The Township Committee has messed up again!!
The current ordinance allows a 5 story building to be built in the downtown (B-2 zone) with no parking spaces provided!!
Within the past year, 3-4 applicants sought to make use of this loophole to build large scale office buildings with no parking. In March 2016, an application for a 5 story building at the NW corner of 1st and Clifton with no parking was denied by the Planning Board. The applicant proposed a 5 store building totaling 94,975 square feet. In any other area in town, a building of this size would require 389 parking spots. In the congested parking deprived downtown - 0!!!
The board rightfully said that they can't in good conscience approve such an application knowing that it would wreak untold havoc on the neighborhood.
Since then, we and many others appealed to the Township Committee to change the ordinance to require parking in the B-2. The Vaad even pushed for this change! In February 2017, an ordinance on the Township Committee agenda proposed changing this and requiring parking in the B-2. The ordinance was pulled at the last minute after pressure from developers seeking to exploit this loophole. The Master Plan even recommends changing the ordinance to require parking!
And yet, the Township Committee failed to act!!!
Now it is out of their hands. The abovementioned denial in March 2017 has been appealed in Ocean County Court where a judge ruled that despite the fact that, the Planning Board had no legal right to deny an application that per the Township Ordinances complies with the parking (non)requirements! Therefore, the Judge ruled that although 'There is no dispute that the Downtown area of Lakewood us significantly congested, that there has been within the Township an extreme velocity in development and that the immediate area surrounding the property would be affected by greater competition for fewer parking spaces, the Planning Board must approve this application!!
Because the Township Committee failed to act responsibly, now a large 5 story building will be built on the busy corner of 1st and Clifton with ZERO parking spaces instead of 389 spaces!
The application will be heard at the planning board Tuesday night July 25th