Lakewood Zoning Board Chairman Abe Halberstam cajoled the Board into approving an application, with the solemn threat that he may allow them to deny the next such application!

Back in July 2014, the Lakewood Zoning Board approved Appeal # 3877, submitted by Lakeside London, LLC to construct 3 single family units and one duplex on Turin Avenue in the Oak and Vine neighborhood.

The Board's Resolution of Approval stipulated that there be no exterior steps to the basement (to ensure that there be no separate rental apartment in the basement), and that one third of the homes be constructed with stone, stucco, or brick.

Since that time, the original developer sold off individual lots (before building the homes on the lots) to individual redevelopers.

Back in September 2023, Samuel Moscowitz, represented by Attorney Miriam Weinstein Esq., came before the Board and stated that when purchasing the lot, "I didn't know when I bought the home that a resolution comes with the home. I thought that only trees come with the home."

Accordingly, he submitted a plot plan to Fran Siegel, the Township's Zoning Officer (and Zoning Board secretary) and the Engineering Department. This plot plan was approved despite it including exterior steps to the basement and less than one third stucco. The home was then constructed based on this plan.

When Mr. Moscowitz requested a Certificate of Occupancy from the Building Department, they denied it based on the Zoning Board's conditions.

Mr. Moscowitz therefore asked the Board to release him from this condition so he could obtain a Certificate of Occupancy even with having an additional basement apartment.

Board members expressed frustration, asking, "when will we stop seeing these applications?"

However, Chairman Abe Halberstam pushed back at them, pointing out that "the bottom line is that Fran did approve the plot plan so we can't now undo that." The Board then approved the request.

At their recent public hearing, yet another buyer of one of these lots came before the Board with a pretty identical request.

Wisely, Mrs. Weinstein did not accept the case, so the buyer retained Attorney Moishe Klein Esq. to represent him.

This case is extremely different from the previous case because, emails show that the Township Engineering Department put the developers on notice already back in February 2021 that their Resolution prohibits separate entrances to the basement.

Despite this fair notice, the developers constructed a separate entrance to the basement, and now, they came before the Zoning Board seeking to lift the previous condition of approval.

Board members expressed continued frustration with these requests, highlighting that if they approve this request, they will see another such request in another few months.

Chairman Halberstam could not blame this one on Fran Siegel or on the Engineering Department, as he did in the previous application.

Instead, Chairman Halberstam cajoled the Board to simply look away and approve the request.

The good news is that Chairman Halberstam added a threat that "the Board might possibly deny the next such application!"

FAA News will keep you posted whenever that happens!

To join a FAA News WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA News WhatsApp Status, click here.

1 comment:

Akiva said...

Pooh. That might sounds really threatening.