As a kid, we knew ‘safety first’ – as adults some people forget it. How does that happen? Or should I ask, Why does it happen?
I live near the now-famous disastrous development & shopping center that is missing a sidewalk all along Route 9.
What makes matters worse, is Evergreen is also missing a sidewalk on their back road.
They force their workers to park along that back road (Parkview), and therefore, neighbors who want to walk to the “nearby” shopping center don’t even have the option to walk on the shoulder of the road!
And the worst is yet to come become Sanz Kloisenberg hasn’t even officially moved in yet.
Let me tell you more about this lovely Oak & Vine.
The township requires developers to “set aside 5% of land for active open space” when they get a site plan approval for 25 or more units. The planning board typically translates this “active open space” to mean a shul and a park.
Long story short, since technically there were 50-60 different property owners (or at least, 50-60 different LLC’s), each approval was only for a Max of 20 units at a time, therefore they were officially exempt from building parks.
However, they did need to pave 2 more streets that run north – South inside the development (Nassau Street and Pinehurst). They didn’t want to pave those Streets so they made a deal with the township Committee that the Committee will vacate the roads so they don’t need to pave them, and they will build “linear parks” for public use along those roads.
One of those roads now has the “linear parks” built.
They are worthless bike paths/sidewalks and park benches with not one single swing or slide. Additionally, many of the curbs in front of the parks are not depressed, making it difficult for bikers to properly enjoy the paths.
During Lakewood’s Master Plan process, the Parks & Open Space Committee recommended that the township “consider forming a Recreation Commission to help oversee parks & open space”.
The township committe has not acted on this recommendation.
Technically, even such a commission would be powerless to force developers to put in a park since the ordinance only requires a park for 25+ units.
I hope and request of our township committe to amend the ordinance to increase the active open space requirement to approvals of 15 or more units, and also to increase the current 5% to a little higher so that new development shuls and playgrounds could be a little bigger.
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.