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In what appears to be a first in the town, the Toms River Zoning Board of Adjustment is set to consider an application to convert an existing 2,873 square foot single-family home off Whitesville Road into a shul.

The proposal also calls for construction of a 23,400 square foot asphalt parking lot and associated site improvements.

The site is located within the Rural Residential Zone and is currently allowed to be used as a single-family dwelling. Conversion of the home into a shul will require conditional use relief.

In addition to the conditional use variance, the owner is seeking variances for minimum lot width (the applicant is proposing a lot width of 150 feet, whereas 200 feet is required); side yard setback (the applicant is proposing a minimum side yard setback of 35.2 feet on the east side of the property and 41 feet on the western side of the property, whereas 50 feet is required); and an accessory structure side yard variance (the applicant is proposing an accessory structure minimum side yard setback of 22 feet on the western side of the property where 30 feet is required).

Design waivers are being sought for for the boundaries, nature, extent and acreage of wooded areas, swamps, bogs, ponds, and riparian zones within the site and the surrounding 200-foot area.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment will consider the application at its May 23, 2024 hearing, which begins at 6:30 p.m at the township municipal complex. The hearing is open to the public.

Conditional use variances require a supermajority of board members voting in favor of an application in order for it to pass.

The applicant is Dov Roth. Attorney Robert C. Shea is representing the application. The Boundary and Topographic Survey were prepared by David J. von Steenburg, PLS of Morgan Engineering, LLC. The Site Plan was prepared by Mathew R. Wilder, PE of Morgan Engineering, LLC.

According to real estate records, the property was last sold in 2021 for $700,000. The home had been listed as a three bedroom, four bathroom home.

In the past, several shuls have appeared before the Zoning Board to appeal denials of zoning permits. However, this application for Conditional Use relief appears to be precedential.

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