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.

RED BANK: BILLBOARD QUESTIONS LOOM

red-bank-187-riverside-012723-4-500x375-3324914A 40-foot tall digital billboard would replace the existing 22-foot billboard at 187 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637The company seeking to erect a giant digital billboard at Red Bank’s northern gateway already has a state permit to light one up at the southern gateway, a representative acknowledged Thursday night.

But Outfront Media LLC may use the permit simply to block competitors, a company official testified to the zoning board.

red-bank-vincent-light-020223-500x375-4519467Zoning board member Vincent Light at Thursday’s hearing, above. Below, a rendering shows what the billboard would look like to motorists heading south from on Cooper’s Bridge. (Photo by John T. Ward, illustration by Outfront Media. Click to enlarge.)

red-bank-billboard-020223-3-220x147-2838160Outfront is seeking variances to erect a 40-foot-high LED display at the vacant former gas station at 187 Riverside Avenue.

The billboard would be visible to traffic heading into town on the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge across the Navesink River.

Variances are needed because billboards are not permitted anywhere in town. Nearly two dozen exist, however, under laws that allow ‘grandfather’ uses that predate bans to continue.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation requires electronic billboards to obtain permits certifying they meet safety and other standards. Municipalities still have the final say, however, over whether to allow the devices.

In testimony, John Antal, Outfront’s general manager for New Jersey, told the board the company obtained its permit for the Riverside Avenue site in late 2021.

Its messaging would change every eight seconds, in conformance with DOT regulations, he said.

The company, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has about 3,900 billboards in New Jersey, including 93 digital boards, Antal said. Local examples are on Route 35 in Holmdel and Ocean Township, he said.

In Red Bank, where about two dozen billboards are grandfathered, Outfront owns “more than 20,” Antal said.

The company has no plans for digital signage elsewhere in town, Antal told the board.  That could change, he acknowledged, in response to a questioning by board member Rich Angowski.

But after a brief recess in the hearing, board member Vincent Light said he had noticed within Outfront’s submissions a list that appeared to show Outfront already has DOT permission to erect a digital board at the intersection on Newman Springs Road, just off Broad Street.

Antal acknowledged the existence of the permit.

“Just because we hold a state digital permit doesn’t mean we intend to go for local application and permit,” Antal said.

He cited state regulations that require any two digital signs be no closer than 3,000 feet.

“It’s part of the business,” Antal said. “One of the things you can do with a state permit is you can space out other people from having it.”

“So tonight, as far as you know, you’re not doing this,” said board Chairperson Lauren Nicosia. But “tomorrow morning, that might be different, correct?”

Antal acknowledged that it could.

No comments were taken from the audience; those will follow the completion of testimony. The zoning board is scheduled to resume the hearing on Outfront’s application at its April 20 meeting.

If you value the news coverage provided by redbankgreen, please become a financial supporter for as little as $1 per month. Click here to set your own level of monthly or annual contribution.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
FEELING SNAPPY
      Snapping Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs this time of year and are a common site along the Swimming River waterfr ...
TUB TIME
RED BANK: A sparrow waits for the next available dirt tub while two others take their Sunday baths. (Click for video.)
CHECK IT OUT
A bench outside the Red Bank Public Library provided a serene view of our beautiful Navesink River Monday evening.
WAYWARD SLIM JIM
Anybody lose a Slim Jim? A “Sweet Mild O’ Mine” flavor Slim Jim was seen left unattended on this mailbox on Mechanic Stree ...
YAPPY TOGETHER
RED BANK: Look for this cutie pie, named Sacramento, at Yappy Hour on Broadwalk Saturday. He's looking for a new home.
YELLOW RAINCOAT DAY
On a rainy May morning, the only golden sight on Broad Street this morning were the matching raincoats of Eileen and her dog Benny.
STOP. JUST STOP.
RED BANK: For those who don't get the meaning of a stop sign, crossing guard Diane Johnson amplifies the message with some colorful outfits. ...
RECORDS SKIP INTO TOWN
RED BANK: Devotees of vinyl records expected to drop needle at Broad and Mechanic Saturday. Here's why.
Feline fortunes on Monmouth Street
Christopher Russell and feline pal Princess take in some fresh air on a warm May night Thursday in the doorway of Gina’s Psychic Bouti ...
GOING UP?
RED BANK: Public Library will be closed Friday for the start of elevator construction. (Click for more.)
TREEBIRTH
RED BANK: Replacement of nine trees gets underway on South Street, where a wholesale removal angered residents last September. (Click for mo ...
RIVERSIDE FLOW
New Jersey Flow Arts brings together jugglers, poi spinners, hoopers and more weekly in Riverside Gardens Park.
Honeybee swarm carted away
Beekeeper Tanya Ptak of Ptak’s Apiary inspects a swarm of honeybees that chose a flower pot in the courtyard of Red Bank Primary Schoo ...
BELOVED POISONED DOG PHOTO SURFACES
   
THREE ON TOUR
RED BANK: Three borough sites will participate in a weekend of self-guided tours of 52 historic locations in Monmouth County May 4 & 5.
VOLUNTEERS GET INTO THE WEEDS
Toting plastic trash bags, 51 volunteers conducted a walking litter cleanup on Red Bank's West Side Saturday.
“IT’S A PARTY AT WAWA!”
You wish you could vibe like Brian, who lives on the other side of Hubbard’s Bridge. He caught redbankgreen’s attention in Red B ...
POPE OKS ORATORY
RED BANK: St. Anthony of Padua obtains papal approval to establish Oratory of St. Philip Neri, a community of priests and brothers devoted t ...
RED BANK: NEW MURAL BRIGHTENS CORNER
RED BANK: Lunch Break founder Norma Todd is depicted in a mural painted this week on the front of the newly renovated social service agency.
TULIPS TOGETHER
Spring tulips taking in the sunset outside the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank Monday evening.