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RED BANK: SCHOOL PATH MAY BE PAVED

locust trail 073112Locust Place, as seen in 2012, above, links Locust Avenue with the Red Bank Primary School, as seen in the aerial below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb locust pl 070914For years, a narrow dirt path through a stretch of woods has been the best option for many Red Bank children trying to avoid a long walk to the primary school.

The path, snaking alongside the Navesink River from Locust Avenue to the school, has also been eyed by emergency responders as an alternative access route for firetrucks and ambulances, should something go wrong at the school.

“It’s been on the drawing board for 20 years,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

Now, the borough hopes to secure funding to make the $207,000 path a reality.

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RED BANK: CHURCH PLAN WINS FULL BLESSING

rb church 033114Developer Bob Silver, below, hugs congregants of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, above, after gaining approval to convert the 62-year-old structure to offices. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

bob silver 040314The proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist in Red Bank into an office complex was praised to the heavens Thursday night, even by a couple of neighbors who’d previously expressed wariness about it.

Developer Bob Silver, who previously converted a Christian Scientist church in Montclair into offices, won kudos for preserving one of Broad Street’s architectural gems while yielding to concerns about traffic. His project, dubbed “Two Eleven Broad,” was also lauded for “saving the home” of a shrunken congregation, which will continue to use a portion of the building, and for touches including electric-car rechargers and bike racks.

Silver is “the best possible neighbor that the neighbors could want,” said abutting property owner William Hartigan of Hudson Avenue, whose concerns about the plan were spotlighted by redbankgreen earlier this week.

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RED BANK: CHURCH PLAN UPSETS NEIGHBORS

hartigan 1 033114William Hartigan notes the proximity of a church garage to his family’s outdoor dining area. Below, the church as seen from Broad Street; the wing at the left would get a second story. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 033114It’s a story as old as the concept of property rights: a couple settles into  their dream home, and then the folks next door do something on their patch of heaven to disturb the idyll.

When William and Kathryn Hartigan moved to Red Bank from Jersey City four years ago, they never imagined that the church that abuts their Hudson Avenue property would be anything other than a house of worship, quiet and unnoticed except for the bells pealing in the steeple on Sunday mornings.

But the proposed conversion of First Church of Christ, Scientist on Broad Street into an office complex has Hudson Avenue neighbors alarmed about traffic, and the Hartigans about the impact on their dream.

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RED BANK: GATE MAIN ISSUE IN CHURCH PLAN

rbpb 032014 3Hudson Avenue resident William Hartigan discusses the church’s plan for fencing at Thursday night’s planning board meeting with neighbor Kevin Moss. Below, a rendering of the proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

211 broad 032014The proposed conversion of a steepled Red Bank church into an office complex – with provision for a dramatically shrunken Sunday worship space – drew a full house to the planning board Thursday night.

Nearly all the concerns and objections to the plan for the First Church of Christ, Scientist house of worship on Broad Street were focused on one element: a gate on the Hudson Avenue side of the property.

Allowing for the gate, instead of sealing off access to Hudson, would surely result in more traffic on the residential street, neighbors said.

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COURT ORDERS MORE BEACH ACCESS AT CLUB

sb-beach-club-071110The club was the last holdout defendant in a lawsuit dating back four years, and lost. (Click to enlarge)

A state Superior Court in Freehold has ordered the oceanfront Seabright Beach Club to give nonmembers access to more than 15 feet of beach above the tide line.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, which filed suit against the club, the borough and eight other private clubs in 2006, announced the ruling on Friday.

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