Lakewood Township’s Planning Board tonight approved an expansion of the Kikar Shabbos shopping / office center at 4th Street and Monmouth Avenue.
The board approved a 2-story building to be built as an expansion of the existing shopping center building.
Township ordinances require a 25 foot setback between the buildings. The planning board granted the variance in order to permit the expansion onto the existing building.
There will be a maximum of 10,250 sq feet of office building, and 10,400 sq feet of retail space including an expansion of the existing restaurant.
The applicant’s professionals testified that a total of 93 new parking spaces are required and will be provided for the expansion. This represents 52 parking spaces for each 200 sq feet retail use, and 41 parking spaces for each 250 sq feet of office use.
Township ordinance requires 1 parking space per 50 sq feet of patron space in a restaurant. A resident questioned why sufficient parking is not being provided for the restaurant use. No sufficient response was provided.
Many neighbors spoke up regarding safety concerns with a driveway on 4th Street. In response, the application was revised to provide a one-way entrance in on 4th Street and a 2-way entrance / exit through the existing Steckler Street onto 2nd Street.
Additionally, the board conditioned the approval on the applicant restricting trucks from entering the 4th Street driveway, and only using the 2nd Street driveway. To enable this, they will reduce the 4th Street driveway to 18 feet wide so trucks don’t fit through, and install signage indicating that trucks are not permitted to enter through that driveway.
A portion of the proposed parking spaces are on the existing Steckler Street right-of-way. The applicant’s professionals testified that they will either get the road vacated by the township committee, or get a license from the committee to use the ROW for parking, or they will return to the board to request a parking variance.
The Lakewood Development Corporation gave the applicant the community center, basketball court, and playground in order to enable this expansion.
At last week’s Township Committee meeting, Mayor Ray Coles said that plans will be presented tonight to the planning board to provide some recreational element in this site plan in order to return some of what was taken from the neighborhood.
In actuality, no plans were submitted for any recreation.
Out of concern for the privacy of the neighbors, the board conditioned the approval on all second floor windows bring frosted.
The board also conditioned the approval on the applicant providing a sidewalk along a section of the driveway.
Additionally, the board stipulated that any changes to the site plan will require the applicant returning to the planning board for an amended approval.
Board member Chaim Sabel originally made a motion to deny the application due to safety and other concerns. No other board member seconded the motion.
The application will require Township Public Works and Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit approval, including providing for Title 39 (Motor Vehicle regulations) in the parking lot so the police department can enforce traffic regulations in the parking lot.