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RED BANK: SPARKS FLY OVER BUDGET

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, seen here last May with GOP colleagues Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan, found herself at odds with them, and Mayor Pasquale Menna, Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank adopted its 2017 budget Wednesday night amid some odd political frictions.

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who leads the budget-setting finance committee, took clear umbrage at a last-minute critique of the spending plan by Mayor Pasquale Menna. Then, the only ‘no’ votes when it came up for adoption were cast by her two fellow Republicans on the dais.

And before the night was over, Schwabenbauer’s main adversary in this year’s election, Democrat Ed Zipprich, issued a press release commending her.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL MUM ON GARAGE PLANS

A lawsuit claims the redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot ignores the town’s Master Plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Would-be developers in downtown Red Bank will no longer have to pay fees for failing to provide enough parking, following action by the borough council Wednesday night.

But progress toward a public garage on White Street — a partial solution to what many business owners consider a parking crisis — may have hit a legal speed bump.

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LITTLE SILVER: BOROUGH EYES AVAILABLE LOT

The property, marked with a star, would provide direct public access to Challenger Field. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Little Silver officials hope to solve a longstanding problem of access to ballfields with the purchase of a vacant property, under action initiated by the borough council.

But it’s far from a done deal, hinging on financial help from Monmouth County and the property still being available when the town’s ready to make an offer.

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RED BANK: TAX BILLS TO RISE 2.9 PERCENT

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a CPA who heads the finance committee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxes

Typical Red Bank homeowners would see a $x increase in the borough portion of their 2017 property tax bills under a budget introduced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

For the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $362,342, that means an increase of $57.25 for the year.

 

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER RAPPED ON PARKING

RiverCenter’s founding chairman wants the agency to help finance a second garage to go along with the Globe Street facility, above, which is leased to Riverview Medical Center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A discussion of Red Bank RiverCenter‘s 2017 budget Wednesday night focused mostly on how much juice the downtown promotion agency is using to address a parking shortfall.

At the borough council’s semimonthly meeting, two past RiverCenter chairmen suggested the answer is “not enough.”

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RED BANK: PARKING FORUM OPENS ‘DIALOGUE’

Red Bank “is losing its position as a walking community” in part because of a lack of parking, said Joel McFadden, a White Street jeweler who served as event moderator.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to get a “dialogue” going with residents about the need for a downtown parking garage, Red Bank merchants hosted a town hall meeting that drew dozens to the borough middle school Monday night.

There, members of the Red Bank Business Alliance served up their perspectives on what they see as a longstanding problem that’s worsened in recent years under a changeover from a retail economy to one driven by restaurants and entertainment.

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RED BANK: TOUTING A ‘SIMPLE’ PARKING FIX

Downtown property owner John Bowers hired an architect to show the borough what it might build without involving a private developer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Instead of trying to entice a private developer with high-profit-margin sweeteners like apartments and retail space, what if Red Bank addressed its downtown parking problem simply by building a “pure” garage itself?

That’s what landlord John Bowers wants to know, and he’s on a campaign to head off the borough’s White Street redevelopment effort before it leads both taxpayers and merchants over a cliff.

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RED BANK: PARKING FORUM SLATED

Does downtown Red Bank need a new parking garage? If so, how big should it be, what else should it include, and who should pay for it?

Questions like those will be on the table at a town-hall style meeting slated for Monday, February 6.

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RED BANK: SUIT FILED OVER GARAGE HEIGHT

Cindy Burnham, seen here at a candidate’s forum last October, during her unsuccessful council re-election campaign. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A group of Red Bank residents formed by former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham filed suit Monday to derail efforts to build a garage for at least 773 vehicles in the heart of town.

Burnham, who failed in her re-election bid as a Republican-turned-independent in November after one term, said although she supports the construction of a garage, the eight-story structure permitted under a redevelopment plan authorized by the council last week is “just too high.”

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS SOLICITED

basie parking 012517 2Count Basie Theatre security worker Dennis O’Keefe working the entrance to the borough hall parking lot Wednesday night. A restaurant owner cited theater activity for creating parking issues last weekend. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1An effort to coax a 773-vehicle garage into the heart of Red Bank cleared another speedbump Wednesday night.

At its semimonthly meeting, the borough council authorized a request for proposals, or RFP, from developers interested in building on the 2.3-acre municipal lot on White Street.

But first, it tweaked the requirements to be more environmentally friendly.
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RED BANK: PARKING CHANGES ON AGENDA

rb plow 021314On the agenda: a change to the ordinance on overnight street parking in winter. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A possible 773-vehicle garage on White Street isn’t the only parking issue on the Red Bank council’s agenda Wednesday night.

At its semimonthly meeting, the governing body is expected to take action on a number of matters that would tweak parking downtown as well as in residential neighborhoods.

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RED BANK: DONATED HOUSE COMING DOWN

rb 27 linden 012417doug-cavanaughTwo years after the death of its owner, the house at 27 Linden Place in Red Bank is slated for demolition this week.

