Over the last 9 months, the Master Plan has gone through various stages.
Initially, subcommittees were appointed. Coincidentally, the Density Subcommittee was rife with conflicts of interest skewed toward developers. The Subcommittee met and issued a draft report recommending no increases in Density. Inexplicably, after the 3 members with no conflicts fell ill, the remaining members (developers and their accomplices) met twice more in closed door meetings illegally locking the public out. In those meetings they voted to approve numerous zoning changes to increase density.
Master Plan Committee
Next, the Master Plan Committee met to discuss the plan. At those meetings, hundreds of residents packed the room and spoke passionately about the need to stop dense construction. It was extremely clear that the majority of Lakewood residents are opposed to this plan and that only the developers support it. The logic used by the developers was—we need to increase density in order to solve the traffic problem. Huh????
In September, the Planning Board held 4 meetings devoted to the Master Plan. As those meetings, hundreds of residents packed every seat in town hall. One after another, the residents of Lakewood spoke from their hearts. Mothers spoke about how their kids have no room to play in their crowded developments. Seniors spoke about the difficulty driving on our congested roadways. Jewish, Non Jewish, young and old—everyone came with a unified message. Vote NO! on the Master Plan. Somehow, despite this entire process over 9 months with hundreds of residents making their feelings known, somehow the Draft Master Plan does not reflect the needs of our community! They’ve chosen to completely ignore reality!
Yes, unfortunately, those in power have chosen to trample all over the regular citizens of our town in order to curry favor with developers. The Master Plan included numerous zoning changes that were requested by developers. Despite the fact that our town is already at capacity with terrible congestion, despite the fact that thousands of houses have already been approved whose impact we’ll see strongly in the coming year—the developers determined that they have not caused enough havoc!
This Master Plan (unless voted down) will be the document that will be the nail in the coffin for our town’s density and traffic problems. There are thousand upon thousands of houses that they would like to squeeze into already crowded areas like Cross St, Chestnut, Oak, Cedarbridge, Eagle Ridge etc. with an eventual preposterous goal of squeezing 220,000 resident into Lakewood by year 2030.
The 326 page Master Plan offers numerous zoning changes increasing density and offers precious little in terms of solutions to the glaring problems of infrastructure and traffic that we already suffer with. The ’suggestion’ to ’discourage’ cul-de-sacs is laughable as it is unenforceable as written. Literally no attempt was made to see how we can limit the dense construction that has gotten us into the mess—only methods to make it worse!
In a promising turn of events, a member of the Planning board mentioned at tonight's meeting that perhaps we should ban duplexes and townhouses! Why not go back to an era of normal single family houses where kids have room to play and only one house is built per lot and not 2!
The Plan Endorsement Scam
Certain members of the Planning Board who were instrumental in crafting this terrible Master Plan will insist that we need to approve it because we need to obtain the states approval of our plan called Plan Endorsement. That is a well orchestrated scam. We don’t need to get Plan Endorsement! Certain developers want us to obtain plan endorsement. Why? Because it will enable them to be relieved of onerous state CAFRA restrictions. Yes—this entire Master Plan which in and of itself is rife with problems, dense zoning changes etc—would ultimately lead to even further density and with it the destruction of any semblance of quality of life in Lakewood.
Contact Board Members!
On October 3rd, the Planning Board will convene for a final vote on the Master Plan. Many of them are already considering voting no but they need our support, encouragement and prodding. Please contact them. Plead for them to save our town from complete gridlock. Tell them to Vote NO on October 3rd. Their job is to represent the residents—not the developers!
Yechiel Herzl YHerzl@lakewoodnj.gov
Eli Rennert ERennert@lakewoodnj.gov
Justin Flancbaum JFLancbaum@lakewoodnj.gov
Louie Follman LFollman@lakewoodnj.gov
John Franklin JFranklin@lakewoodnj.gov
Israel Grunberger IGrunberger@lakewoodnj.gov
David Hibberson DHibberson@lakewoodnj.gov
Angela Zografos AZografos@lakewoodnj.gov
David Garfield DGarfield@lakewoodnj.gov