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The Lakewood Planning Board is about to go through some serious shakeups.

Planning and zoning board members are not elected officials. They are appointed annually by the Township Committee who are elected officials.

The Township Committee - at the recommendation and approval of the Planning Board - adopts the zoning ordinances which delineate what specific uses are permitted in every zone, as well as the setbacks for each permitted use.

The Planning Board hears applications only for uses which are permitted in the zone. Applications which adhere to all setbacks are considered by-right and the Board is technically unable to deny these applications. The Board can only deny setback variances if the Board feels that "the benefits of granting of the deviation are not sufficient to substantially outweigh any detriment."

Accordingly, working within the parameters of the latitude they are given by the Township Committee, the Planning Board has been doing some pretty decent work recently, clamming down on developers to ensure they provide sidewalks, sufficient parking, and some decent breathable open space.

Moshe Raitzik has especially been pretty vocal, fighting for "how can we do this even better."

Back in March 2022, the Planning Board was presented with an application for a large child care center at 220 Newport Avenue. The application was contentious with numerous neighbors presenting pedestrian, traffic safety and congestion concerns, especially as many parents would be driving down the narrow road for pick-up and drop-offs. R' Moshe echoed many of the same traffic flow concerns expressed by the neighbors. This led to numerous concessions by the applicant as well as by future applications on this road.

As previously reported here on FAA News, following a fiasco where the Township's Engineering Department granted a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy despite not having met the Planning Board's conditions for a Certificate of Occupancy, R' Moshe jumped in and stipulated that the next application can not get even a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy until the Board's conditions have been met.

As previously reported here on FAA News, following Judge Ford's ruling that dormitories are not a permitted use in Lakewood's residential neighborhoods, R' Moshe voted to deny Migdal Bais Yaakov's application for a dormitory.

As previously reported here on FAA News, R' Moshe voted against Bais Reuven Kaminetz's contentious reconsideration.

As previously reported here on FAA News, R' Moshe expressed concern with voting on an application that does not provide circulation for fire trucks.

As previously reported here on FAA News, R' Moshe was very vocal against developers seeking to quietly get approval for changes to already approved applications without notifying the neighbors of the change requests.

As previously reported here on FAA News, R' Moshe did not sit quietly on the contentious Kollel Kodshim application.

As previously reported here on FAA News, R' Moshe advocated heavily for the neighbors on the contentious Sunset Road Sefardic shul application.

Mr. Raitzik was not reappointed to the Board for the coming year.

After serving for a number of years as Mayors Designee, the position is now being given to Yechiel Herzel who previously served on the board up until a few years ago.

Township officials have not given any reason for not reappointing Mr. Raitzik.

Additionally, Jacob Meyer resigned a few months ago. He will be replaced by Moshe Luwish.

The new members will be administered the oath of office at the Board's annual reorganization meeting this Tuesday night.

The rest of the Board includes Committeeman Albert Akerman, Justin Flancbaum, Hector Fuentes, David Helmreich, Moshe Neiman, Eli Rennert, Bruce Stern, Yair Stern, and Shimie Weiss.

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Common sense said...

We now see who controls the Township Committee Members. It's all about the special interest money, they don't want people on the board who advocate for the taxpayers of Lakewood. Very sad, it is way past due to throw out the current system and start anew where these corrupt Township Committee members are removed & get a fresh slate who will represent Lakewood.

anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

He used to be threatened about losing his job at SCK school. But last year he switched jobs so they had no more leverage over him. So they did nor reappoint him.

always wondered said...

always wondered why our township committee isnt like any other elected officials which has term limits
no one would be able to cozy (and buy-bribe their way through)to get what they want from the township
if they really mean to benefit the public (leshem shomayim) let them step aside and let others take over
they will all face judgment day for the way our beautiful town has turned into slum townhouses and a traffic nightmare.
its not only the surrounding towns who drive thru our town who get jammed up its US who live here that suffer the most

001 said...

Why can’t we just be able to vote them in??
Why does the committee get to choose?
It just doesn’t make sense

Anonymous said...

No one can even speak up because the local publications won't post anything against the current township committee because they have gained from the current situation.

It was laughable to read the interview with the new township committee member before the election in the Voice magazine on how "the traffic in this town is pretty good"!!! She is so clueless on the issues facing this town. But she was appointed for that reason, she won't get in the way of developers and anyone that doesn't want things to change.

Even an ad paid for by Hershkowitz was not published in the Voice, and he wasn't even represented and interviewed as running for the township in that same article! So the vast majority of the town has no idea and just follows whatever the Vaad tells them to do.

And that's why things haven't changed and will likely not change for a long time. Because no one will publish anything against the current members.