80-efront-red-bankThe lot, at the corner of East Front and Washington Streets, has been vacant since a Victorian home was demolished in 2005. (Click to enlarge)

Last week, redbankgreen reported that a Monmouth County architect had met recently with historic preservation advocates in Red Bank about building a four-unit condo project on a vacant lot at the corner of East Front and Washington streets.

The meeting was a courtesy call of sorts. Brendan McHugh, a Manasquan-based architect working for an unidentified prospective buyer and developer of the site, sat down with members of the borough’s Historic Preservation Commission to give them a heads-up and get early feedback on the plan. He hadn’t, and still hasn’t, filed any formal proposal with the town.

The commission plays an advisory role in land use issues involving properties in the Washington Street Historic District, and the lot McHugh was targeting was in the zone.

Or so everyone at the meeting thought.

Turns out it’s not. The 2009 ordinance that created the zone and specifies which properties comprise the zone does not include 80 East Front, on which sat a Victorian home that was demolished in 2005. It’s been vacant since then.

The exclusion of the property from the zone was discovered by redbankgreen after publication of our story last week.

HPC member George Bowden calls it an oversight that will have to be fixed by the borough council with an amendment to the ordinance. The property, he says, “is a keystone location in the district.”

McHugh declined comment when contacted yesterday.

Here’s the ordinance: 2009-19