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When the Ocean County Planning Board granted approval to Beth Medrash Govoha of America's campus expansion on Georgian Court University, they included stipulations that BMG pay for off-tract traffic improvements.

At BMG's request, county officials have now agreed to retract this stipulation.

The reason: BMG solemnly assured the County that their new campus will not have any major impact on traffic!


Per their architectural plans and Environmental Impact Study, Beth Medrash Govoha's planned expansion consists of a total of 600 residential apartments, playgrounds, a child care center with a capacity of 300 children, and a 530 patron capacity banquet hall.

Curiously, when BMG submitted their application to the Ocean County Planning Board, they did not submit their architectural plans. They also did not mention the 530 patron capacity banquet hall.

Their application included a traffic study procured from McDonough & Rea Associates - the firm that helps many Lakewood developers get land use approvals.

When County officials reviewed the initial application, even without knowing about the banquet hall, they realized the large scope of the project, and they decided to take a closer look at traffic in the surrounding area.

Accordingly, they granted contingent approval but with the condition that BMG submit a new traffic study which "analyzes the County Line Road and Forest Avenue and County Line Road and Cedar View Avenue intersections, and determines impacts to westbound left turns from County Line Road at each intersection."

This was a very important decision.

Essentially, the County was indicating that they anticipated that the traffic to and from BMG's new campus would warrant upgrading the nearby County Line Road intersections with left turning signals. The County can require applicants to help pay for traffic improvements, however, they are only in a position to make such requirements if the developers' traffic study indicates that improvements are warranted. Accordingly, the County directed BMG to take a closer look at the nearby County Line Road intersections, which are already congested.

Back in May 2023, BMG did submit a revised traffic study.

By then, County officials realized that there was a banquet hall in the project.

After careful consideration, the County halted their approval and directed BMG to submit a new traffic study that counts traffic for the banquet hall. In addition, the County directed BMG to pay a $107,917 off-tract traffic improvement fee.

However, at the request of BMG, County officials have now retracted both the requirement to pay a $107,917 off-tract traffic improvement fee as well as to submit a new traffic study that counts traffic for the banquet hall.

Just like that, the County withdrew these stipulations and rubber stamped an approval of the application!

Why, you ask?


BMG submitted a letter from Colliers Engineering which pointed out that their traffic study from McDonough & Rea Associates confidently assures the County that their housing project will not have much of any impact on traffic in the township.

So... 600 apartments will only generate 376 trips.

Only 10 - 20% will head towards County Line Road. 

Az kumpt ois that the County/ Forest intersection will operate in 2032 just as operates now. 

Therefore, no traffic improvements are needed.

Case closed.

County officials did not explain why they were no longer concerned with how much traffic the banquet hall would generate.

Curiously, BMG is providing 100 more parking spaces than is required. Their traffic study does not address why they are providing so much extra parking despite how confident they are that the campus will not generate much traffic.

County Engineer John Ernst made the motion to release BMG from paying for traffic improvements. He is set to soon retire from his position.

[Fun fact: BMG's letter is date stamped as having been received by the County on November 16. Yet, astoundingly, already on November 15, the County Planning Board approved BMG's request on the basis of this letter which they apparently did not yet receive.]

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Anonymous said...

Are you friggin kidding me!!!! 600 apartments with 600 people minimum, and 600 cars will not impact traffic, that is already horrendous!! When does your community say enough is enough!! My god have some respect for other people!!!

Anonymous said...

So every time you're waiting in traffic at those locations in the future,its another contribution to their Torah, while my children are also not entitled to an apartment there. My children's and my Torah is not entitled to this consideration.