[COMMUNICATED] Last night Lakewood Planning Board Chairman, Moshe Neiman, called an end to the meeting at 9pm after an hour of presentation by Kollel Cheshek Shlomo’s engineer Brain Flannery and the Rosh Kollel, Rav Avrohom Yeshaya Appel on the pioneering project to offer subsidized home rentals for yungerleit.
The meeting began with Justin Flancbaum, Gabbai of Lutzk – a Bais Medresh down the block from the kollel – recusing himself from the Board for the hearing. The room, filled with supporters of the project, applauded as Rav Appel addressed the board, emphasizing the significance of constructing subsidized homes for yungerleit.
The opposition to the application presented two issues.
The first is that the campus will be in a residential zone, this was questioned because all of the various campuses of Bais Medrash Govoha are in a residential zone, including the new development on the massive plot purchased by Georgian Court University, where BMG is planning to construct 600 apartments for yungerleit and a similar operation of a daycare where the residents children will attend.
Bais Medrash Govoah’s planning board meeting for the 600 apartments and daycare will be at the same meeting Kollel Cheshek Shlomo’s application was pushed off to in two weeks on Feb. 6th.
The second presented issue, which has not been required of a school in Lakewood, was the need to obtain proof of a likely accreditation before seeking site plan approval from the Planning Board.
Engineer Brian Flannery argued that the proof was not a requirement and affirmed that the Kollel is actively pursuing it.
The board asked Rav Appel why can’t there be a wait of 6-12 months until the kollel is fully accredited, Rav Appel responded by highlighting that many yungerleit’s families have outgrown apartment living but face challenges affording homes in the current market.
The Board, after reviewing the application, opted to wait for the Kollel to receive accreditation confirmation from the State before considering the application further. Rav Appel assured that the necessary proof would be presented at the next meeting on February 6.
Concerns about increased traffic were raised, but proponents argued that the campus, with yungerleit residing and learning full-day on-site and a daycare for their children, would, in fact, reduce traffic and enhance the learning experience for yungerleit. The decision awaits the next meeting’s developments.