Lakewood: Residents Afraid that Development is Breaking Town

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The following are excerpts of an article by Payton Guion in the Asbury Park Press:

More than 1,800 homes are proposed for a golf course in Lakewood, NJ’s southwest corner. More duplexes approved in what could become a 700-unit development off Oak Street.

Many towns in New Jersey would consider those sums a year’s worth of residential development. In Lakewood, it’s just another week.

Many residents are worried that Lakewood is breaking under the strain of so much building. A drive down a gridlocked Route 9 during rush hour would seem to confirm residents’ fears.

“The pressure to build housing in Lakewood is greater than the pressure to fix traffic,” said Boruch (Barry) Hertz, who lives in the Pine River Village community off Pine Street, told the Asbury Park Press“There are a few periods throughout the day that I make it my business not to drive on those roads.”

Across the entire New Jersey, only Jersey City and Fort Lee issued more residential building permits in 2016 than Lakewood, according to DCA data. Lakewood issued building permits for 652 homes, while Jersey City and Fort Lee issued 2,525 and 660, respectively. But when it comes to single-family homes and duplexes, Lakewood is building more than any other city in New Jersey. Lakewood issued 501 permits for single-family homes and duplexes in 2016, while the next-closest town was Jersey City, with 327 single-family homes and duplexes permitted.

Just in the past week, Lakewood’s Planning Board approved 11 duplexes in what could become a 700-unit development south of Oak Street, between Vine Street and Route 9. Each of those is allowed a basement apartment, so 11 duplexes become 36 units.

The same day the Planning Board approved the Oak Street duplexes, the Press received documents showing a proposed 1,800-home development for the Lakewood’s Eagle Ridge Golf Club property, at the southeast corner of Cross Street and Faraday Avenue.

In the past two years, the Planning Board has approved more than 1,200 lots to be developed or homes to be built.

Lakewood residents have responded to the growth by being more active in town affairs. Multiple websites have launched to keep people informed of development proposals, encouraging them to speak up at public meetings.

Read the full article from the Asbury Park Press here.



  1. The votership of Lakewood can only blame themselves for promoting the same people who enable the continued mass development inspite of the fact that their constituents are begging them to stop. The traffic problem is mounting and what happens is that frustrated drivers start driving like animals which has already resulted in multiple deaths r”l.

    You have the same people involved in over-development controlling the situation. Lakewood needs to be promoting people who are on record for improving the quality of life (and in a very real way preventing loss of life itself).

  2. Breaking? It’s already broken. It’s a sanctioned Chilul Hashem
    And by not allowing the voice of the Tzibbur to be heard (as well as by not letting comments like these through), certain parties are are to blame and are Asid Liten Es Hadin.

  3. I dont get it…neighborhoods change and grow…thats life. Yidden are looking to find affordable housing….can someone explain ….

  4. We are at our wits’ end. Things need to change here and I believe it needs a overhaul. We are mired in corruption and special interests that make decisions that are contrary to that of the will of the people. I believe we are at a tipping point. Please stop the overdevelopment now.

    • Are things in Lakewood really so bad that you are at your wits end?

      I don’t like the over development either but please don’t let it take over your life. There are plenty of places that have it far worse.

  5. “Each of those is allowed a basement apartment, so 11 duplexes become 36 units.”
    How does 11 duplexes become 36 units?
    11 duplexes become 22 plus basements become 44?
    What am I missing?

  6. Why do “older” residents of Lakewood feel more entitled than the newcomers? Because they got there a few years before?
    If you are truly unhappy, the “newcomers” have increased the value of your properties greatly. Tell them thank you, and protest by selling and pocketing a few dollars.
    If not – live and let live

    • Every zoning law and restriction is an “ahd kahn” statement. At a certain point it does make sense to stop further building and development – that’s just the way zoning (and immigration) works everywhere.

  7. Hey Don but ultimately it is the township committee who appoints members to all township boards so the Township committee is responsible for all.

  8. Why would anyone want to stop the building?
    The building is to help the yungeliet. They are building. Chesed housing so young families can live in affordable housing in the community built by R Aaron zatzal. (Also r shneur, rav shach, r chaim epstein etc etc.) The choshuva people decided this is the best way to keep the tzura of the iir hatorah (built by all the Gedolim Zy’a of amol)

    • Are you paid to just post lies and spins? Traffic on Pine is NOT because of PRV. some seniors dont drive and those who do only own 1 car. its because thousands of homes were approved in the area with no new roads added. No through streets , Townships committee vacating streets for developers. All this traffic is forced onto PINE street.

      the building HAS NOT helped the yungeleit & has just made house prices go up & they will NEVER be able to afford to buy a home

    • This does not help the yungeliet at all, the new developments are marketed to groups from New York which oincreased the pool of buyers and prices.

      the yungeliet that know what is going on in Lakewood, do not want to live here anymore and are moving to Jackson and Toms River.

