Letter: Kudos Ocean County Judge Marlene Lynch Ford for Protecting Us

Myself and my neighbors just want to take a moment to say thank you to Ocean County Judge Marlene Lynch Ford, for protecting us neighbors in Lakewood.

A recent application which was illegally approved by a Board in Lakewood, was overturned by Judge Ford.

For years, we watched as approvals were handed out like candy to developers, and when it happened that a developer wanted to turn our quiet neighborhood into a crowded zone, we knew we had to put an end to it. We knew there would be nobody to talk to locally, and so we hired an attorney to fight it. It cost us quite a bit collectively, but it was well worth it.

Thankfully, Judge Marlene Lynch Ford saw through the illegalities of the local board, and threw out the approvals, protecting us residents and allowing us to enjoy the neighborhood.

I’m sure I and my neighbors speak for many here in Lakewood who wish they could do something to stand up for what’s right so they could live in whatever quiet there is left in this town. And our message to you is, don’t take it sitting down. Get your neighbors together and fight for your neighborhood, because nobody else will.

Kudos Judge Marlene Lynch Ford for not being afraid to stand up for the rights of Ocean County residents.

A thankful neighborhood.

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  1. What section was that? All of ocean county is going nuts. Too much building. Enough. we will be a city soon. Such a shame. we need the trees.

  2. Most districts (neighborhoods) do NOT have a County Representative. All it takes is to select somebody you can trust to represent you and to file a petition with ten names from your neighbors. You can have up to two reps for each party, Republican or Democrat. They can take your issues to the County level and from there, down to the township board and/or the township committee. The petitions must be filed by a certain date before the election so that the names appear on the ballot. Unfortunately, it is too late because the election was held on June 7th and the district rep has a 4 year term. Ithink you will have to wait until the next election. In the mean time I suggest you call the Ocean County Board of Commissioners with your concerns.

    You can find your district here:


    You can find the County contact information here:


    You can fined the contact information for The Township Committee here:


    Township of Lakewood
    Municipal Building
    231 Third Street
    Lakewood, NJ 08701

    Phone: 732.364.2500
    Fax: 732.901.3647
    Hours: Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM

  3. “Myself and my neighbours” is grammatically incorrect. Polite English puts the speaker after the others mentioned. “My neighbours and I”, is the right way to introduce your letter.

    • The entire letter was replete with grammatical errors. It reads as if it was written by someone with a typical Lakewood Yeshiva education. Not very impressive, to say the least.

      • Why does it seem like your dripping with venom in regards to Lakewood yeshiva education? (Rhetorical question) If you live here and don’t like it, go live somewhere else and if you already live somewhere else, BUG OFF.

        • Hashem wants that we should all help the next guy to become a better person. Maybe let us try to be a little more polite and just maybe that might wake up the other guy and he will finally be a little bit more understanding to a beautiful and wonderful Yeshiva education.
          I just now googled, “stabbing in a public school”, 17,500,000 results (5:24 PM).

      • Not knowing how to spell or write is a small bizayon. Not knowing הלכות טומאה וטהרה perfectly on your fingertips is a great בזיון.
        Mr. Not the only one, do you have a clear mastery of פרק כיצד הרגל? Because if not, stop bashing others for tiny imperfections.

    • Student: Teacher, me and my friend went to the mall.
      Teacher: “My friend and I” went to the mall.
      Student: Oh yeah? So did me and my friend.

  4. It’s all nice and dandy what your write for people who have money. What about the people who don’t have money to stand up to these people? Notice how these developers will never do this in their neighborhoods. It’s such a tremendous chutzpah. How would they like it if someone decided to jam up their neighborhood with 20 homes when the zoning only allows for 5? It’s not yashrus and it’s the reason jackson and other towns are not interested in us. Do you blame them?? I hope all towns stand up this before it’s too late.

    • It’s really nice that more building was stopped. That makes me happy. But it’s unfortunate that it takes money to stop this insanity, instead of our built in laws. This neighborhood had $$ to pay a lawyer. That’s not the case everywhere else. So I’m afraid it’s already too late. The corruption is already embedded in the system.

  5. To all of you self righteous people out there: get off your high horses and stop complaining…I’m living in Lakewood over 40 years and my mother was born here 70 years ago…maybe I should have screamed and yelled when you moved in…why do you think that it was ok for you to move to lakewood but nobody else can?? Who is the arbitrator of when enough is enough? I have a very simple idea for you…if you don’t like Lakewood, move out and let someone who does move in instead.

    • I agree 100%!! So many people want to live here and it’s very convenient that people who moved here within the last 20 years are busy complaining about how crowded it’s getting. Unless you were one of the original families living here before Lakewood grew, you have no right to complain. You want to live here the same way other people want to live here. I agree that it is getting very crowded but it’s because people want to live here the same way you do.

    • Nobody minds more people moving in as long as the roads are built to accommodate them. 40 years ago it didn’t take 40 minutes to drive 3 miles in Lakewood, nor 20 years ago either. Now it does, at certain times of the day. Understood R’ Yoizel?

  6. Yoizel,
    Is it hard to understand the difference between destructive building that destroys the fabric of a neighborhood and smart building which for the most part keeps the current residents lifestyle intact? That’s what the areas around Lakewood have been trying to preserve. But you prefer to call that Antisemitism”

  7. It’s terrible that residents are forced to go to Judge Ford’s courtroom to make things right. The planning board should be more receptive to neighborhood concerns and try to fully understand the applications, so they can do things properly.

    But I have another question.

