RED BANK: FOOD TRUCKS COMING?

johnny's 1 111113John Yarusi risked a summons when he parked his Johnny’s Pork Roll truck on Wallace Street in a short-lived experiment test of borough law in 2013. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Is Red Bank ready to finally  open the gate for food trucks?

The possibility that the borough might allow two mobile eateries to operate here was among the topics discussed at Wednesday’s semimonthly borough council meeting. Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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?

Read More »

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.

Read More »

RED BANK: EV CHARGING SET AT $2 PER HOUR

rb ev charger 100614park itRed Bank’s first and only electric vehicle charging station, installed on Monmouth Street outside borough hall, will cost users $2 per hour for both a recharge and the use of the parking space under and ordinance approved by the council Wednesday night. That compares to $1 per hour for street parking and $.50 per hour in the lot, both without the juice.

The station was scheduled to be activated Thursday morning. Who will be the first to charge up? (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: CHARGING STATION TO GO LIVE

rb charging 092614The charging station, the borough’s first, has been bagged since completion of the Monmouth Street reconstruction project last year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

park itA long-completed but never activated electric vehicle charging station on Monmouth Street outside Red Bank’s borough hall won’t be idle much longer, town officials said Wednesday night.

Read More »

RED BANK: MOONSHINE REPLACES NEON

rb crate's 082614 2A display of moonshine products at Crate’s Liquor in Red Bank. (Photos by Rachel Weston. Click to enlarge)

By RACHEL WESTON

rb crate's 082614Neon signs may be endangered, but the light of the moon shines more brightly in Red Bank after Crate’s Liquors installed a new window display last week.

Russell Burlew, owner of the North Bridge Avenue bottle shop, was among the retailers who received a confusing letter from borough hall this spring directing them to remove illuminated and neon signs from storefront windows. The signs violated borough ordinances, they were told.

After an outcry by business owners, some of whom have had their signs for decades, enforcement of the orders has been halted by the borough council, which is reviewing the sign ordinance.

Meantime, though, Burlew went ahead and removed 15 signs that advertised beer and other beverages and found a new use for the space: a moonshine display.

Read More »

RED BANK CUTTING FARM VENDOR FEE

RB farm mkt 1 051213Red Bank officials introduced an ordinance amendment this week that will allow food vendors at the Farmers’ Market to obtain yearlong health department licenses for $350, instead of paying $50 per week. A vote on the measure, which Mayor Pasquale Menna said would also reduce paperwork at borough hall, was scheduled for April 23. Here’s the amendment: RB 2014-10

The Farmers’ Market, based in the Galleria parking lot, returns on Mother’s Day, May 11, and runs into mid-November.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: COUNCIL DIGS INTO SNOW LAW

rb snow 020314 3An unidentified man shovels snow on English Plaza in Red Bank earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

Repeatedly frustrated by an inability to clear snow-clogged streets, Red Bank officials are expected Wednesday night to mull an outright ban on overnight parking when it snows.

Also on the agenda for the borough council’s bimonthly meeting: a measure requiring shovelers to clear a path at least 42 inches wide, and banning them from throwing or plowing the snow out into the street.

Read More »

RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL PLAN SQUASHED

cinnamon snail 2 051213Red Bank has seen the last of the Cinnamon Snail, at least until next year’s Farmers’ Market at the Galleria, says mobile chef Adam Sobel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Plans for a mobile food truck to set up in downtown Red Bank on Sundays through December have fallen apart as quickly as they came together.

Vegan chef and Cinnamon Snail owner Adam Sobel tells redbankgreen‘s PieHole that town officials threw up bureaucratic requirements Friday that would be impossible to satisfy in time for the truck to operate in the Monmouth Street parking lot of Teak restaurant, as planned.

An unidentified borough employee told a Snail employee that the truck would need a peddler’s permit, the type of license issued to roving ice-cream trucks, Sobel said Saturday afternoon.

“It seems bizarre that we would have to do that just to operate on a different piece of property,” Sobel said. “It’s silliness.”

Read More »

RED BANK: LET THERE BE TRUCK FOOD!

cin-snail1The vegan magnet Cinnamon Snail will have a temporary home beside Teak, thanks to a little help from PieHole. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoAs the final Sunday of this year’s Red Bank Farmers’ Market wrapped up in November, Cinnamon Snail food truck entreprenuer Adam Sobel was confident  he’d be able to continue serving his vegan truck food to loyal followers, telling PieHole that he’d remain at the Galleria parking lot every Sunday through the month of December.

But earlier this week, Sobel put out this urgent message on Twitter:

tweet_cinnamon_500_213.PNG

Now, thanks to the intervention of PieHole, the Snail appears to have found a temporary Sunday home – in downtown Red Bank, a place not seen as friendly to four-wheeled purveyors of fine cuisine.

Is this the breakthrough truck food fans on the Green have been yearning for?

Read More »

RED BANK: O LORD, I NEED A DRINK

cocktail 2 050411The merriment no longer has to wait until 11 a.m, in Red Bank bars on Sundays. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six mornings a week, those with a yen to wet their whistles in Red Bank can do so in a bar as early as 7 a.m.

For decades, though, they’ve had to wait until the ungodly hour of 11 on Sunday – a whole nine hours after closing time, the poor things.

The borough council fixed that injustice Wednesday night.

Read More »

RED BANK: DUPONT TOUTS COMPOSTING

ComposterTim Zebo does some composting at his Red Bank home in 2008. (File photo. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Red Bank could become the first New Jersey town to recycle food, according to proponent Councilman Mike DuPont.

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, DuPont announced that he is asking the borough Environmental Commission to comment on an informal proposal for a municipal composting program.

Some of his colleagues were amused. DuPont is known for green initiatives – he proposed banning plastic bags in 2008, though the suggestion was never enacted into law.

“You’re really becoming Farmer Brown, huh?” asked Councilwoman Sharon Lee.

Read More »