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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN’S USE DEBATED

An illustration from the Master Plan section on affordable housing. (Image by BFJ Planning. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njConcluding a 14-month process, the Red Bank planning board adopted the borough’s first new Master Plan in 28 years Monday night.

The unanimous vote followed spirited debate about whether the many recommendations in the 166-page document should be prioritized for council action.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN GETS WALK-THROUGH

Master Plan consultant Susan Favate addressing attendees Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed new Master Plan for Red Bank drew little criticism in its public debut Monday night.

If adopted, as expected, the next challenge will be in prioritizing the many recommendations in the 166-page document, planning board members said.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN ROLLOUT SET

Planning board chairman Dan Mancuso at a meeting in October. The board ‘endorsed’ the primary school garden, below. (Photos by John T. Ward and Red Bank schools. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A draft of Red Bank’s first new Master Plan in decades will be available for public review this week, planning officials said Monday night.

At its opening session of 2023, and the first ever available via Zoom, the planning board also ‘endorsed’ the learning garden at the borough’s primary school, and learned that, so far, there are no other applications pending.

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RED BANK: PORTMAN TAKES MAYOR’S SEAT

Mayor Billy Portman opens the reorganization meeting as Attorney Dan Antonelli looks on, above; new fire chiefs were sworn in, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank entered into a period of transition Wednesday night, as a new mayor took the helm of a government that’s slated to vanish in seven months.

Billy Portman, a political neophyte who helped dismantle the local Democratic machine last year, was sworn into the town’s highest elected position pledging he’ll “keep the ship running smoothly” in the interim.

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RED BANK: INDOOR CANNABIS FARM APPROVED

The facility would operate in three buildings now used for warehousing at 15 East Leonard Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank moved closer to scoring a wholesale cannabis growing facility Monday night.

Before granting approval, however, planning board members had to overcome misgivings about an all-cash operation – and an electrified security fence meant to give intruders a “kick in the chest” without killing them.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN INPUTS SLATED

Hackensack Meridian Health’s Riverview Medical Center and its holdings comprise one of three areas of town that will get special focus in the Master Plan. (Google Map from Monmouth County property records. Click green circles for site details.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank residents will have two opportunities to weigh in on the borough’s ongoing Master Plan update next month.

Among the topics: the future of three discrete sections of town, including the area around the sprawling Riverview Medical Center.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN INPUT SOUGHT

The borough’s Master Plan consultant has created a website for public input. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicLove it? Want to change it?

Red Bank residents and visitors can now weigh in on the borough’s Master Plan update-in-progress.

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RED BANK: HOME’S HISTORIC VALUE DISPUTED

Downtown Investors plans to demolish the house at 26 Wallace Street to create a parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njHistoric-value claims about a century house targeted for demolition in downtown Red Bank are “in error,” a developer’s land-use expert told the planning board Monday night.

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission were itching to differ.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN OUTREACH PLEDGED

Monday night’s planning board meeting was lightly attended. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA New York City planning firm will run a series of public sessions and set up a web portal for comments while overhauling Red Bank’s Master Plan, planning board members said Monday night.

The promised outreach effort put the proposal by BFJ Planning “heads and tails above” four other pitches for the contract, said member David Cassidy.

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RED BANK: BOARD NIXES REDEVELOPMENT BID

Saxum owns the former VNA site, viewed here from the former Raceway gas station on Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSaxum Real Estate‘s request for a controversial zoning change in Red Bank hit a solid brick wall Monday night.

At a meeting that lasted just 12 minutes, the borough planning board unanimously rejected a proposal that objectors feared would lead to massive tax breaks for the developer.

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

A rendering of Saxum’s planned project at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOpponents of a potential tax deal for a massive proposed development in Red Bank may have to cool their heels until October to challenge the first step in the process.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN APPROVED

A view of the north side of the proposed Shrewsbury Manor at Allen Place. (Rendering by Michels & Waldron. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A plan to build 10 new apartments on the site of a Victorian house won approval from the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

The applicant also garnered praise from the board chairman for not pushing for more.

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RED BANK: TAX BREAK CLOUDS SAXUM HEARING

Saxum’s project would replace the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board kicked off a process Monday night that could result in a rezoning of prime real estate.

