Home Government Church Gets Second Shot at Brick Zoning Board Approval

Church Gets Second Shot at Brick Zoning Board Approval

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New Beginnings Christian Church, Brick, N.J. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
New Beginnings Christian Church, Brick, N.J. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

After filing two lawsuits, a Christian church in Brick Township has reached a settlement with the township’s zoning board and a final public hearing on the matter will be held in March.

The New Beginnings Christian Church, located on Brick Boulevard, asked in 2013 for approval of a conditional use variance to use the existing buildings that make up a Brick Boulevard strip mall  for a house of worship, a teen center and thrift shop. Under Brick’s zoning ordinance, houses of worship must be located on lots that are two acres or larger. While the two lots that make up the proposal add up to more than two acres, New Beginnings representatives testified that they did not want to combine the lots.

Ultimately, the board denied the variances, leading to the filing of a lawsuit in state superior court. A judge remanded the matter back to the Board of Adjustment which, in turn, upheld its denial. New Beginnings then filed a federal lawsuit claiming its constitutional rights had been violated, which led to the pending settlement.

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Under the settlement agreement, the church will create a cross-easement providing for the joint use of the two lots in question and provide for an expansion of the seating capacity of the sanctuary space from 250 to 325 seats. The township and church’s agreement provides for an agreed-upon parking plan and an area for shuttle buses to drop off congregants. Certain use restriction will be discussed at the meeting.

The meeting being held is what is known as a “Whispering Woods” hearing, named for a 1987 case before the New Jersey Supreme Court – Whispering Woods at Bamm Hollow v. Middletown Planning Board – which requires a revised application and full public hearing before settlement agreements between land use boards and applicants can be ratified by a public vote.

The hearing will take place March 2 at 7 p.m. at the township municipal complex.


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  • Richie Z

    In this day and age, why give a church a hard time to expand? I don’t attend that church but I can tell you that their heart is in the right place. For all the good they do and add to the community, Brick should be asking “how can we help?”.

  • Speedz

    I have nothing against the church but you need to be careful. Once the zoning is modified you have our neighbors in Lakewood that will take advantage of this. That community is watching this closely. They have been dying to get into Brick. If modified zoning happens for a church do you think they won’t play the whole you did it for them if you don’t do it for us it’s discrimination. And then Brick becomes Lakewood part ll. So while I have nothing against this church it’s the future of the town I live in that worries me. As of right now it’s the unfriendly zoning of a place of worship that is saving this town.

    • Kimberleely

      You hit the nail on the on the head!

  • J W

    Strip mall churches? That’s very… Floridian. Why can’t they just obey the existing zoning regulations and combine the lots? If you’re a legitimate church and not a real estate scam running up a tab, this shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Smokin

    Watch what you approve and see what you get….?