Home News Transcript News Transcript News

Freehold Township officials will adjust school, dormitory regulations

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Municipal officials are planning to amend Freehold Township’s zoning regulations to specify the types of dormitories that are permitted in the municipality and where private and parochial schools are permitted to operate.

The Township Committee introduced two ordinances on Jan. 15 that, if adopted, will amend the land use ordinance. A public hearing on both ordinances is scheduled for Jan. 29. The committee may adopt the ordinances that evening.

One amendment is intended to clarify where public, private and parochial schools may be located. The second amendment is intended to clarify the types of permitted uses supporting a dormitory or other housing facility uses, according to township officials.

The current land use ordinance permits public, private and parochial schools in four residential zones (R-80, R-60, R-40 and R-25) and one commercial zone (B-10), subject to the issuance of a conditional use permit, while educational services are permitted in an industrial zone (M-1), based on the North American Industry Classification System.

If the proposed ordinance amendment related to public, private and parochial schools is adopted, only public schools will be permitted in residential zones and the commercial zone if the conditional use permit is issued.

In the industrial zone, the proposed ordinance amendment will remove educational services as a permitted use under the North American Industry Classification System and add public, private and parochial schools as permitted uses subject to the issuance of a conditional use permit.

“We routinely look at the issues in our ordinances and occasionally find inconsistencies or issues that are raised by recent changes and development,” Mayor Barbara McMorrow said. “Recently, Freehold Borough had an old church in a residential zone that became abandoned and its reuse underwent several different applications that may not have been beneficial to the surrounding community.

“This event in our sister town caused us to review if we had uses permitted in our residential zones which could potentially adversely affect the tranquility our residents expect.

“We also recently looked at the ‘parochial and private school’ use and found that, with the vacant land in our residential areas being mostly small parcels, this use was no longer appropriate as a permitted use and should be required to meet the tests of a use variance to be allowed,” she continued. “This protects our residential areas from a potential intense use that could be detrimental to a residential area.
“Additionally, we added the use in our ‘M’ zone, which is commercial and industrial in nature, are built around different criteria for traffic and access, and, therefore, more appropriate than residential zones for that use,” McMorrow said.

The proposed ordinance amendment related to dormitories will change the regulations in the professional zone to permit dormitories and other housing facilities if they are for students registered in educational programs related to the practice of medicine, nursing, medical technician, or medical and hospital physician care.

“Keeping with the analysis of education, we had opened a use in the P-1 Professional zone to allow dormitories in and around medical professional offices,” McMorrow said. “Our purpose in doing this was to allow this use in conjunction with and to help advance medical training.
“In hindsight, we felt it would be appropriate to more precisely articulate our intention. Therefore, in an effort to provide specificity to that use, we clarified that dormitories would be for students in a medical related training, consistent with its original purpose,” she said.
During a meeting on Jan. 17, the members of the Freehold Township Planning Board reviewed the two proposed ordinances and found they are consistent with the municipality’s master plan. The board’s findings will be forwarded to the Township Committee.
Exit mobile version