The owner of a private, religious high school that officials say had been operating illegally before it was shut down by a judge, has yet to comply with a court order to submit a site plan for the school to the township. On Thursday, he was given two additional weeks to prepare the document, but the school will remain closed.
The decision raised the ire of some neighboring residents, who expressed dismay with what they saw as a too-lenient outcome following a status conference before Superior Court Judge Craig L. Wellerson. Wellerson had ordered David Gluck, who controls the property, a former house of worship, by way of Lakewood-based Congregation Kehilos Yisroel (CKY). The property was permitted by the township to continue to operate as a house of worship – it had served as a mainstream Conservative Jewish congregation from 1976 to 2021 – but the new owner began operating a boys’ high school this summer without submitting a site plan, obtaining permits or undergoing safety inspections.
Township officials sued Gluck after he failed to cooperate with the township. Gluck was absent for a municipal court appearance last week and, likewise, was provided extra time. Meanwhile, the school remains closed and electricity has been cut to one building at the former temple site.
In the larger context of the matter pending in Superior Court, Wellerson granted Gluck another two weeks to comply with his order. The next hearing was set for Oct. 27. The same order exists that was set about a month ago: Gluck must prepare and submit a site plan the township outlining the operations of the school, remedy violations of the state’s Uniform Construction Code, allow township inspectors 72 hours to inspect the property and provide another 48 hours for them to prepare a report for the court.
Thursday’s outcome was the result of a consent decree between Brick Township and CKY. The two week window will allow Gluck and his representatives to comply with the orders and submit a formal application to allow for the operation of a religious school at the site. Gluck will also have the opportunity to submit a fee waiver application.
A separate matter regarding the alleged dormitory is also pending, but the cases are not linked. Neighbors, and township officials, claim in upwards of 20 young men are living in a residential home, violating the certificate of occupancy and fire code.