A Hampton Inn hotel is proposed for the long-vacant Exxon station site at the foot of the Cooper Bridge.  (Click to enlarge)


It’s back.

After a year of dormancy, a controversial proposal for a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn hotel at the northern gateway to Red Bank returns to the spotlight Monday night, when the borough planning board begins anew with what’s expected to be another series of hearings.

The first attempt to get the project past Red Bank planning officials went on for months, turning into a courtroom-like trial over whether the appropriate board was hearing the case. That question turned on the issue of height.

In the end, objectors who forced the issue won – only to have their victory quickly snatched away by the borough council, which changed the height restrictions on the property to allow for a building as tall as the hotel developer was proposing.

The effect of the change was also to put the proposal squarely in the lap of the planning board, where legal obstacles to approval are lower.

But the full review of the hotel proposal never occurred, and now Rbank is back before the planning board, seeking a welter of variances.

Meantime, a lawsuit by attorney Ron Gasiorowski challenging the council’s changes to the zoning law is pending in state Superior Court in Freehold.

Here’s the list of variances sought and the traffic analysis prepared for the developer: HAMPTON2-INN_052913

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 90 Monmouth Street. Also on the agenda is a plan by Sugarush to expand into space recently vacated by Kathryn Barnett School of Dance on East Front Street.