Monthly Archives: March 2016

Monmouth Montessori School Denied Appeal of Zoning Decision: Board of Adjustment Suggests Applicant File a Use Variance

In an approximately 3 hour hearing, the Monmouth Montessori School of Wall Township was not able to overturn a denial by SLH Zoning Official Joe May. The applicant is seeking to convert the old Junior Junction Pre-school on Railroad Avenue into the new location for the Montesorri school.

In 1995, Junior Junction received a use variance allowing the building to be used for a learning center for ages infant through kindergarten. The new applicant is seeking to broaden the student use to K through 8 with students up to age 13.

The Board of Adjustment’s primary concern was that, although the hearing was held to a full audience, there were very few residents of Spring Lake Heights in attendance. Because the issue was presented as an appeal of the zoning officer’s decision, no notification was required for residents living within 200 feet of the site.

Additionally, the Board had questions on traffic. In 1995, when Junior Junction was approved, Railroad Avenue was a 2-way street. The traffic flow was changed to one way to accommodate the school but no one had information about that change, or why it was repealed in favor of two-way after the preschool closed.

Other issues that were discussed were traffic volumes, parking, and upgrades to the building, none of which required documentation due to the nature of the hearing being an appeal. The Board agreed that while it was a worthwhile project, they would like more information. Board members voted 5 to 2 to uphold the Zoning Officer’s decision and suggested that the applicant request a use variance hearing.