I think it is close to impossible to stop growth, I would suggest that you focus on making upgrade to SURROUNDING infrastructure a precondition to new developments, not just the infrastructure that directly affects the development.
Good point. Unfortunately, there is no money available to drastically upgrade infrastructure. I have made it a point to the township committee, that we need to pass an ordinance that forces developers to pay an impact fee that covers more than just the immediate roadway in front of the development. In Ocean County there is such an ordinance and developers have to pave and widen the entire street and pay for lights at the nearby intersections which Lakewood does not do.
While upgrading infrastructure is needed as well, all upgrades are worthless if we don't control the building. We can't let the committee think that a traffic study and some quick fixes will solve this problem and therefore the main focus must be first on the density and only once that is under control can we focus on infrastructure.
As far as stopping the growth - I fully understand that if someone owns property they have the legal right to build on it. The township has no legal right to have a moratorium on all building. My main focus is on not allowing more than the allowable housing. If a lot fits 5 houses, don't put up 20 houses with dozens of variances. Also, in regard to large developments there probably are legal grounds for a moratorium. Even with no variances, I believe the township can pass ordinances calling for a halt to approving large development projects due to safety and traffic/infrastructure concerns.
A point I've often made - it's not like there is nowhere else to go. In Manhattan - you are limited in space and stuck on an Island. Therefore you need to build dense and build up. Lakewood is a contiguous land mass connected to Brick, Howell, Toms River and Jackson. Beyond those there is Lakehurst, Manchester, Lacey etc. There is the whole NJ!!!
I don;t care if 500,000 people want to join the area and move into all of the surrounding towns. There is simply no room and no need to allow everyone who wants to move to here to squeeze into Lakewood.
Fact: Until now all articles about Lakewood's growth glowingly talked about how by the year 2030 we will have 225,000 residents and the need to properly build up our town in a really dense way to accommodate that.
Fact: With 115K residents Lakewood is bursting at the seams. There is no way in the world possible to grow Lakewood to 225K residents even with all of the infrastructure upgrades that the committee could dream of.