Doug Cavanaugh, seen at right in 2009 painting a hitching post he installed outside the house, left the property in his will to Saint James Roman Catholic Church, whose schools he’d attended.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET PARKING ON AGENDA

rb-parking-white-st-111316-1Got a parking plan for White Street? The borough will accept proposals from qualified developers until April 26. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Park it 2017A call for ideas to remake the White Street lot into a parking garage anchors a busy Red Bank council agenda Wednesday night.

Up for discussion for the the first time is a request for proposals, or RFP, to transform the 2.3-acre municipal parking lot on White Street into a facility that nearly triples the current capacity of 273 vehicles while adding, possibly, housing and retail space.

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RED BANK: PARKING NEWS

rb broad st 011217Under a recommendation of the council parking committee, the left-turn lane from Broad Street into Linden Lane would be eliminated, restoring three parking spaces on the west side of Broad. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1For the first time in recent months, the clamor for and against a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank was absent at the first regular council meeting of 2017 Wednesday night.

Still, there was a smattering of parking-related news.

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RED BANK: MENNA WANTS BOLD, GREEN DECK

menna-whelan-110216Mayor Pasquale Menna, left with Councilman Mike Whelan at the opening of the new cancer treatment wing at Riverview Medical Center in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Parking issues once again dominated as the Red Bank council wrapped up its 2016 meeting schedule Wednesday night.

• Mayor Pasquale Menna sketched out a vision for a environmentally and architecturally bold parking garage on the site of the borough’s White Street parking lot.

• A downtown property owner laid out a plan for erecting a prefab garage that he said would be fast and economical.

• The council extended yet again a moratorium on fees charged to developers of new businesses that win variances for parking shortfalls.

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RED BANK: FREE HOLIDAY PARKING IN EFFECT

rb-free-parking-121416LicPlate1A merchant we spoke to at the Galleria of Red Bank didn’t know this, so redbankgreen offers this reminder to all would-be shoppers: parking is free in all municipal spots, both on the street and in the lots, through December 25. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: COUNCIL OKs PARKING PLAN

mike-simpson-121416-3Architect Mike Simpson discusses a schematic he created to illustrate that a 650-car garage atop four stories of stores and apartments, with nearby green space, could easily be created in the White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1After nearly three hours of public comments Wednesday night, the Red Bank council approved a zoning change that could result in a parking garage in the heart of downtown.

Now, answers to long-deferred questions on what such a facility might look like, and who will pay for it, can begin to take shape, said business and government officials who endorsed the measure.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN MAY GROW

rb-parking-white-st-111316-2The council could solicit formal development proposals for the White Street lot if a measure on Wednesday’s agenda is passed. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01The hottest of hot topics in downtown Red Bank faces a key hurdle this week when a redevelopment plan that could lead to the construction of a massive parking garage in the heart of downtown faces a key vote.

But first, the minimum number of new parking spaces to be created on the present site of the White Street municipal lot could be significantly increased.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN APPROVED

74 broad st. 092713The upper two floors of the building, which have been vacant for years, will get two apartments each. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A landmark Red Bank building’s upper two floors will be turned into spacious apartments under a plan approved by the borough zoning board Thursday night.

In a rarity in this parking-starved town, the change would reduce the demand for downtown spots, the building’s new owner told the board.

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RED BANK: BASIE PARKING DEAL YIELDS GAIN

mike-whelan-110416Councilman Mike Whelan outside borough hall earlier this month.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1It may not seem like much, stacked up against a $22.4 million budget. Still, it’s like finding money on the ground, says first-year Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan.

A deal Whelan initiated that gives the Count Basie Theatre access to the borough hall parking lot across Monmouth Street has netted the borough nearly $14,000 since it went into effect earlier this year, he says.

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RED BANK: GARAGE DEBATE PREVIEWED

white-st-lot-110816A public hearing on a key measure in the push for a possible garage at the White Street lot, above, is slated for December 14. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Argument over a potential parking garage for downtown Red Bank dominated the first post-election meeting of the borough council Wednesday night.

No action related to the gradually advancing proposal was on the agenda. But the brief debate may have been an early taste of what’s to come next month, when the council holds a public hearing on a key step in the process.

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RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE CLEARS HURDLE

rb white st 070915 3A redevelopment plan for the White Street parking now goes back to the council for possible adoption, followed by a request for proposals from builders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A concept zoning plan for a parking garage that could double the capacity of Red Bank’s White Street parking lot cleared its latest hurdle Monday night, when the borough planning board found it compliant with the town’s Master Plan.

But in returning the document to the borough council for further action, the board asked for reconsideration of some of its particulars. Among them: making sure that any stores and restaurants in the new structure not be exempt from — wait for it — parking requirements.

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW UNVEILS CANCER WING

riverview-oncology-101516riverview-oncology-110216-1A new 29,000-square-foot oncology center, including the dramatic 3,700-square-foot lobby above and at right, debuted at Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center Wednesday night, helped into existence by a $3 million donation by Carol Stillwell of Colts Neck. Philadelphia firm BTK Architects designed the $35 million project, which includes two new TrueBeam linear accelerators for radiotherapy and 22 beds for inpatient care.

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