    What would the planning board do if they were to find out that a developer was dishonest in his application? For instance, if a developer applied to build a project consisting of a school for only 361 kids and 8 school buses, and an additional 15 homes and he received approvals to move ahead based his representations with a tiny bus circulation lane, minimal parking, etc.. But then afterwards, the neighbors found out that the school was planning to really have over 800 kids, 16 to 18 buses (including many driven by car from Jackson) and a HUGE super busy Simcha Hall..

    What would the planning board members do then? Would they still force the neighbors to spend good money and go to Judge Ford to stop the developer’s ill-gotten destruction of their narrow streets? Would they still allow the developer to get away with his shtick and destroy the neighborhood because they claim that it’s too late to fix their blunder, and the neighbors will simply have to suffer?? Or would they put in the effort to reopen the application, fix what they did wrong, and make sure the school has enough parking and a normal onsite bus lane, so the residents’ lives aren’t unfairly turned upside down?

    I’d like to be hopeful.

  8. Ish Ridge makes a great point.
    Once the board approves an application, they dont enforce the developer should follow the plans as filed. That would go to Code Enforcement..
    If you feel the developer is not building according to the plans as filed, you can call the Township Code enforcement & they’ll make sure he does.
    Shaim dich nisht.

  9. This is, of course, a rhetorical question because this was all arranged with the planning boards before it was presented to them formally. And even if residents of a neighborhood do win occasionally, the situations stays the same anyway, as if nothing happened to change it. That’s because, as dereamer said, the money was already put in the right pockets. I’ve seen this happen in my own neighborhood.

    • I have heard from extremely reliable sources, that President Joe Biden is planning to change our currency from the US dollar into Cholent beans.
      You mentioned money in the pockets.
      We are going to soon see lots and lots of cholent beans.
      Ukraine stopped exporting cholent beans, so the price may go up.

  10. Probably the board and developers that approved the 20 houses in a 5 lot density. Would be considered a mazik, they should pay up for the damaged done, in the cost of attorney fees.

  11. I’m surprised no one raised this point, we have to go to the county to sort out internal issues of unzera chevra?! It is well known that heimishe people dominate local politics (as are the developers). So now we’re going to Rome to intervene in our internal affairs?
    I’m not justifying the building, I’m actually outraged by it, but let’s be careful whom we’re calling into this strife. It parallels the history just prior to churban bayis sheni, which no one wants to re-enact.

    • To the clearly Troubled commentor,

      What’s your issue with contacting the county planning board to discuss traffic concerns on county roads, which pass through Lakewood? We live in the USA and the roadways belong to the government. (Plus, it’s not like calling the division of parks and forestry management service instead will accomplish anything..)

      Are you suggesting that residents just do nothing when an unscrupulous developer destroys the everyday life of the neighborhood through trickery, just so he can line his pockets with more money??

      You sound ridiculous when you say we should hide his shenanigans under the carpet and suffer in silence. BH our gedoilim have stated unequivocally to stop covering up for the aveiros of these mazikim, especially those which are mazikei harabim. The Baal aveirah himself is to blame for the churban he’s causing. And what’s ironic is that even after the developer got caught lying in front of the entire world, he still refuses to do teshuva and fix the problem.

      In yiddishkeit we learn that the ends do not justify the means and it is forbidden to use the torah as a “kardom lachpor bah.”

      Perhaps it’s time to place greater focus by making campaigns that all developers start being makpid on “ehrlichkeit”, so these issues and all the ensuing agmas nefesh don’t have to arise.

  12. If you would all listen to yourselves, u wld all realize how everybody is fighting against each other. Each person trying to have a bigger mouth than the next. It’s no wonder HaShem has brought about all the tzorus. HaShem does not approve of Klal Yisroel treating each other this way. The way people drive, with no regard to other people on the road, the chillul HaShem that people are making every day. We are supposed to be a nation setting an example to everybody. But instead, each one wants to be better than the next. I think it’s time to stop and look at ourselves and see where we can improve and be helpful to each other and everybody who needs it instead of this terrible competition. Don’t let ur children roam around by themselves. They are far more precious than yr diamond rings that u keep locked away. I think it’s time to really take stock and start becoming people we can be proud of. Unfortunately we are being judged because of a handfull of people. Very important to note that your children mimic everything their parents do!

  13. Agreed! And the answer is not to run to the “authorities” to settle things
    Going to the courts to contain our people who are developing or overdeveloping is WRONG WRoNG WRONG- sorry farmer Meir, and feel free to discuss with a gadol and see what he says

    • You have a troubled way of thinking. Stop making things sound worse than they are. People contact the ocean county planning department every day about problems and suggestions to fix our streets and traffic signals There’s absolutely nothing sinister about calling these so-called “authorities”. Who else should people call to address these problems? The local zookeeper or plumber?? I just can’t believe that you’re for real!

      Also, when the planning or zoning boards (being official government bodies) don’t follow the state’s land use law and instead make unreasonable decisions, the only place to get redress is at the courthouse. So, I don’t know what your issue is, but all I can say to you that if you ever decide to pull off some dishonest shtick which will destroy the infrastructure in your neighborhood, then you better be prepared with a good answer to tell the Judge.

  14. As o non-Orthodox living in a neighboring town, I am glad that the Orthodox are finally waking up to the ills of reckless overdevelopment. I think it is your community’s right to have your religious infrastructure but do you want to see Jackson (4 times the size of Lakewood) and Howell turning into the next Lakewood? The overcrowding and traffic will be even more unmanageable on such a regional scale. I hope your leadership and developers see the light before any further destruction to the region. Let’s plan for your community’s growth in a more responsible way.

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