RED BANK: SIGNAGE MARKS COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank sandwich board signsThe council plans to allow sandwich-board signs on downtown sidewalks through 2021. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council is expected to take up a number of housekeeping measures concerning signs, false alarms and more Wednesday night.

Here are the highlights.

red bank, nj, riverview medical center, irwin marineA new illuminated sign approved for the Navesink River side of Riverview Medical Center would not be affected by a proposed ban. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Though the mayor and council “are not entirely convinced” that sandwich board signs are in the borough’s best interest, they plan to allow them “for a limited time period as a demonstration project,” according to the language of an ordinance up for introduction.

Such signs, however, have been commonplace on downtown streets for nine years, since the council allowed them, also on a sunset basis, in July, 2010. That approval overruled a planning board determination that the signs were in conflict with the objectives of the town’s master plan and would impede pedestrian traffic and accessibility.

The ordinance was later extended through December, 2012. The proposed ordinance would allow the signs through 2021.

Among the limitations, signs in the borough right-of-way would have to provide at least 60 inches of clearance on either side, the ordinance says. Though no permits are required, businesses would have to pay an annual $25 fee.

The council may ban illuminated signs “facing and visible from” the Navesink and Swimming rivers.

The proposal comes a month after the zoning board approved a request for such a sign for Riverview Medical Center, which fronts on the Navesink.

The hospital’s approval would not be affected by the ban, if adopted.

Also on the docket is an increase penalties for repeated false fire alarms.

After warnings for first and second false alarms, property owners would face a fine of $100 for a third false alarm in the same calendar year; $250 for the fourth; and $500 for each false alarm after that. The current fines are $15, $25 and $50, respectively.

The council plans to introduce a $2.6 million bond issue, $2.2 million of which will cover various street improvements.

Another $300,000 is designated as “preliminary expenses and costs in connection with the evaluation of buildings and properties available for redevelopment,” and the remaining $200,000 is budgeted for “iImprovements/upgrades to various municipal buildings, including, but not limited to, the Department of Public Works Facility, the Municipal Building and the Senior Center,” the ordinance reads.

A zoning amendment to remove gas stations from the types of businesses permitted uses on Shrewsbury Avenue is up for introduction.

A number of measures related to the implementation  of a new plan for affordable housing through 2025 are also on the agenda.

A new patrolman, Piero Vescio, is slated to be sworn to duty.