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UPDATE: Yeshiva Dormitory Public Hearing to Continue

No decision reached after the Jan. 9 Freehold Borough Planning Board. Hearing will continue at Feb. 13 meeting.

This story was updated at 12:00 p.m. with additional information from the Jan. 9 Freehold Borough Planning Board meeting.

A decision has still not been made about bringing a Yeshiva Dormitory to Freehold Borough.

For two and half hours, the Freehold Borough Planning Board heard from residents and representatives that were both for and against the dormitory. However, 9:30 p.m. struck before all discussion was completed, and the board decided to continue the hearing in February.

In August, the building’s tenant, David Rosenbaum, put forth an application to turn the former Broad Street School into a yeshiva, a Jewish educational institution. Following the approval of the school, Rosenbaum applied to turn the lower level of the building into a dormitory where 59 male students, the rabbi and his family could live.

While 32 Broad Street has been a number of different establishments over the years, it has never been a dormitory, and the application has caused many borough residents to speak out against the application. Before Wednesday’s meeting, a petition was sent around the Broad Street neighborhood, and received over 30 signatures in under an hour.

To make sure that the residents of Broad Street have been heard, Jean Holtz and Marianne Earle, of Broad Street, have hired Attorney Edward F. Liston Jr. to represent them during the public hearing.

During the meeting, Liston cross-examined Mike Geller, the planner of the dormitory, and Greg Clark, the architect. Residents and board members were also allowed to asked questions on Geller and Clark’s testimony.

Concerned residents filled the boardroom on Wednesday, and asked questions about the impact the dormitory would have on the borough. Many of their questions, which stemmed from previous concerns, included generator use, parking on borough streets and traffic that would result from meals that would need to be transported into the dormitory.

Following the cross-examinations, Liston called Gordon Gemma as a professional planner. Gemma started his testimony, but was unable to finish because of 9:30 p.m. cap placed by the board.

An important topic Gemma presented to the board was the fact that the decision the board was about to make would apply to the land, not just the applicant.

“If in fact you approve a dormitory, and later on the application changes, it may increase traffic,” stated Gemma. “You need to think long term about Freehold Borough’s master plan.”

The board decided to continue the public hearing before making a decision on the dormitory application. The hearing will begin where it left off with Gemma’s testimony at the Feb. 13 Planning Board meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Freehold Borough Offices.

According to Liston, after Gemma’s testimony, he plans on calling two more people to speak to the board. The board will make its decision about the dormitory after a public comment session is held. That session will take place after all necessary persons are called.

Carol January 14, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Mr "Brown" yes, in fact I do know who my neighbors are. They also know who I am. As far as your comment about the landlord keeping up the Broad Street property, one only has to look at the property on 524, or if one desires, they can ride to Cliffwood and view the property that once housed Manna House, that now houses Yeshiva students. You're absolutely correct that they "walk" to stores to do business, however you state that they generate revenue, well, they also generate chaos. They walk into the A&P 10 minutes before closing time at night. They run rampant in the store. They smoke in the store, which is certainly not allowed. You're portraying these students to be Rabbi's in training. Unfortunately, while some are, most aren't. They aren't an asset to a community, they're a detriment.
CKROSS January 14, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Due diligence? Answer this..what is the benefit to our community? No one in the community can attend this school! So why on earth would the town allow this other than someone's palm being greased!?!? Lakewood looks like a war torn Baghdad from the lack of care and upkeep. And perhaps YOU should have noted in the meeting that the students will walk to the stores to purchase KOSHER goods. Please tell me if 6-12 carries those items? Or is it CVS?
GFLOYYD January 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Are you all for real?
grace abramov February 07, 2013 at 12:01 AM
to mr gross's comment about the building being the landlords responsibility, did he read tha Asbury Park Pess 2 wks ago bout the living condition of some of their properties in Lakewood? some of you keep referring to the school on rt 524..when was the last time any of you went to or tried to get through Lakewood. Freehold is my hometown, but i lived briefly in Lakewood in 1963 when it was a beautiful town..grand hotels, a beautiful college and a park that was the estate of JD Rockafellow. tell me what happened to that town, i'll tell you because the people sitting on their bds did what they were told to do.this is how it starts, do you want that to happen inFreehold and it can? if it was a permitted use to have a dormitory in a basement and an apartment why are they asking for a variance? i wish i could be there tonight, but not being a resident any longer they probably wouldn't let me talk.. p.s i went to that school back in the 50's 1,2,3 grades.
CKROSS February 10, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Just want to remind everyone that the next meeting is this Wednesday at 7pm-- I would suggest everyone get there early since Mrs. Sims had reminded us several times at the last meeting that they don't like to run late because they are volunteers. Volunteers that are responsible for making very important decisions for our neighborhoods.

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