Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

SEA BRIGHT: LOCALS SAY KEEP APARTMENTS

The Anchorage Apartments on the Shrewsbury River remain vacant eight months after Hurricane Sandy.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright officials last week shot down a proposal to level a hurricane-ravaged apartment complex for a park after borough residents objected.

At issue was a resolution that that would give the state Department of Environmental Protection the borough’s support in its proposal to acquire the property at 960 Ocean Avenue – the Anchorage Apartment building – under the Green Acres program for an area of “high-public use” –  most likely, a park.

But despite the promise of greener pastures replacing an uninhabitable structure, residents turned out at last Tuesday night’s council meeting to blast the idea.

“Our town isn’t really a resort town,” said Dave De Sio, of 822 Ocean Avenue. “I think we’re more of a residential town. maybe we should pay a little more attention to the effects these things have on our residents, rather than the benefits for outsiders and out of towners.”

De Sio said he has seen many “unsupervised” activities in the Anchorage beach parking lot, located across the street from the apartments, including visitors “blasting radios” and leaving trash on the free, unguarded beach –  problems he said would only grow with a public park in the vicinity.

“The claim that bringing these outsiders into town [helps the economy] is ridiculous, because they don’t spend a penny in this town,” he said. “They use our free beach and get out of here.

“I don’t see any reason for our town to give up a ratable when our town is surviving on subsidies from the state,” De Sio said. “Who’s going to pay all the bills in this town?”

Michael Chimento, of 934 Ocean Avenue – two doors down from the Anchorage apartments – also spoke against the enabling the property to become a park.

“Our property values have already been mangled by the storm, and I feel like introducing land that will be heavily used by the public there could be detrimental,” he said. “I just feel it’s important to take into account the residents there. I’ve watched the cars go in, and I’ve watched them go out. They don’t stick around.”

Referring to the possibility of the vacant complex being rehabilitated, Chimento added that he “rather see people there who can contribute year-round, not just people coming in to use a free section of town. We’re just eliminating 24 people who could be part of the Sea Bright community.”

Susie Markson, however, spoke in favor of the conversion, claiming a park could be a positive for the town.

“It seems like having a nice, green park next to your house could up the property value of your house,” she said. In addition, “having this beautiful green space where there can be fishermen and families and picnic tables – that element that you are so scared of probably wouldn’t still be there.”

“And as far as clean-up and those issues go, why have parks anywhere? Why have Marine Park? Why have Victory Park? You are going to run into those problems everywhere. Having a nice beautiful green park on the river seems like it would be awesome. It seems like a great thing to do,” she added.

Several other residents raised concerns about increased traffic concerns as well as public safety, with one resident commenting on the already present dangers of people pulling out of the Anchorage lot too quickly and having their cars go up on the sidewalk, putting residents and beachgoers at risk.

Mayor Dina Long said that having the property acquired under the DEP’s Green Acres program would require the lot to be turned into some type of open space designed for heavy use by the public, which could also mean another parking lot instead of a park, likely based on the council’s recommendation.

Councilman Marc Leckstein moved the resolution to approve the resolution, but was on the losing side of a 3-to-2 vote with Councilman Brian Kelly. Council members Jack Keeler, James LoBiondo and Read Murphy voted against. Councilwoman Peggy Bills was absent.

Murphy suggested the council revisit the discussion during the governing body’s next workshop meeting, scheduled for Thursday at 7:30pm.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
RHAPSODY ON ICE
RED BANK: On a cool-ish summer evening, keyboardist NGXB entertained customers of Strollo's Italian Ice with renderings of 'Bohemian Rhapsod ...
PUDDLE BE GONE
A work crew was out this week attacking the site of the notoriously persistent puddle at the corner of Broad and Mechanic Streets. This phot ...
SMALLS FOR MAYOR?
We at redbankgreen remain neutral in political affairs and never make endorsements. But we have to say Borough Clerk Laura Reinertsen’ ...
CRASH ON LEIGHTON
The driver of this car was headed north on Leighton Avenue when they it hit an SUV pulling a work trailer headed in south in the opposing la ...
CAR VS STREET SIGN
The driver of this Mercedes hopped the curb and toppled the street sign at the corner of South Pearl and Drs. James Parker Boulevard Wednesd ...
SKETCHES OF RED BANK BY LOCAL ARTIST MICHAEL WHITE
Sketches of Red Bank scenes have been floating around on social media and we thought they deserved some spotlight. First appearing in our fe ...
POLE DOWN
Utility pole falls on English Plaza shop Forge after being struck by SUV shortly before noon. No injuries reported, though 86-year-old drive ...
YO, ADRIAN!
It’s a tough turn for our hero as Rocky Balboa is relegated to the curb for trash pickup on Locust Avenue. We’ll have to go back ...
“EL PALOMO” IS IN THE HOUSE
Jesus Rios, a mariachi singer who performs under the stage name “El Palomo” (The dove) pauses for a moment before entering a bac ...
CROC SPOTTED IN RIVER
Frighteningly hideous and green, a solitary Croc lurked ominously amid the flotsam and foam in the Navesink River alongside the Red Bank Fir ...
KISS ICON REFLECTS ON BROADWALK
A Swarovski crystal-bedazzled self-portrait painting of Paul Stanley, longtime singer and guitarist for the rock band Kiss peers out from a ...
CHISELIN’ AWAY
Marcelo Garcia Lopez works with hammer and chisel on a new feature for his flower garden on Shrewsbury Avenue: a hollow in a carved log in w ...
STORM CLEANUP CONTINUES
  Saturday’s storm sent a tree toppling on this house on Bank Street, damaging the roof. Workers Wednesday could be seen removing ...
SNAPPING IN THE BREEZE
RED BANK: Blustery winds had the flags in Riverside Gardens Park snapping Monday evening.
POWER LINE DOWN
Red Bank firefighters were on scene at Manor Drive dealing with a live power line Monday afternoon. There was no immediate report of fire. T ...
TAR BEACH SOLSTICE
Aldo Quiroz of Ocean Township came ready with his beach chair and found a shady spot to spend his lunch hour in a parking lot off Broad Stre ...
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.