School Proposed On Busy Massachusetts Avenue

Parking is already an issue on Massachussetts Avenue. (Photo by Chris Lundy)
Parking is already an issue on Massachussetts Avenue. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

TOMS RIVER – A three-story charter school has been proposed to be built on the Lakewood-Toms River border, on a section of Massachusetts Avenue that’s already known for being crowded.

Currently, the land at 1650 Massachusetts Avenue is made up of a single home with a large amount of property. The developers want to build a 16,956-square-foot school that would have children ages kindergarten through eighth grade. The building itself would be in the Lakewood section of the property. So would most of the access drive and most of the parking.

The development had to go before Toms River’s land use board since some of the parking and a little of a driveway would be in that town.

According to documents provided by township planner David Roberts, the Toms River portion of the property is just .57 acres. There were 29 parking spaces planned for the Toms River side, but the applicant reduced this to 14.

The application was approved, but with a long list of conditions, Roberts said. Toms River representatives had concerns about parking on the road, a county road with a 45 m.p.h. speed limit. There were also concerns about traffic and the buffer between the school and neighboring property.

A use variance was granted since the school was not allowed in the residential area, even though the school itself won’t be in town – just some of the parking.

The property is surrounded by adult communities and other development. Massachusetts Avenue and roads in the northern section of Toms River have seen a great deal of construction lately, and residents have complained of additional traffic.