Sunday, November 27, 2016

TBL: Explaining misconceptions

Take Back Lakewood post. 
See our ad in the voice on page 261. In the public forum on page 100, the Zoning Board Chairman was interviewed. He said that Lakewood is a pro-growth town and there is nothing wrong with growth. He blamed the state, county and township for not upgrading our roads. He said that if the township starts developing paper streets then then state will see that we are serious and they will be forced to widen Route 9 (huh??). This is a common deflection routine practiced here. Blame the State. If only they widened route 9 everything would be fine! Don't fall for this. The blame lies right here. Everyone keeps on saying that with the proper infrastructure we can have growth. Well, since we don't have the proper infrastructure, why are so many large projects in crowded neighborhoods getting approved? 



He talked about granting developers variances to build extra houses in exchange for paving roads. What he neglected to mention is that the roads that they build are all cul-de-sacs which lead nowhere and further add to traffic by dumping all of the cars onto one roadway. He talked about reviewing all of the details of the application very carefully and applying relevant laws and said that in the past year they turned down more than 600 units. I'm interested in knowing how many thousands they approved. I'd also like to remind the Chairman that when granting a variance or zoning change, the applicant must prove that the proposed housing won't cause substantial detriment to the neighborhood in the form of traffic, impact on neighborhood, etc. That's a pretty high bar to prove and yet most applications sail through with approvals. They also need to prove that the positives outweigh the negatives. Again, a hefty burden considering the damage that overbuilding is causing our town. 

On page 72 the Voice talked to Township attorney Steven Secare to discuss the legality of a moratorium which he said can not be done. He did say though that the town should rezone areas to more restrictive zones to slow growth (why isn't this happening??). Chairman Halberstam chimed in that the power to do that lies with the planning board who is guided by the township committee. This statement is very misleading. Wow! Talk about deflecting blame! The only time that the planning board any input on zone is when once every 10 years  the master plan is updated. When that happens, all of the special interests on the master plan committee (which the township committee was made aware of but refuses to fix) make sure that zoning changes are made to benefit the developers and not the residents of Lakewood. Even then, the Planning Board simply votes to approve a general vague overall plan for Lakewood,. They do not have the ability to rezone.That power lies with the township committee who can pass ordinances to rezone. Further, we never proposed a moratorium. If someone has a property zoned for a single family on half an acre, let them build that. Instead, they go to the zoning board, who CHANGES THE ZONE through illegal spot zoning to allow townhouses crowded into tiny lots. The fact that he attempts to pass the blame to the planning board is a disgraceful and deceitful attempt to pass the blame so that the public won't realize that the ZONING board often engages in illegal spot-zoning and zoning by variance. 

This is a game of pass the blame. The Township Committee blames the planning and zoning board, the Planning board blames the Township Committee and zoning board and now we have the Zoning board chairman attempting to blame the township committee and planning board. Our Committee members and the chairmen of the boards have had their positions for approximately 15 years. Under their guidance we got into the mess that we are currently in. Anyone think it's time for a change in leadership on the planning and zoning boards?? Speak up at this Thursday's Township committee meeting. The committee will tell you that they are not allowed to remove someone mid-term. Tell them that A) They have legal grounds to remove them for not following the master plan or land use law act by indiscriminately granting variances and spot-zoning to developers for many years in a clear detriment to the neighborhoods B) They can definitely call the chairmen and ask them nicely to resign. They got us into this mess and it's time for new leaders to help us out of the mess. 

We have a big problem on our hands. While a moratorium is probably not legal, the township committee absolutely needs to take the lead on fixing this. Yes they can call the chairmen and ask them nicely to resign. Yes they can propose ordinances to restrict developers from using loopholes to abuse our ordinances. Yes they can champion this issue and take the lead on fixing these problems. Unfortunately, some of them are not yet convinced that we need major change. Some of them think that there's no problem or that this grassroots effort will wither and die.  
We need to stand up this Thursday night at 7:30 with a unified voice and tell them that we need change. 
"But it's not my type", "I'm not an activist", "But I've never gone to a meeting". Let this be your first time. This is a grassroots effort and we want things to change then we need the public to get involved. 

It's time to take a stand to save Lakewood!

21 comments:

  1. How did they approve the project at the old Capitol hotel??

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    1. Please keep in mind. people quoted in this article have conflicts of interest that are staggering .
      Ste... has put up roadblocks constantly to slow the rapid growth in this town. He stopped real negotiations with the Blue Claws and arranged a sweetheart deal for the owners for the next 40 years.
      ....... is invested in building projects himself that were built with no regard to traffic and safety. He controls other members of the zoning board and is constantly seen in private discussion with Abe Penzer, a well known lawyer that represents large developers. I can say many other things about both of these individuals, but I do not want to get into details .....
      Suffice it to say, we are being led by highly corrupt individuals and we are paying a high price for it.
      Now that Take Back LAKEWOOD(may they be blessed) has caused awareness of the growth issue along with Hefkervelt and the videos of First Amendment activist, the powers that be are scared. They are using our local magazines to print propaganda to fool the people that this is the way it has to be.
      It does not have to be this way.
      A Moratorium for a short period is legal and warranted so we can figure out a new zoning map that is redrawn to prohibit any residential growth and we can realize a new vision that is not drawn up by those that reap all the benefits of rapid growth only for themselves and leave us to pay the price. Isaac Akerman has already publicly stated that he sees the problems and is willing tendon what is necessary to stop building.Any Committeemen not willing to stand by his side must go.
      Please come to the next Township meeting. There may be some big surprises.

