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RED BANK: PARKING, EV CHARGING ON AGENDA

rb-ev-charger-041918-3-500x375-9340658The council is eyeing requirements for electric vehicle charging in new multifamily projects and parking lots. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-9108919On the Red Bank mayor and council’s agenda for Wednesday night: rules requiring electric vehicle chargers at new developments, and a change in the parking law for a stretch of Spring Street.

Not on the agenda: the burning issue of how to rewrite the town’s cannabis law.

red-bank-spring-street-032420-500x332-4050538An amendment would flip the parking rules on a portion of Spring Street. (2020 photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

On the agenda for the semimonthly session, as of Tuesday morning:

• The introduction of an ordinance amendment setting standards for electric vehicle (EV) charging.

Among other provisions, it would require new residential developments of five or more units to provide at least 15 percent of their mandated parking obligation with EV chargers or make-ready spaces. Each space would count as two toward the developer’s obligation, with a cap.

The change would amend an existing ordinance that requires new parking lots of 20 or more spaces to have one charging station for every 20 spots. It also calls for pre-wiring parking spots for future conversion to level two charging stations.

• Residents of a stretch of Spring Street will have to flip their thinking on parking if an amendment up for introduction is adopted.

At present, parking is prohibited on the east side of the street for the entire length of the road, from East Front Street to the Little Silver border. The proposed change would allow parking on the east side from Harding Road to the border, while prohibiting it on the west side.

The rationale for the change was not stated.

Update: Following publication of this article, interim borough administrator and police Chief Darren McConnell sent the following via email:

We heard a number of concerns from residents south of Harding Road who were having a very hard time backing out of their driveways due to the number of vehicles regularly parked on the street and the size of some of those vehicles, ie. vans and SUV’s.  After reviewing it with our traffic officers and our engineer last year, we determined that switching the parking to the other side of the street would not cause a significant gain or loss in available parking but would likely enhance the safety of the area.  The majority of the driveway on the east side of Spring Street in that area are to complexes, rather than single or two family homes.  The opposite is true on the west side of the street.  Therefore, vehicles exiting the complexes pull out into the roadway forwards, not in reverse.  This should make it safer for those motorists as they will be able to see better and be able to maneuver more easily.  We intend to stripe the roadway with markings that delineate where vehicles can park, leaving space on each side of the driveways to the complexes.  This will provide better visibility for drivers but will also permit easier access for fire apparatus, sanitation trucks, and other large vehicles.

• Creation of a three-percent transient accommodation tax for short-term rental properties.

The tax would apply to Airbnb-style accommodations in residences, but not to hotels, which are covered by an existing room tax.

• Approval of a temporary easement onto Red Bank Public Library property to allow the developer of the site next door at 96-98 West Front Street to construct retaining walls.

In October, 2021, developer Samuel Shamaev obtained zoning board approval for a 10-unit condominium project with ground-floor commercial space on the vacant site, located at the northeast corner of West Front and Maple Avenue.

• A proclamation honoring 2022 fire Chief Nick Ferraro.

Absent from the agenda is any mention of cannabis. Led by Councilmember Michael Ballard, a three-person committee has been drafting proposed amendments to the 2021 ordinance that set parameters fro marijuana growing, retailing and other aspects of the industry.

The issue has been contentious. At the council’s most recent session, several parents of Red Bank Charter School students complained that the school was only one in town that would be within 1,000 feet of cannabis retail shops.

Here’s the full agenda. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street. Remote participation is available via Zoom.

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