FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ COMMENTS LESS HEATED

red bank what's going on herefair haven dunkin This time a year ago, Fair Haven was a town divided. The issue? Whether to allow a Dunkin’ coffee shop to fill a vacancy in the River Road strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket. The back-and-forth on the Fair Haven, NJ Facebook page got so nasty that the moderator shut down commenting on the issue.

Well this week, seven months after the planning board approved the shop, the still-empty retail space got its Dunkin’ sign, and the moderator allowed a resumption of comments. So how’d that go?

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FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES PLAN ATTACKED

fair haven theresa casagrande 030520Fair Haven Administrator Theresa Casagrande at Thursday night’s event. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven residents found a lot to dislike about a proposed $3.4 million purchase of real estate for borough use when they gathered at Bicentennial Hall Thursday night.

They barraged borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande with questions and complaints about the plan’s financial impacts, the displacement of business tenants and more.

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FAIR HAVEN: FACILITIES PLAN AIRING SLATED

fair haven 623 river 022120 4The consolidation plan contemplates the borough buying 623 River Road for $3.4 million. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With little more than a day’s notice, Fair Haven has announced a public presentation over a proposed plan for a new borough hall and police station.

One council member called the alert “terribly short notice” and asked that a key vote on the proposal be tabled.

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RED BANK: BALLARD & ZIPPRICH TO RUN AGAIN

Ed Zipprich, left, won a fourth term, and Michael Ballard, right, won his first in the 2017 election. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two incumbent Democrats will defend their seats on the Red Bank council in the November election, the party announced Monday.

In an unsurprising move, the municipal and county Democratic committees unanimously endorsed Councilman Ed Zipprich‘s pursuit of a fifth three-year term, and Michael Ballard‘s quest for a second.

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RED BANK: SNACK BAR, SCREENS ON AGENDA

red bank riverside gardens concessionThe council won’t renew the lease on the snack stand at Riverside Gardens Park under a measure on Wednesday’s agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After several years as a seasonal commercial operation, the concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park has proven to be a fiscal dud.

So suggests a proposal to nix an extension of the soon-to-expire lease on the building. That, along with an ordinance tightening up the property maintenance law governing lawns and window screens, is among the items of interest up for consider at for the council’s regular session Wednesday.

Here’s a quick rundown.

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FAIR HAVEN: TENANTS HOT OVER TOWN DEAL

fair haven 623 river roadThe borough plans to buy 623 River Road, outlined in red. The star indicates the firehouse property. (Google Maps image. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the objections of business owners and residents, Fair Haven’s council initiated a plan Monday night to buy a River Road site, where it would create a new borough hall and police station.

Even the council’s two newest members, Democrats whose November election signaled a change in the status quo, agreed that the new facilities are “a need, not a want.” But tenants of the target building said the changes would tear at the fabric of the town.

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FAIR HAVEN: TOWN IN DEAL FOR OFFICE SITE

fair haven 623 river roadThe borough plans to buy and raze the office building at 623 River Road, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See clarification below]

By JOHN T. WARD

After getting derailed last year, Fair Haven’s ambitious plan to consolidate borough facilities in new locations are expected to get back on track Monday night.

The town now plans to acquire and demolish the office building at 623 River Road and replace it with a new borough hall and police station, Mayor Ben Lucarelli told redbankgreen Friday morning.

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RED BANK: BOARD SUED OVER TWO DECISIONS

red bank, nj, vna, 176 riverside, saxumThe owners of the Colony House apartments, at right, claim the plan for the VNA site, at left, violates their property rights. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Two months after approving one of the largest development projects in Red Bank history, the borough planning board has been sued over the decision, redbankgreen has learned.

The suit arrives as the board is defending itself in a lawsuit concerning a proposed Hampton Inn just across the street.

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RED BANK: BRUNCH, AND MORE, IN CHURN

red bank 20 broad brunch 020420Brunch opened last week at 20 Broad Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallEaters have a fresh new option for breakfast and lunch in downtown Red Bank.

Read all about chef Ray Tutella’s venture and other business comings and goings in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT REVIEW BEGINS

red bank 121 monmouth stAn elevation showing the Monmouth Street side of the proposed Salerno project. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: The February 20 hearing for this project has been rescheduled at applicant’s request. No new date yet.]

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposed 59-unit apartment project should be allowed to exceed Red Bank’s height and density limits based on the objectives of the borough’s master plan, its architect testified Thursday night.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN UP FOR REVIEW

red bank 121 monmouth streetA rendering of the Monmouth Street side of the project proposed for the Monmouth Street site, below. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank 121 monmouth streetOn the Red Bank zoning board’s agenda Thursday night: a 59-unit apartment project proposed for the onetime site of Clarence ClemonsBig Man’s West rock venue.

Also up for review: a restaurant instead of a laundromat on Shrewsbury Avenue.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC STUDY ON AGENDA

red bank broad st snow 011820A proposed study is expected to track traffic at 19 downtown intersections, including Broad and West Front streets, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A study of downtown traffic is up for discussion at the Red Bank council’s workshop session Wednesday evening.

The data to be gathered is expected to be useful for future parking, pedestrian and other initiatives, borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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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: PROJECT REVIEW GETS UNDERWAY

red bank 141 west front 011620 2.jpgAn architect’s rendering showing the West Front Street side of the proposed project, with the existing office building at left. (Rendering by Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA plan to build 150 apartments atop an existing restaurant and parking deck in downtown Red Bank got its first taste of public scrutiny Thursday night.

While descriptions of the project by an engineer and an architect for developer PRC Group took up most of the three-hour zoning board hearing, it became clear that the plan’s scale, and impact on traffic, are likely to be issues.

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RED BANK: MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT ON DECK

red bank corporate plaza west front elevationA proposal to add 150 apartments to the Red Bank Corporate Plaza complex on West Front Street is scheduled to go before the borough zoning board Thursday night.

As previously reported by redbankgreen, the project would shatter the borough’s limits on building height, density and more if approved.

Here’s what you need to know about the application. (Rendering by Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

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FAIR HAVEN: STATION NOW IN HOUSING DEAL

fair haven 626 river rd 011420The former Sunoco property on River Road could get 14 apartments under the plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA vacant gas station envisioned as the site of a new Fair Haven borough hall just a year ago would instead get 14 apartments under an affordable housing settlement detailed by officials Monday night.

At a special council session held at Viola Sickles School to address the town’s legal obligation to accommodate low-and moderate-income earners, residents also heard about a plan for a two-family home to be built by Habitat for Humanity in a residential neighborhood.

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RED BANK: CORNER PLAN GETS THUMBS DOWN

red bank 273 shrewsbury aveThe project would replace a vacant office and retail building at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A proposal for 16 apartments above stores at a busy Red Bank intersection was sent back to the drawing board Thursday night, when neighbors and zoning board members declared it too big.

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