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RED BANK: LIGHT ‘NOT FEASIBLE’ SAYS DOT

A car, at right, waits for a break in the traffic to turn onto Riverside Avenue from Bodman Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Creating a new signal-controlled intersection on a busy stretch of Red Bank highway near the Molly Pitcher Inn is “not feasible,” according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Still, Mayor Pasquale Menna is hoping the DOT will reconsider its oft-stated position if and when there’s a new owner of the former VNA Health Group headquarters building, located on a problematic corner, he told redbankgreen Monday.

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STATEHOUSE: GOPAL, O’SCANLON SCORE WINS


 Vin Gopal and his 11th-district running mates staked out an island of Democratic blue in a sea of GOP red. (Map by NJSpotlight.com.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Middletown resident Phil Murphy was the clear winner in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday, in spite of a chilly reception from his home county.

Meanwhile, Republican state Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank lost her 11th-district statehouse seat to Democrat Vin Gopal, and first-term Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan came up short in his bid for an Assembly seat on Beck’s ticket.

Former Little Silver Councilman Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, held off a challenge to his 13th-district state Senate seat by Middletown Democrat Sean Byrnes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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RED BANK: DEMOCRATS BACK ON TOP

Ed Zipprich, left, won a fourth term and Michael Ballard, right, won his first as Democrats swept to victory Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two years after losing a generation-long majority on the Red Bank council, borough Democrats are back on top.

Helped by a statewide wave of anti-Trump and anti-Christie sentiment, incumbent Councilman Ed Zipprich won a fourth three-year term Tuesday night. He’ll be joined on the governing body by school board vice present Michael Ballard, after they easily vanquished one-term Republican Linda Schwabenbauer and her running mate, Dana McArthur.

 

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RED BANK: COUNCIL PRESSES FOR LIGHT

A car, at center, waits for a break in the traffic to turn onto Riverside Avenue from Bodman Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to nudge the New Jersey Department of Transportation to act, the Red Bank council adopted a resolution Wednesday night calling for a traffic light on a curving part of a road that Mayor Pasquale Menna says motorists “zoom” down.

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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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RED BANK: BUILDERS BALK AT ‘NET 500’

Roger Mumford unveiled a new version of his development plan, one that calls for a park along Maple Avenue between White and Monmouth streets, seen at right in the rendering above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two finalists vying for the right to redevelop Red Bank’s White Street parking lot both raised concerns about their ability to meet a non-negotiable condition set by downtown merchants: that a new garage add no fewer than 500 public parking spaces to the 273-already there.

Moreover, one of the builders insisted that a definitive study to determine the actual parking deficit downtown is needed, a claim that some business owners have dismissed as an unnecessary speed bump en route to what they contend is a decades-overdue parking solution.

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RED BANK: PARKING GETS TWO SPOTLIGHTS

An effort to redevelop Red Bank’s largest downtown parking lot — and, some would say, ensure the economic viability of the downtown as a whole — moves to a new stage Wednesday night.

Or, more precisely, it moves onto two stages.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S NEXT FOR PARKING?

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot is slated for recission next week, but will have to be redone at some point, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that Red Bank’s elected officials have agreed, unofficially, to restart a drive for a downtown parking solution, what happens next?

Two government meetings on one night, for starters.

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RED BANK: POLS PULL U-TURN ON PARKING

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot, outlined in red above, will be rescinded in an effort to end a lawsuit and address concerns about building size, borough officials said. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s search for a downtown parking solution took a U-turn Wednesday night, when the borough council put in motion a plan to derail a pending lawsuit by former councilwoman Cindy Burnham that members say has impeded progress.

In what was also described as a “compromise” between Republicans and Democrats over proposed building sizes , the council agreed to scrap a contentious nine-month-old redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot.

At the same time, it knocked out, without much explanation, three of the five developers vying to build a parking deck, and more, on the 2.3-acre site.

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RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE HEARING SLATED

The council will hold a public forum on proposals for the White Street parking site later this month, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost six months after they were submitted and three months after they were the subject of hasty presentations, five proposed plans for the redevelopment of Red Bank’s main downtown parking lot will finally get a public hearing, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: GARAGE BACKERS AIM AT LOGJAM

Roger Mumford, seen here in 2015, has offered a new plan for the White Street parking lot site that garage backers hope will dissolve political opposition to development. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

One of the five would-be builders of a downtown parking garage has told Red Bank officials he’s willing to build a 773-space parking garage on White Street in exchange for the right to erect 100 homes next door.

