this is a legal loophole to sneak away from the CAFRA application requirements.

Board member Avraham Naftali gave pushback, saying, "I'm not convinced that it's a good idea to squeeze in so many units in such a small area. I'm also unhappy about the proposed parking situation."

The rest of the Board was unfazed and voted to approve the application.

Lakewood resident Elliot Zaks spoke up in support of the application.

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Anonymous said...

Lakewood needs to place a moratorium on further building until they start considering infratructure changes and vehicular traffic.

Nonsense said...

Gee wondering how much the rabi payed off every one just say no u will find out how much was given