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RED BANK: SIGN RULES IN LIMBO

rb signs 032416 2Proposed changes to the ordinance that regulates signage were rejected by the council. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

The Red Bank council yanked the plug on a new sign ordinance Wednesday night, leaving the town with a law that even local officials say is hot mess.

Amid widespread criticism, and some squabbling among majority Republicans, the governing body on Wednesday rejected proposed changes to the sign law that Councilwoman Cindy Burnham said had been in the works for three years and cost the town $18,000.

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RED BANK: SIGN LAW FLICKERS BACK TO LIFE

rb signs 061214 2A proposed ordinance to regulate signage is still too complex, officials say. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

After more than two years of review and tweaking, a proposed change to Red Bank’s signage law is still too complicated, according to… well, nearly everyone who’s looked at it.

“Fourteen pages of regulations with three pages of tables does not help simplify what’s allowed and not allowed,” Jim Scavone, executive director of the downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, told the borough council two weeks ago.

His comments have since been widely echoed. Planning board member Linda Cohen, who owns Eye Design on Broad Street, expressed concern that prospective business tenants would get one look at the document and decide to set up shop elsewhere.

Still, the planning board unanimously agreed Monday night that the proposed changes did not conflict with the town’s Master Plan, and kicked it back to the council with the message to “keep tweaking,” even if the amendments become law. Read More »

RED BANK: COUNCIL TAKES UP BUSINESS BIZ

rb doc shoppe 081915Doc Shoppe, and only Doc Shoppe, is permitted to have a table on the sidewalk out front under a trial run approved by the council. Meanwhile, a sign ordinance was sent back for more revisions. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb signs 061214 3Efforts by Red Bank businesses to draw in more customers were the subject of two measures discussed by the borough council last week.

One concerned retail and restaurant signage, which was the subject of an enforcement crackdown that generated considerable blowback a year ago.

The other is a trial run, using one store, to gauge the impact of allowing merchants to display wares in front of their stores.

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RED BANK: LANE MARKINGS NOW LEGIT

broad st 072215Though they’ve been there for years, the turning lanes on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank turn out not to have ever been codified by ordinance, an oversight, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna, that the borough council corrected Wednesday night.

The fix applies to turning lanes at Harding Road, Linden Place, Monmouth Street and East and West Front Streets.

Any lawyers out there want to weigh in on the validity of tickets issued before the change? (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: AFTER 26 YEARS, BARR ZONES OUT

donna smith barr 042815 2Zoning officer Donna Smith Barr leaves the job this week after 26 years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

people-in-the-newsThe cliches compete: it’s tempting to say Donna Smith Barr has had a front-row seat on Red Bank’s two-decade-long bounceback from “Dead Bank” to today’s bustling burg. But it’s probably more accurate to say she’s been the gatekeeper.

Whether you wanted to put a deck on your house or turn a downtown store into a restaurant, Barr’s office has been the first stop at borough hall. And if she spoke or wrote the word “variance” in response, it probably wasn’t your last, as it would mean the time and expense of making one’s case before the zoning or planning board.

“I’m glad I don’t have to tell people they need variances anymore,” Barr told redbankgreen Tuesday. A single instance is one thing, “but when you do it for 26 years, that’s enough.”

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RED BANK: MORE PAID PARKING OK’D

rb monmouth st 031015The plan enables the town to charge for parking on parts of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street that have long been subject to two-hour parking limits, which merchants say were not enforced. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Over the objections of business owners and nearby residents, the Red Bank council approved a controversial plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district Wednesday night.

The go-ahead came on a rare tiebreaker vote by Mayor Pasquale Menna after a 3-3 deadlock among council members, one of whom, Council President Art Murphy, moved and voted in favor of the plan by phone.

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RED BANK: PAID PARKING PLAN TABLED

rb council 031115Business owner David Prown pleads his case to Councilman Art Murphy Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council put off a vote on a plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district after calls by merchants and residents for enforcement of existing law Wednesday night.

The objections to the expansion plan came despite a move by the council to enable 15-minute parking in the expansion district west of Maple Avenue.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN MAY BE TWEAKED

rb monmouth st 031015An ordinance scheduled for a vote Wednesday night would expand paid parking on Monmouth Street and part of Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Following objections by merchants, a proposed expansion of Red Bank’s paid parking zone may be modified, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The plan, scheduled for an adoption vote Wednesday evening, could be altered to include some short-term parking spaces for customers of stores and other businesses west of Maple Avenue, Menna told redbankgreen Tuesday.

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RED BANK: PROPOSED LAW EYES DOG NEGLECT

rb dogs 061714 14The ordinance, championed by Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, addresses tethering of dogs and other issues. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 052614Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna wants to put more teeth into the borough’s protection of dogs.

The mayor, whose canine companion of 14 years died last month, introduced a proposed ordinance Wednesday night that he said would make it easier to prosecute those who neglect dogs by leaving them tied up for hours, or with heavy tethers, or when the weather is “extraordinarily cold or extraordinarily warm.”

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RED BANK: METER PLAN FACES PUSHBACK

rb monmouth 022415 1Merchants along the western stretch of Monmouth Street say paid parking would hurt business. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposal to expand paid parking in central Red Bank ran into both expected and unexpected opposition Wednesday.

Expected: The ire of affected store owners.

Unexpected: Democratic Councilman Ed Zipprich joining his frequent sparring partner, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, in opposing the introduction of a measure to enable the change.

“I’m really infuriated by this pay station business,” David Prown, of Prown’s Home Improvements, told the council. “My experience tells me this is a done deal.”

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RED BANK AGENDA: CABS, DOGS & PARKING

rb monmouth 022415 2Parking in front of these businesses and others on Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue would no longer be free if an ordinance up for introduction Wednesday wins approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[This article has been updated since it was originally posted to reflect the contents of proposed ordinances.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The agenda for Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank Council is a busy one, with a handful of proposed changes to borough laws.

Here’s what’s on the draft agenda.

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RED BANK: PREMATURE ON PAID PARKING?

bridge ave 012915Visitors to Bridge Avenue shops, above, and the western stretch of Monmouth Street may soon have to pay to park. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After the Red Bank borough council passed a resolution last month authorizing the purchase of pay stations for parking along Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue, redbankgreen asked: Why? Parking is free there.

No ordinance amendment had ever been passed or even introduced allowing the town to charge for parking outside the central business district. There had been no public debate on whether it should even happen.

That’s all coming, says business Administrator Stanley Sickels.

So why spend $135,308 for 13 kiosks that haven’t been authorized?

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RED BANK: EV CHARGER SWITCHED ON

rb ev space 121614 1park itAfter a false start involving an enabling ordinance, Red Bank’s first  public charging station for electric vehicles is now legally approved and switched on, borough officials said.

Located outside borough hall at 90 Monmouth Street, the station doubles as a parking space for plugged-in cars, at $2 per hour, juice included. As elsewhere in town, however, the parking fee is waived through December 25. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: EV SPACE? HOLD THAT THOUGHT

RB EV CHARGER 110614 2The public charging station, located outside borough hall, remained under wraps Thursday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

park itIt seems somebody at Red Bank borough hall was a little premature in telling redbankgreen that the town’s first and only public electric vehicle charging station would go live Thursday.

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