Reader Submitted: Thank you Zoning board, you are are doing a fine job

Thank you

Dear GL,

So there’s a lot more understanding these days about the Lakewood Zoning Meetings (available ). Those who are following the proceedings will note the diligence of our volunteers.

All the Board members, yes all, were asking the right questions and hard questions. While being respectful and perhaps humorous at times, the matters were thoroughly discovered and discussed. The decisions rendered were clearly their own, and were not scripted. Their patience and concern shining forth but their duty and responsibility carried out.

Yes, there is many times need for exceptions, but the days of using “noble causes” to wrongfully advance unsafe and unfair construction may be over. No, just because you are a community activist that doesn’t mean you can build 67 houses without sidewalks and parking. Your reward will have to come from elsewhere, not from profiting on the backs of entire neighborhoods for decades to come. And Mr. Tireless Gabbai, I recognize your tzvek, but that doesn’t allow you to fundraise by building dead-end streets and destroying Township infrastructure.

Ever noticed that the Shuls which are popular are the ones with parking available. We get around using cars not bicycles. Of course, a Shul will save money or be able to build a larger sanctuary if they don’t provide adequate parking, but what’s the point of putting up a Shul which people can not attend?! And why should the committees go for this when it is not in the interest of taxpayers to have no-parking Shuls.

The Town does has an owner, the taxpayers. And committee members in all committees are legally obligated to act in our best interests. Any deviation from this is a clear violation of the Law and Halacha. The lessons have been learned. Have you ever sat in a standstill on County Line rd? Imagine there was an alternative. There was. Kennedy Blvd was supposed to run from Jackson til Bricktown! But a well-connected individual had that taken from us by vacating the street so that ONE person can make a few more dollars. Great shtick’le, no?

It is a wonder that many of Lakewood’s developers from years past are no longer, how long does treife gelt last?! I would think long and hard and perhaps seek advice of a gadol before relocating to an office building built on land stolen from the taxpayers in a shady deal. Is that really a place where an entrepreneur can expect a business to succeed and see siman bracha?!

Lesson learned: Doing a “favor” for a brother at the expense of 100 sisters is not a chesed, it is an abomination.

Yaakov D. Friedlander

We applaud the integrity and the ehrlichkeit of the Zoning Board members. I’m sure there are many nights when a member leaves unsure if he should remain in his thankless, taxing and complex role. Yet be sure that your impact is everlasting ensuring the tzibbur has what they need to thrive and not what they don’t need.

Many thanks,

Yaakov D. Friedlander

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood


  1. The Closing down of the East Kennedy Blvd Thoroughfare is by far one of the Greatest crime committed against the Lakewood people and all the Motorists who have to sit in Daily Traffic on County line road . For What? Because one person wants to build 1 or 2 extra homes. So you are going to plop down a home in Middle of Kennedy Blvd.

  2. It seems Greater Lakewood May have played a pivotal role in getting these denials. When something is public, it’s harder to play games under the table.

    There’s lots of illegalities in this town and even more grey area, but hopefully things are turning around.

  3. Great letter; well written, respectful, concise.

    And he signed his name!

    I thought he was crazy about the Kennedy Blvd thing, so I went and checked the map.
    Lo and Behold! We totally could’ve had another major traffic artery to help with congestion – there are empty lots clearly laid out for that.
    Not sure who or what was the obstacle, but how about a little eminent domain to get it out of the way?

  4. There is a builder who received variances for parking and built a very nice strip mall with offices on County and Brook but no Parking.

    Even Somerset strip mall on county and East End recently purchased extra land because it needed more parking.

    No one gains with all these variances…

  5. I’m not sure if 2 rejections after intense public pressure white-washes the record o f the zoning board. Let’s hope they got the message & continue stopping the madness we are living through in Lakewood. Tens of thousands of parents & children are inconvenienced each day in traffic due to the poor planning of this town. Anyone that had a part in this should have no future say in zoning or planning decisions.

  6. I don’t see a reason to applaud the zoning board for finally showing some restraint when it came to a shul of mostly (unconnected) yeshivaleit.
    Let’s see them stop a building project or shopping mall for some rich well connected guy, then we’ll see if they really mean it.
    Right now all I see here is a zoning board bowing to pressure from connected individuals who don’t want this to happen. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply being naive.

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