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RwplanAn architect’s rendering of the proposed RW @ River’s Edge condos.

A proposed 12-unit West Side condo project that was the flashpoint in a legal challenge to Red Bank’s efforts to provide affordable housing is up for final approval by the zoning board.

RW @ River’s Edge, envisioned as replacing several abandoned homes at the western ends of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Bank Street, was the basis for a challenge by the Fair Share Housing Center of Cherry Hill, the Asbury Park Press reports.

That led the the state Council on Affordable Housing last week to temporarily strip the borough of the right to approve any applications for new market-rate housing, according to the Press’ Larry Higgs.

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The state Council on Affordable Housing has temporarily barred Red Bank from granting any new multifamily housing approvals until a dispute over the borough’s fair share of below-market housing can be addressed, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.


No such projects are currently up for approval by the borough planning or zoning boards. But Borough Attorney Tom Hall tells the Press’ Larry Higgs that he’s “disappointed” that the Fair Share Housing of Cherry Hill won a temporary freeze Wednesday on approvals pending oral arguments by the borough and center attorneys on Nov. 12.

According to the Press, Fair Share Housing Center attorney Adam Green

argued that the borough has approved hundreds of units of luxury housing units, while not setting aside 20 percent of those units as affordable housing under COAH requirements. Those approvals have affected existing affordable housing by increasing property values and forcing low- and moderate-income families out of the borough, he said.

“The town can’t say “We don’t have land to develop (affordable housing on)’ and grant variances to developers of luxury apartments without affordable housing,” Gordon said afterward.

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A comment attributed to the late Monmouth County Freeholder Harry Larrison Jr. while he was under investigation for public corruption has raised some eyebrows at Red Bank Borough Hall.

The remark appeared in an Asbury Park Press story Sunday, a look-back at the federal investigation dubbed Operation Bid Rig, which wound up in charges against nearly two dozen elected and appointed officials in Monmouth County.

None were from Red Bank. But in a remark caught on tape by his chauffeur, Tony Palughi (then still squiring the recently retired, 78-year-old Larrison around in a county car), Larrison brags of his clout in winning municipal business for brothers Stephen and Matthew Appolonia, owners of Interntional Trucks of Central Jersey. And he implies that some of that grease was applied in Red Bank.

While ranting that International hadn’t given his own company, Larrison Fuel Oil, a break on an invoice, Larrison said, according to Press reporter Bob Cullinane’s story:

“How about the ——— hours I spent on the phone with Middletown, Red Bank and Howell? (Appolonia) was ——— in Howell until I got into the act. Isn’t my time worth something?” he gripes to Palughi, according to FBI transcripts of tape recordings. But when Palughi tries to offer Larrison advice, the former freeholder barks, “Keep your mouth shut . . . shut! It’s nobody’s business but mine.”

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Another Red Bank Council meeting, another ugly blow-up. And last night’s was a Richter-scale doozie.


As usual, the main event was Mayor Ed McKenna v. Councilman John Curley, but two other council members and a borough resident got into the finger-pointing and shouting.

Through it all, Curley’s opponent in the race to succeed McKenna, Council President Pasquale Menna, stayed on the sidelines before restoring an air of calm to the proceedings.

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