Lakewood Township Slapped with Lawsuit Over Simcha Hall Ordinance

A lawsuit has been filed against Lakewood Township over its simcha hall ordinance which allows schools to host banquets, weddings, concerts, catering, and any other type of events with previously required approvals.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys for Clayton Associates, which has been in a long legal battle with Bnos Bracha. Attorneys for Clayton state that Bnos Bracha was operating a banquet hall, wedding hall, and catering facility illegally for years and without any approvals.

“They were only approved for that of a school,” an attorney for Clayton told Lakewood Alerts. “Eventually neighbors caught wind of this. This law firm filed litigation against Bnos Bracha to stop them from operating the school as a banquet/wedding/catering hall. They were successful. The judge ruled that Bnos Bracha had no right to operate anything other than a school on the property.”

Three weeks later, the Lakewood Township Committee approved an ordinance that would have allowed all schools in all of Lakewood to operate as a banquet hall as well without any approvals. They also did so quietly, slipping it into the agenda without much noticing.

After that happened, the ordinance went to the planning board for a consistency review. At the consistency review, the planning board requested that the ordinance be changed from all zones to all non-residential zones with a different parking criteria. The board never made a formal determination that the ordinance was consistent or not with the master plan of Lakewood – which was the whole point of going before the planning board in the first place.

After that, it went back to the Township Committee for a second reading. However, the ordinance had been entirely changed. Ordinarily, when an ordinance is significantly changed, it must go back to the Committee as a first reading and start the process over again, because it is essentially a new ordinance now. However, that never happened. Instead, the Council passed the new ordinance with only a second reading.

As a consequence, schools can now host banquets, weddings, concerts, catering, and any other type of events that they want to. They can do it without the required parking approvals. They can do it without any board or building department approvals. They can do it within a few feet of their next-door neighbors’ homes or businesses. They can operate these school/banquet halls at any time of the day with no restrictions.

And that is what the lawsuit is all about – challenging Lakewood’s recently passed ordinance in court.

Read the full lawsuit here.

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  1. Good I hope their successful with their lawsuit!
    Have these people no shame or decency?!
    What is their goal to turn LW in to a Borough Park/Williamsburg hell hole⁉️


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