  9. The real problem is that many developements are made avilable to select groups, mostly from Brooklyn. This is an outrage as the population already living here aso need housing. Instead they get less choices and on what is sold to them becimes nearly unaffordable b/c of supply and demand(which is the intention of these developers). Besides being outrageous it is also illegal

    • “from Brooklyn”
      Read: mostly wealthier from Toronto,Chicago,LA

      There should be a much higher real estate tax bracket from anyone who resides elsewhere more than 3 months a year.
      It would lower real estate tax for everyone else

    • This wealthy sub group is the one paying for his kids house in lakewood and supporting them in kollel. And paying the kids tuition. In other words these wealthy people essentially allow lakewood to survive. So chill.

      • At what Social Cost for everyone ?!
        They will give in money ,to take in everything else (social capital ,etc.,etc.)

        Most will be glad to be mochel the $(minus those who are so craven)if they would relocate-with their descendants

  10. Wierd fact, some members of the planning board are developers themselves….Sounds interesting…. that is how massive projects get approved without legit traffic studies

  11. After all the arguing and talk reality is each and every person has the right to develop his property , and even if he’s limited to the strict interpretation of the zoning laws at the end of the day no one can stop development and Lakewood will be in a impossible situation. it’s all about traffic, the roads have been designed in the early 1900s for horse and buggies , we’re now dealing with two three cars per family, unless our tax dollars start going to infrastructure and not to other places… we are in for big trouble.

  12. The problem in Lakewood is a huge one, because the infrastructure of the township simply cannot support the amount of housing and population growth at these rates. Just look at the streets and try driving through Lakewood.
    It is certainly understandable why the developers are doing their utmost to build on; it is their way of making a living. It is also easy to comprehend why the planning board allows this – every new house pours huge amounts of cash into the township due to taxation, without taking any for public school education of its inhabitants.
    The ugly part is that many of these new developments are being built entirely for Brooklyn residents, who wish to save money and buy more space. Why is that ugly? They are moving to Lakewood precisely because of the wonderful Mekom Torah that it is, yet, by paying outrageous prices for new homes they have driven the real estate values up so much that the very yungerleit who made Lakewood an Ir Hatorah cannot afford to buy a home, and if they do, it is will all kinds of illegal schtick. These newcomers are also changing the very fabric of Lakewood, from a town built around a yeshiva, with its values, to a place with overcrowding and more.
    The new developments of 300 homes and 700 ones for certain kehillos could have easily been built in a different township, starting a new kehila.

  13. Hmm last time I checked the Lakewood housing market, there was too LITTLE supply, hence the rapidly rising cost to buy a home. I don’t see how that squares with the claim of overdevelopment. Part of the real problem is that Lakewood and it’s roads were not built to handle such a large population. That is why there are legislators and urban planners working to figure out how to deal with the exploding population. I’m no fan of developers, but I believe that, an increase of a Torah-observant population is an absolutely great thing. And that is the plan and simple source of the congestion. Of course we must push our reps to do everything they can to try and keep up, as well as encourage moving outward…

  14. Lakewood is very limited in how much traffic it can handle. There is only one road, possibly two that intersect Lakewood from North to South, the same for East and West. there is no possibility to add more, as the Lake, County Parks, and Developments are blocking the way.

    There is a massive chilul hashem, as these clogged roads, are State and County Roads, that belong to the surrounding towns as well. You can feel the hate from people in neighboring towns, and to be honest, I don’t blame them.

  15. The golf club is an old land fill that back up to Tallman estates in Toms River. So much so is the golf club/ landfill property possible to contain serious toxins and gases such as radon, that when the homes of Tally Mawr were built (which is only ajacent to the golf club/landfill) they needed to have special disclosurs to the new owners and have special radon release piping and fans built into each home. Even today potable wells are not allowed in Tallymawr due to the Ajacent Golfclub/landfill.

    So how cab the planning board ignore this and allow digging up the golfclub/landfill to expose the buried toxins and radon to the current neighborhood as well as build on a landfill exposing it’s residents to possible health hazards.

  16. First they came for the …, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a ..

    Then they came for the …, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a …

    Then they came for the … and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a ….

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Every decent household must work finally,finally, all together or have their own nice neigborhoods perish sooner or later
    The attitude has always been everyone ignores when some other neighborhood was being ploughed over and push off waiting to be eaten by the crocodile last.

  17. I don’t have an issue with the overdevelopment per se and I understand that the tremendous housing crisis the frum community faces leads to all this overbuilding but if you want to build you also have to add the infrastructure to handle it. If the developers of houses were also developing roads and alternate routes I would actually support it.

    • So they will.. In the backyards of the nearby neighboring development ,which they had previously Advertised only a couple years back as a NICE SUBURBAN UNDEVELOPED AREA and Thereby sold for immense profit .And so it will continue…

      When will people wake up already??


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