New NJ Charter School Wins Zoning Approval, Beats Challenge from Existing Charter Schools

College Achieve Charter School of Asbury Park Will Remain Operational

The new College Achieve Charter School of Asbury Park, NJ, won a zoning challenge Tuesday night, allowing it to remain operational after accepting its first students on August 28. Lawyers representing other charter schools that recruit from the same parent population had filed an appeal to invalidate the new school’s zoning certificate.

As detailed in a previous opinion piece, the existing charter schools that were backing the zoning challenge are Hope Academy¬†of Asbury Park and Academy Charter School of Lake Como, NJ, (which accepts students from Asbury Park, according to its website). The existing schools’ lawyers maintained that the zoning certificate for College Achieve’s location, 700 Grand Avenue, was no longer valid because the building had been used for a different purpose after it had been Hope Academy’s location for many years.

Tuesday night in a 5-2 vote, the Asbury Park zoning board held that the existing charter schools waited too long to file their zoning appeal, exceeding the 20-day window specified by New Jersey Municipal Code.

In response to the news, College Achieve CEO Michael Piscal said, “I am glad we can get back to focusing on our scholars and their futures.”

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