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Brick Ordinance Would Toughen Regs on Schools Opening in Neighborhoods

As Jackson deals with school proposal, Brick retools its land use ordinance

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
As a debate over a proposed private high school opening up in a residential neighborhood in Jackson continues in that town, an ordinance up for a final vote before the Brick Township council this week would set significantly stricter limits on where schools – public or private – can be built in the township.

As it currently stands, schools are a permissible use of a lot in most residential zones with few, if any, restrictions beyond the township's standard land use code. But the new ordinance would expand restrictions on how and where schools could be built and set a number of criteria a lot would have to meet before a school could be operated.

In practice, the ordinance would prevent schools from being operated in most residential neighborhoods.

"It's basically to prevent schools from popping up here, there and everywhere," said Mayor John Ducey.

The ordinance would limit schools to being built on a lot at least two acres in area with at least 200 feet of lot frontage. It would also disallow the principal building of any such school to be constructed within 40 feet of a public street or a neighboring property.

A school building would be allowed to cover no more than 30 percent of a lot and impervious coverage could not exceed 70 percent of the lot. Schools would also have to provide off-street parking at a rate of 1.5 spaces per classroom and 1 space per senior class student.

Schools would also be prohibited from having their main access way or frontage on what is known as a "lower order street" under state codes, essentially any street that is only designed to handle low traffic volume.

The ordinance in Brick, up for a vote Tuesday night, comes as Jackson Township residents are strongly opposing the construction of an Orthodox Jewish all-girls high school in one of its residential neighborhoods.

In a separate – but ultimately related – controversy, the proliferation of private Orthodox schools in Lakewood, and the gender-segregated busing that goes along with the presence of the schools, costs taxpayers more than $20 million per year and led to a $4 million shortfall in the Board of Education budget there. Additionally, the religious schools in residential neighborhoods are often exempt from the same property tax obligations of typical residential homes.

The Brick ordinance applies to both private as well as public schools. The township council is set to vote on the ordinance at its meeting Tuesday, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the township municipal complex.
Laura Auriemma April 16, 2014 at 07:03 PM
Does anyone have any news/info on how this vote went??
Joe Pockets April 16, 2014 at 07:10 PM
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/ultra_orthodox_jewish_college.html
WMS826 April 17, 2014 at 05:46 AM
So where is the public alarm from your party the democrats on this. Lakewood will be a political powerhouse soon. 200 thousand well organized people with money...this will be the first stop on any politicians list in a statewide election. What opposition did the democrats have to this.
WMS826 April 17, 2014 at 05:51 AM
You have me over a barrel,on this one. I mean it is not like the Democrats have not been buying black votes for decades with the BILLIONS sent to Newark and Camden and Paterson.
Gene April 21, 2014 at 09:10 PM
@WMS826 Liberals are not the ones in favor of home schools of ANY religion. You can thank your hillbilly governors who are just as bad the Lakewood crowd. Oh, and as far as buying votes, take a look at what the Koch Bros are doing nationally to buy conservative politicians. Brick is lucky to have a mayor who is a Democrat. Freedom of religion is the ability to have freedom from religion....

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