Rumors of a new owner transforming the former Temple Beth Or property into a school or residential property are, thus far, not true, according to Brick officials.
The decades-old Conservative Jewish congregation of Temple Beth Or closed its doors in Brick last year and its building, located at the intersection of Hendrickson Avenue and Van Zile Road, was sold to Congregation Kehilos Yisroel Inc., based on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, according to tax records. Since the sale, rumors have circulated about a change of use for the property.
A zoning permit for the new owners was issued on May 3, 2021 which maintains its use as a “place of assembly,” which is defined under Brick’s zoning code as “houses of worship, synagogues, meeting halls, civic clubs, auditoriums, theaters, community centers, stadiums and union halls,” according to Business Administrator Joanne Bergin.
A place of assembly cannot be used for the purposes of a full-day school or any residential or dormitory arrangement. Such uses are not outright permitted in any zone in Brick Township and would always require oversight by either the planning or zoning boards, depending on legal jurisdiction.
The main building and smaller original building – both temples – and the detached dwelling – a Rabbi residence – may continue as they have always been used, Bergin said. But any change to the use of the building would require site plan approval by the township’s planning board.
“I can confirm that no application has been received for site plan approval or a use variance,” said Bergin, who also put to bed rumors that summonses or other violations had been issued regarding land use issues.
An attempt to reach a representative from Congregation Kehilos Yisroel was unsuccessful. Bergin reiterated, however, that no applications for a change of use have been filed and no notices have been mailed to neighboring residents indicating any future development action on the property.
“We are unaware of any notices that would be sent out, and that doesn’t make sense without a filed application,” she said.