In a developing scandal, it appears that Lakewood Township officials are working hard to find a legal loophole for Yeshiva Toras Chaim to be able to build a dormitory depite the court rulings against the matter, a FAA News investigation reveals.

As previously reported here on FAA News, back in January 2023, former Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford tossed out the Planning Board's approval of the yeshiva's dormitory expansion, finding that dormitories are permitted in Lakewood only in an Educational Campus, which requires 3 acres and is available only to schools that give graduate degrees - but not in regular residential neighborhoods.

As previously reported here on FAA News, back in March 2023, Ocean County Superior Court Assignment Judge Francis Hodgson affirmed this ruling.

As more recently reported here on FAA News, the New Jersey Appellate Division also affirmed this ruling.

Essentially, the yeshiva's key issue is that they don't own 3 acres of land (and that they are not accredited to give a Master's Degree).

Luckily, the Lakewood Township Committee is heroically jumping to the rescue!

The Committee is set today to introduce Ordinance 2024-025 which will vacate a paper street known as Wildwood Avenue. This public right of way is adjacent to Yeshiva Toras Chaim.

Essentially, by vacating this public right of way, the Township will be donating land to the Yeshiva so they will be much closer to the 3 acres requirement for an Educational Campus. Thus, the yeshiva will be able to "work around" the court rulings.

The proposed ordinance declares that "Wildwood Avenue... is a landlocked paper street not needed for public road purposes... [and it] lends itself to higher and better use than for public road purposes and that it is in the best interest of the general public and the Township of Lakewood that the rights and interests in and to same shall as a public right of way be vacated, released and extinguished."

This is only the first reading of the ordinance. A public hearing and final reading will be held at the next meeting.

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1 comment:

Yosef M said...

This is not a scandal at all!!!! This is what we call the township officials finally partly standing up to help a yeshiva overcome ANTI Yeshiva neighbors that belong with ppl like Rise up ocean county. There is no logical reason why there shouldnt be a dorm permitted. It causes LESS traffic bec now more bochurim can dorm. Theres no reason to be against building the dorm other then being some Fat anti yeshiva balabus. If you're so anti yeshiva than don't move next to a yeshiva!!! Common sense. They all knew that there will be a yeshiva there. It is time for the township to repeal this ludicrous law of not having dormotories in a residential zone. Even in jackson it is permitted!!!! Could you believe that!!!! If you're bored and want to fight something, they should have fought the new school that just went up down their street (that is actually causing a ton of traffic). Don't fight a Yeshiva that wants to build a dorm so that there is LESS traffic on the road.