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    2. because it was an eyesore that was bringing crime to the area. no one would buy it and fix it up unless they could make money. this was one approval that actually made sense. we need more projects like that and less approvals for new construction (like building high rise monstrosities downtown or new townhouse developments) that no one gains from besides the developers.
      another example of a project that benefitted the town was the old drug house on 4th and madison, which was bought by a crooked individual who ended up in jail, and sat as an eyesore for years. B"H, a beautiful bais medrash and hall that the entire town benefits from was built in its place.

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  2. I guess Mr Secare thinks we are stupid and will believe his absolutely false judgements.

    http://www.recordonline.com/news/20160627/fallsburg-board-approves-one-year-building-moratorium

    A moratorium is legal and in our case more than necessary. Mr. Secare says what he thinks Meir and Menashe want to hear. He should have been removed after he brokered a back door deal with the Blue Claws. I believe a full investigation into the Blue Claws deal is way overdue .

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    1. Harold, I'll raise you one on that. the Supreme court ruled in 2003 regarding Tahoe, in a 6-3 decision, that a 32 month moratorium does NOT constitute an illegal taking.

      This was a famous case that should be well known by any Real Estate attorney.

      aside for that, it is common practice for townships to rezone for less density. Howell Township has recently done this.

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    2. Thank you Mr anonymous. I find that Mr. Secare is absolutely not familiar with case law . He tells the committee what he thinks he is supposed to,...
      CLEAN THE SWAMP!

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    3. Maybe Youre unaware, but South Fallsburg is in NY. Lakewood is in... thats right... NJ.

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    4. And Tahoe is in... thats right! California! Secare was referring to NJ.

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    5. Mr. Anonymous 8:01 A.M. There is no state law regulating the "taking of land". It is federal law based on the 5th amendment.

      Who's signing your paycheck?

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  3. It's all baloney. They approve houses to all ends of the property without notifying any neighbors and they eliminate all current parking which is so sparse to allow four plus car driveways. It's sickening.

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  4. In 2013 there was an incident with a Chairman of the board where he was a partner in a property. He contacted board members before the meeting to secure their votes. At the meeting two members stepped down because of the conflict. They had to sit the planning board chairman on the zoning board for that application to have a quorum. It was approved even though it should clearly not have been. At the time there was an uproar and our fearless Mayor M.M. swore up and down that.......wouldn't be re-appointed (his term was up). Sure enough when his term ended in January 2014 he was reappointed!! I think it's time to gracefully resign now....

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  5. follow the money trail. take along nose plugs...

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  6. give the name!! let everyone know who these ganavim are! and while your at it home addresses and cell phone numbers...

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    1. See the Finchley Holdings application here:
      http://www.lakewoodnj.gov/images/db/fsiegel-5789-ZBA-11-18-13.doc

      Bottom of page 4. An application to build a mix of duplexes and triplexes totaling 13 upstairs and 13 downstairs in a single family neighborhood on 5 lots. Duplexes and Triplexes were not permitted there but he managed to get it all approved...

      The board lowered it to 11 units instead of 13 and then approved! Helping their buddy on the board.

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  7. One of the newley appointed board members was appointed by MM. some how lives in a house that belonged to MM (in the name of his "straw man" brother in law from Israel) House was some how transferred to a "moisad" and is now a tax free. I would post address but HV would not let the comment through with details.

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    1. Yes and it has become a rent to own situation. Not a bad deal, 650k to sit on a board.

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    2. I am so sick of hearing these stories about our mayor. If only half of the garbage I have heard is true, he has to resign. I always take what I hear about people with a grain of salt. But in this case the salt shaker is full and it's time to say ENOUGH.

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  8. Check out Drake Development,LLC, on the corner of Drake and Cross St., 10 acres in a 1 acre zone would allow 9 homes. The developer has a Greta Hardship and wants to put 30 homes on it. 3 per acre plus basement apts. equals 60 families where normally 10 families would live. Where is the Hardship for the developer???? This will be heard by the Zoning Bd. on Dec.5 2016. Folks we're being taken as Fools by our leaders

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    1. The agenda conveniently left out that they want to build 30 houses. See the review letter from the engineer here:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx_7JAaj5655NUtLRjE2cnRrUnc/view?usp=sharing

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  9. http://firstamendmentactivist.blogspot.com/2016/11/blog-post_23.html

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