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RED BANK: HIGHER VNA SITE DENSITY URGED

red bank, nj, vna, saxum, 176 riverside aveThe site, at 176 Riverside Avenue, is seen as integral to the borough’s efforts to provide affordable housing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council took steps Wednesday to allow as many as 90 housing units per acre on a key redevelopment site.

But the proposed rezoning of the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters site would negate a compromise recommendation made by the planning board just last week.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank, nj, borough hall, 90 monmouth st.Borough hall would get a new phone system under a contract up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here’s a preview of the Red Bank borough council’s agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night:

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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: HUNT FOR GRANTS CONTINUES

red bank, nj, broad streetA grant seeking $821,000 for improvements to Broad Street is among the nearly three dozen applications pending, according to a report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six months after hiring a professional contractor to seek out grant funds, the Red Bank council is hopeful that a cash pump has been primed.

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the council last week that while no grants have yet been secured under the contract with Millennium Strategies, there is now “several million dollars” worth of potential funding “in the pipeline.”

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RED BANK: VNA, BANK ST. LOT ON AGENDA

Density giveaways at the former VNA site were an issue for planning board members last month.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: Meeting cancelled for lack of quorum. Next one scheduled for November 19.]

By JOHN T. WARD

On the agenda for Monday night’s Red Bank planning board meeting: continued discussion about whether to create an overlay zone for the former Visiting Nurse Association site, and a plan to build two new homes on Bank Street.

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RED BANK: ANTI-KAVANAUGH RALLY SLATED

brett kavanaugh, scotus, red bank nj, greater red bank women's initiativeOpponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court plan to rally in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park as part of a “walk-out” movement Thursday afternoon, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: BELLHAVEN PLAN SCALED BACK

Trees were taken down recently at Bellhaven Natural Area in preparation for an observation deck being built there, according to Business Administrator Ziad Shehady. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials have quietly started prep work for a project at a site once mired in controversy: the Bellhaven Natural Area overlooking the Swimming River.

The end result, however will be a “scaled-back” version of a plan that once called for a spray park and triggered loud protests three years ago.

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ON THE GREEN: NEW RECYCLING RULES

Starting next week, recyclables put out at the curb in plastic bags won’t be picked up in a number of Monmouth County towns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County municipalities are rushing this week to implement new rules to prohibit the use of plastic bags to hold domestic recyclables for pickup.

The change is being driven by China, Red Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: BIKE SHARE PLAN IN THE WORKS

Biking in Red Bank —and possibly, Fair Haven and Little Silver — could get a boost under a push to bring a bike-sharing vendor to town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials are exploring the possibility of allowing a bike-share vendor to offer its services in town, and inviting two neighboring towns to get in on the two-wheeled action, Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the borough council last week.

 

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RED BANK: WAWA MEGASTORE PLAN YANKED

Former Red Bank mayor Ed McKenna, left, grilled Wawa engineer Mark Whitaker over the proposal at a zoning board hearing in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: This post contains comments from site ower Frank Sala, who was unavailable at the time of the original posting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Wawa’s coffee, subs and gasoline prices may have earned it a devoted following, but a controversial plan to build a supersized convenience store and filling station on Red Bank’s southern border has been withdrawn, redbankgreen has learned.

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RUMSON: NAVESINK QUALITY IMPROVES

A view of the Navesink from Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank last month. Below, Bill Heddendorf of the New Jersey DEP discusses the need for additional testing along the Spring Street storm sewer line in Red Bank. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello, below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An effort to reverse biological contamination in the Navesink River is “working,” and could result in the reopening of closed shellfish beds a year earlier than previously expected, a New Jersey environmental scientist told a gathering in Rumson last week.

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RED BANK: JUDGE NIXES POWER LINE PLAN

Homeowners living along the line and other objectors packed a public hearing on the JCP&L proposal held at Brookdale Community College last March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Electrical utility JCP&L has failed to prove it needs a to build a controversial 10-mile long, high-voltage electricity transmission line that would end in Red Bank, a judge has ruled.

The decision, handed down Thursday, represents at least an interim victory for a grassroots effort led by homeowners to thwart the proposed $111 million project.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC TALK SLOWS WAWA PLAN

The Wawa site plan, with the store at top and gas pump island shown in yellow, calls for the creation of a new center lane on Newman Springs Road allowing motorists traveling in both directions to make left turns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Like a motorist stuck in rush-hour traffic, a supersized Wawa convenience store and filling station proposed for a problematic Red Bank intersection inched forward Thursday night.

At issue as the zoning board weighs the plan: whether the project would make congestion worse or improve traffic flow near the intersection of Newman Springs Road and Broad Street.

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RED BANK: WAWA TOUTS TRAFFIC PLAN

A site plan for the proposed project shows the store at center, the fueling area as the yellow rectangle, and center lane left-turn markings on Newman Springs Road, at bottom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rather than worsening conditions for motorists, a proposed Wawa convenience store and filling station in Red Bank would come with roadway upgrades to improve traffic flow and safety near a busy intersection, witnesses told the borough zoning board Thursday night.

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RED BANK: EATERIES SPOTLIGHT STRAWS

Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue, above, is one of eight Red Bank restaurants participating in a monthlong effort to reduce the number of plastic drinking straws that don’t make it into the recycling stream.

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RED BANK: SUNSET PARK CONCEPT TO DEBUT

The so-called Sunset Park concept plan includes a soccer field, riverfront boardwalk, kayak launch and other amenities. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents will get their first look Monday night at a concept plan for a new park on the town’s long-closed landfill site overlooking the Swimming River.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL EYES THE WORLD

Red Bank Charter School S students with Principal Meredith Pennotti on International Day.

Classrooms at Red Bank Charter School were transformed into disaster zones as students immersed themselves in a learning experience that combined performance art with history, culture, science and cuisine as part of the school’s annual International Day.

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FAIR HAVEN: INCUMBENTS WIN NEW TERMS

Fair Haven voters opted for one Democrat and one Republican, both incumbents, in filling two open seats on the borough council Tuesday.

Democrat Christopher Rodriguez led the pack of four candidates with 1,148 votes, outpolling Republican Susan Sorensen by 28 votes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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FAIR HAVEN: BACK TO THE FOREFRONT

After spending the last five months on rails at the back of a River Road, Fair Haven lot, a 150-year old old house-turned-retail structure was slid into place over a new foundation at the front last week.

What’s Going On Here? Read on.

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SANDY HOOK: BE IN ON THE BLITZ

Students of all ages and their family members are invited to participate in the annual “BioBlitz” census of species on Sandy Hook, hosted by the American Littoral Society on Friday.

[CORRECTION: The original version of this post reported the event is occurring Saturday. It’s on Friday.]

It happens every September, around the ocean and bay beaches, coves, trails, and forested areas of Sandy Hook — and for 12 hours beginning Saturday morning, “citizen scientists” of all ages are invited to assist a team of naturalists in the annual census operation known as “BioBlitz.”

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