Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Opposition to the smart growth plan

Lakewood is seeking an endorsement from the State this morning to move forward with high density growth in specific areas neighboring town look to oppose and start a letter writing campaign.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
To the State Planning Commission,
I am presenting this email in response to the Endorsement proposal that is before you by Lakewood Township on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 9:30am.  I am a resident of one of the neighboring communities bordering Lakewood Township and believe it is necessary that the residents from Toms River, Howell and Jackson have a voice as to the impact on continued growth Lakewood Township is touting as “smart growth.”  After reading through the proposal sent before you by the Planning department of Lakewood Township, it is evident that almost all of the proposals are speculative and lack a definitive approach to addressing the issues that are included
. Over decades as an Ocean County resident, I question whether any of these issues would be representative of the Lakewood residents as whole.  While Lakewood Township has made the conscious decision to grow into an urban township and is promoting an increase of community members to move to the region, it is doing so with no regard for the neighboring towns who are already feeling the impact of Lakewood Township’s decisions.  It is without mention that Lakewood realtors and property management companies have already violated civil rights laws in fair housing and advertising; violating affirmative action legislation, presenting to residents bordering Lakewood, the attitude that has been expressed to “our” towns, is that “we” are buying your entire neighborhoods and you should sell now (see testimony presented in Toms River).  Therefore, it is without mention that the decisions the State of New Jersey makes in regards to “responsible growth” for Lakewood Township will have a direct impact on our neighboring towns.  
Furthermore, this decision to grow a township by 220,000 residents by 2030 has become irresponsible and somewhat unsustainable, as the school district cannot financially sustain what it has created already and has a political block dictating directions of elections.  Thus, today calling to vote down the $6,200,000 increase to pay for unmandated school bussing, and increasing the impact on the area roads, by design.  
What is evident is the use of public funds Lakewood is proposing to use to assist in their design.  As an Ocean County resident, I believe that it is irresponsible to grant such funding to a township that will ultimately and negatively affect my town and quality of life.  Through examination of the Plan Implementation Agreement, I find the following, without acceptance of those not mentioned, to be severely lacking in a sustainable and responsible plan for urban development:
Plan Implementation Agreement:
3.1:  Fair Housing – Some Lakewood management and Real Estate companies are currently violating the fair housing laws, and complaints have been filed with the NJ Board of Realtors, Civil Rights division in Fair Housing, DCA in building code and the Attorney General’s office.  In which the NJ Board of Realtors will not address, even though they have been contacted on numerous occasions and the Monmouth/Ocean Board of Realtors told area residents, that this issue is “hands off.”
3.2:  Rehabilitation – it is without confidence that a CDBG should be granted with little to no oversight and can be used at the digression of the locality, whose political leaders address specific needs, not necessarily of the minority.  It has been noted that over the past decades, there has been little rehabilitation to areas outside “the community’s” immediate neighborhoods.  The National World Series Baseball field off of Clifton Avenue, is an example of such.  It is now a parking lot.
3.5:  NJAC 5:80-26.l et seq – it is without mention the countless affirmative action violations that have been viewed in Lakewood media sources, most notably advertising for specific genders to jobs and “Spanish Speaking tenants for your Non-Frum investment property.”  Not to mention, again realtors who tout the “community” they will create in some of “our” Ocean County neighborhoods. 
4.1:  Open Space – and – 8.4:  Tourism – The plan for “Open Space” is questionable.  Driving throughout the township, outside Ocean County Park and Lake Carasajo, there is little open space left.  Not to mention the few parks attached to schools which are littered.  This needs to be revisited, as there is little tourism in Lakewood, aside from visiting religious sites.
6.15:  Traffic – The traffic study that has been conducted throughout Lakewood and the impact it already has on the townships of Toms River, Howell and Jackson, aside from the study done on routes 9, 70 and 88, must be revisited. While the township planner presented his conclusions, there are countless inaccuracies and the residents of neighboring townships should be interviewed, as this is a daily complaint.

Before accepting this presentation by Lakewood Township, I implore that you review the consequences, this intentional creation of a city will have on its neighboring townships, the financial burden it will bring to all Ocean County municipalities to assist in its sustainment, the devaluation of the public school children that will be directly affected – diverting and minimizing our township’s school funding.
Thank you for your time and disseminating my email to the NJ Plan Implementation Committee,
Ocean County Resident


  1. No. No. No. Please stop building. Please. We can't handle any more.

  2. I would love for the building to stop, but this leter is incoherent nonsense.

  3. To paraphrase the Israeli right wing...

    The goyim have 20,000 municipalities in this country....let them go there.
    We only have one.

    (Needless to say they're both absurd)

  4. The letter is fine, the township is full of incoherent nonsense. They can't manège the town the way it is now, and they want more growth? What rock are these township people living under? When will they mature into regular normal people that actually see what's happening around them?

    1. That maybe true, but the arguments made by the people in the surrounding towns as put forth in this letter are a combination of non-sense and not true

    2. Joe,
      If one town amid many decides to go urban, then, yes, of course it will have a (negative) impact on the surrounding towns.
      Especially in the case of Lakewood, where the township and its comitees across the board have proven themselves incompetent. Snowgate is a perfect example. The township over the years has approved all this new construction which includes many many new roads, new neighborhoods. Did they say, "OK. Now that we're approving all this, let's double the amount of snow plows echave so that we'll be able to keep the roads clear?"
      Answer: Obviously not. If they want the township to grow, then all the municipal departments need to grow with it.

    3. You are still grasping at straws, any roads that traverse Lakewood are not city rds. They are County or State. I personally feel Lakewood is overdeveloped, but the arguments these "neighbors" are making as to why it is any of their business are bogus.

  5. Joe Bagel: When I pay $8500 a year in property taxes and my next door neighbour pays $6200 in property taxes for the identical house on an identical lot while using their house as a rental property with an exemption, then this tax unfairness and lack of transparency becomes my business because I am paying my fair share and part of theirs, too!

  6. Interestingly enough, whomever chose to post this letter on this blog decided to conveniently leave some of the most important aspects of it out, therefore not allowing the public to read everything that was in it. Such as the CDBG grant they are looking to use for this growth that has no State or Federal oversight and there is much more included in it. Interesting ... this is how people are persuaded to think a specific way by not giving them the entire education.

  7. JoeBagel, the comments were a direct response to the actual proposal. Have you had the opportunity to read what was presented to the State Commission? Probably not, I did and with experience in zoning issues, code and traffic, as well as bearing witness first hand to the abuse or shall I say, manipulation of the State subsidies, I do know that this letter was right on point.