RED BANK: 7-ELEVEN CHALLENGED OVER 24/7

Planning consultant Rob Freud, representing 7-Eleven, answers a question from resident John Garofalo, left. Below, Freud with the site plan. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

proposal to convert the East Front Street Welsh Farms store into Red Bank’s second 7-Eleven hit a curb Monday night when officials questioned the conditions under which the convenience store was allowed to open in 1975.

Neighbors packed a planning board hearing on the matter, mobilized by concerns that a business that now closes by 10 p.m. will become a garishly lit traffic-and-litter generator operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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MYSTERY OBJECTOR SKEWS HOTEL DEBATE

hampton-110711Architect Lou Silverstein holds up a rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn as objector Marco Sima addresses the planning board. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Already the subject of a lawsuit, hearings on a proposed six-story, 72-room hotel at the foot of Cooper Bridge in Red Bank took another turn for the thorny Monday night when the lawyer for an objector acknowledged that a second client was paying his fees, but declined to say who.

Attorney Ron Gasiorowski’s refusal to tell the planning board whether his other client was a potential competitor with the proposed Hampton Inn appeared to set the stage for an eventual showdown, even as testimony by the hotel’s architect and an engineer went ahead.

“I’ve never seen it before,” acting board chairman Dan Mancuso told reporters after the hearing. “I’ve never seen a situation where it was unclear to the board who [a lawyer’s] client really was.”

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