Garage advocates touted the informal proposal Wednesday night in the hopes of busting through a political logjam, one they believe has been erected by the three Democrats on the six-member borough council.

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RED BANK: NO MOVEMENT ON PARKING

The 2.3-acre White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Nearly two months after five builders presented concept plans for a parking solution on White Street, Red Bank officials have yet to schedule a promised public comment session on the proposals.

That appeared to contribute to frustration voiced during the public comment portion of the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER TAKES STANCE ON LOT

 RiverCenter took no position on the relative merits of five developers’ concept plans for the White Street lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s 500 or nothing, says Red Bank RiverCenter.

The downtown promotion agency says in an “open letter” to elected officials that it “cannot and will not” support a plan for a parking garage on White Street that doesn’t yield a net gain of 500 parking spaces on the 2.3-acre site — and none of the five plans submitted by would-be developers currently meets that target, it claims.

Mike Whelan, the councilmember who leads the parking committee, called the organization’s statement a “flip-flop” and a “disservice” to the downtown.

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RED BANK: NO CONSENSUS AT PARKING FORUM

Architect Mike Simpson led the business group’s forum at the Red Bank Middle School Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Only 17 or so Red Bank residents turned out on a rainy night for a forum on downtown parking Thursday.

And to the chagrin of the merchant group that sponsored it, few of them seemed to agree that the need for a new parking garage, let alone massive new development to go along with it, has been proven.

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RED BANK: TWO PARKING FORUMS PLANNED

Two public forums are in the works on the question of what to do about parking in downtown Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents, merchants and visitors could get two chances to weigh in on downtown Red Bank’s parking crisis — or whether one even exists — at two public events in coming weeks.

Both events were characterized at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council meeting as next-steps responses to five plans presented by would-be developers of the borough-owned parking lot on White Street.

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RED BANK: DEMS BACK ‘PURE’ GARAGE

Councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich, flanked by fellow Democrats Erik Yngstrom and Kathy Horgan in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council — and a candidate to join them there — endorsed a downtown parking solution that calls for a new White Street garage without additional development Tuesday.

The announcement set the course for a possible head-on collision with the governing body’s three Republicans, who have championed an approach that welcomed the possibility of hundreds of new housing units as well as a parking deck.

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RED BANK: SEWER LINE BREAK CLOSES ROAD

Work to repair an overnight sewer line break forced the closure of Shrewsbury Avenue between West Front and Oakland streets in Red Bank early Friday morning. There was no immediate estimate on when the busy stretch of road might reopen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RUMSON: OCEANIC MAKEOVER BEGINS ANEW

Todd Thompson, seated at center, discussing bridge options with other attendees at the Rumson session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

What should be done about the crumbling Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown?

Area residents were offered dozens of options Tuesday as Monmouth County officials hit the reset button on an earlier process derailed by a change in federal regulations.

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OCEANIC BRIDGE: CONCEPT PLANS ON DISPLAY

The Oceanic Bridge between Rumson and Middletown is in “critical” condition, according to the Monmouth County Engineer’s office, and officials plan to unveil “conceptual alternatives” for its replacement or repair at meetings slated in each town today.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS GET FIRST AIRING

A standing-room crowd stuck around after the hourlong council meeting for nearly two hours of parking presentations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At an event with no equal in recent memory, and possibly in the 109-year history of the borough, five would-be developers trotted out plans to remake a large swath of downtown Red Bank Wednesday night.

Mixing elements of beauty pageant and planning board meeting, the special session of the borough parking committee drew a standing-room crowd to hear would-be builders tout their visions for massive parking and housing projects, some with retail thrown in as well.

The event was notable also for who was not there.

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RED BANK: MUMFORD LOCKS UP EXTRA SITES

Yellow Brook principal Roger Mumford with a rendering of a building on the site of Atlantic Glass at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Of the five proposed plans for White Street presented to the Red Bank parking committee Wednesday night, only one had what Roger Mumford’s had: a lock on two adjoining properties.

Mumford also arrived at the meeting with a singular certainty that without those sites, the project isn’t worth doing.

“We don’t have five different concepts,” Mumford told the committee and a standing-room crowd at borough hall, in a veiled reference to one of his competitors. “We’ve got one, because we really like it.”

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