But while the ultimate goal of the effort – a tax break for a developer – was not under immediate consideration, it was clearly on the minds of objectors, including at least one board member.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN UPDATE BEGINS

A southward view of Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank embarked on a full-scale rewriting of its Master Plan for the first time in 25 years Monday night.

At a meeting via Zoom that lasted less than 12 minutes, the planning board initiated what could be a two-year process of rethinking the town’s zoning for the next generation.

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RED BANK: SHELL GETS SHOP OK ON THIRD TRY

red bank shell stationThe car wash at left is to be replaced by a convenience store. (April, 2019 photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a favorable zoning change last year, Red Bank’s lone Shell station won approval to add a convenience store Monday night.

A neighbor called the proposal “lipstick on a pig.” The planning board’s chairman called it “a better pig.”

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RED BANK: ROOFTOP DINING PLAN APPROVED

red bank 3-5 broad st.The former home of the Belmonte and, before that, Red, has been vacant for more than two years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A long-vacant restaurant space in Red Bank won approval for rooftop dining Monday night, despite objections by the board’s chairman.

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

red bank, nj, vna, 176 riverside, saxum
hot topic red bank nj
The Red Bank planning board hearing, scheduled for Monday night, on a proposal for 210 apartments on Riverside Avenue has been rescheduled. 

 

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RED BANK: BOARD AIRS SAXUM PLAN HURDLES

red bank saxum plan 090419 4A rendering depicts the proposed plaza at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place that board members raised safety concerns about. (Rendering by Arterial Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank planning board members aired numerous misgivings about one of the largest development plans in borough history Monday night.

High on the list that developer Saxum Real Estate is expected to address: traffic and pedestrian safety issues. More →

RED BANK: PLAZA FOCUS OF SAXUM HEARING

176 riverside red bank saxumA rendering depicts the Bodman Place side of the proposed apartment project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

The fate of one of the largest development plans in Red Bank history remained unresolved Monday night.

At the fourth planning board hearing on the 210-unit apartment complex proposed for the site of the former VNA headquarters, attention centered largely on the wisdom of putting a public plaza on busy Riverside Avenue.

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RED BANK: RED ROCK, SECRET STASH WIN OKS

red bank red rock Red Rock Tap + Grill will be permitted to enclose some of its rooftop seasonally and make other site changes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Rock Tap + Grill can convert some of its rooftop space to year-round dining under a decision by Red Bank’s planning board Monday night.

Also, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash can keep its splashy, ordinance-breaking window treatment, the board ruled.

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RED BANK: HOTEL DELAY REQUEST REJECTED

red bank hampton innA rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn, with the former VNA building at right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

In a move that could torpedo a hotly debated hotel at the northern entry to Red Bank, the planning board Monday night shot down a request by the would-be developer for more time to get the project in the ground.
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RED BANK: PLANNERS CAP VNA SITE DENSITY

red bank nj vna 176 riverside saxumRed Bank is negotiating a deal under which the developer would satisfy a “significant” portion of the town’s affordable housing obligation, a lawyer told the board. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe site of a vacant office building in Red Bank is a key element in meeting the borough’s affordable housing obligations, a lawyer told the planning board Monday night.

But a proposal to allow the development of up to 90 units per acre on the 2.7-acre former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters site met continued resistance, despite support from Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: BOARD RESISTS DENSITY BONUSES

red bank, nj, vna, 176 riverside, saxumThe former VNA building sits on 2.7 acres at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA recommended new overlay zone that would allow generous density bonuses won’t be on the Red Bank council’s agenda for its next meeting Wednesday night.

That’s because members of the planning board, which was tasked with reviewing the proposal, think it gives too much away to the affected site’s new owner.

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RED BANK: UPDATED ‘RAIL’ ROLLS TO OK

RED BANK, nj, denholtz, railAn architect’s depiction of the proposed Rail multiuse project, as seen from the intersection of Oakland Street and Bridge Avenue, with St. Anthony’s Church at right. (Rendering by Rotwein+Blake. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn expanded version of an ambitious mixed-use development proposed alongside the Red Bank train station got the express treatment from the borough planning board Monday night.

 

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