RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN WITHDRAWN

316 Shrewsbury Avenue, red bank, nj, renderingA rendering of the apartment house proposed for 316 Shrewsbury Avenue. Below, the existing house during the fire in July. (Drawing by Michael Monroe; photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan to replace a fire-damaged single-family home in Red Bank with a three-family apartment house was withdrawn amid neighborhood opposition Thursday night.

The proposal, concerning 316 Shrewsbury Avenue, was about to go to a vote, and apparent rejection, by the zoning board when the lawyer for property owner Michael Ianelli announced the application was being pulled from consideration.

The plan, calling for a house with a porte-cochère above its driveway, needed a host of variances.

But nearby homeowners, some whose properties had been in their families for two or or more generations, said the change would be out of character with their neighborhood of single-family homes between Drs. James Parker Boulevard and West Sunset Avenue. They raised concerns about adequate parking and noise.

Additionally, zoning board member Sean Murphy said the board wants to encourage more single family homes, rather than multifamilies, in the area. “Sell me on why we should go for a three-family, not even a two-family,” he pressed Ianelli’s planning consultant, Chirstine Cofone.

Cofone and architect Michael Monroe testified that the use would serve as a appropriate transition between nearby non-residential uses, including the Bates Elks Lodge and what Cofone said was a two-family next door. But the owner of that house, Maeble Hairston, said her home is a single-family.

Cofone said the proposed design “presents as a single-family home.”

Through his attorney, Ianelli, who bought the property in 2017, withdrew the plan at the close of public comments and indicated he would meet with neighbors before submitting a new plan.

A basement fire in July injured  a dog and a cat and led the borough to condemn the structure, Ianelli had told the board. The blaze was found to have been electrical in origin.

Another matter on the board’s agenda, concerning a proposal to add to two floors to 42 Monmouth Street, the former Fameabilia store, was rescheduled for January 3. The application has had one hearing, in September.