By Mark Rosman
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Planning Board has directed its attorney to draw up a resolution that will permit the owners of iPlay America, Schanck Road, to keep a tent on premises from April 1 through Oct. 31 without having to obtain a new permit every 30 days.
Attorney Bill Mehr and Gary Hipko, senior vice president, iPlay America, presented the application to the board on Feb. 18.
Mehr said the tent has been in use at the indoor amusement facility, but he said the owner is required to obtain approval for the structure each month the tent is in place.
The two members of the Township Committee who serve on the board, Anthony Ammiano and Tom Cook, recused themselves from hearing the application because iPlay America is expected to come before the governing body in the near future to discuss details related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages at the facility.
The application regarding the tent was heard by board members John Bazzurro, Leon Bruno Jr., Robert Shortmeyer, Apryl Kurtz and Kevin Asadi.
Under questioning from Mehr, Hipko testified that the tent is a controlled area that is connected to the iPlay America building by a canopy. The tent cannot be accessed from the outside by the public. There are tables and chairs in the tent to accommodate groups of children who are brought to the facility, for example as a camp outing. Hipko said there are no games or rides in the tent.
Although the tent takes some parking spaces away from iPlay America, Mehr, Hipko, board members and the township’s professionals agreed that with more than 920 parking spaces still available, the loss of some parking spaces was not considered to be a negative issue that precluded approval of the tent.
The board directed its attorney, Frank Accisano, to prepare a resolution granting approval to the tent for the annual period from April 1 through Oct. 31.
In a related matter, a bill that was recently signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie deals with the sale and consumption of alcohol at an amusement site with more than 100 games and Mehr said this new law will affect iPlay America.
He said iPlay America executives will appear before the Township Committee to discuss details relating to the business’s liquor license, including where on the premises liquor may be consumed.
The Feb. 18 meeting was the final meeting for the board’s administrative officer Nancy Torre, who has retired after more than 26 years of service to Freehold Township. Danielle Sims has been named the board’s new administrative officer.
Shortmeyer told Torre that “we sincerely appreciate your efforts” and Ammiano said “it has been an honor and a privilege working with you.”
Torre thanked the board members for their words of appreciation.
The administrative officer coordinates all the applications, plans and reports that are submitted for the board’s consideration, and handles the scheduled for the applications that come before the board.