RED BANK: SMOKING BAN COMING

red bank nj marine parkThe ban would put Marine Park off-limits to smokers, including those who work at Riverview Medical Center, seen at left above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFollowing through on a plan first discussed last summer, Red Bank officials are expected to ban smoking in public places in coming weeks.

The move is expected to put a squeeze on smokers from Riverview Medical Center, the town’s largest employer.

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RED BANK: CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR FOR POT SHOP

red bank galleriaThe Galleria’s application indicated the business would be located in space now occupied by Siam Garden. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree months after Red Bank changed its zoning laws to allow sales of medical marijuana, the borough has rejected its first application for a retail pot shop, officials said Wednesday night.

The denial appears to underscore one of the main problems such a business would have to navigate: limitations on their proximity to schools and parks.

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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN GETS FIRST TATTOOS

red bank front st tattooMichael Saunders inks a new tat for Red Bank resident Nick Goskowsky on opening day at Front Street Tattoo. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Just three months after the Red Bank council voted to allow tattoo parlors downtown, one has inked its first butterflies and skulls onto biceps and bellies.

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RED BANK: TATTOO SHOP INKS LEASE

red bank, nj, tattoo shop, 37 east frontFront Street Tattoo plans to take a portion of the space previously used by Sugarush; the cupcake shop remains. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, retail, retail churnJust a month after the Red Bank council voted to allow tattoo parlors downtown, one has inked a lease in the district.

Also in Retail Churn: a new women’s accessory shop plans to open.

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RED BANK: TATTOO, MEDICAL POT ZONES OK’D

Under the changes, medical marijuana dispensaries are now allowed in retail zones, and tattoo parlors are permitted in additional zones. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAs expected, the Red Bank council approved measures on medical marijuana shops and tattoo parlors Wednesday.

Officials also introduced an ordinance to recognize a turn toward do-it-yourself crafts and other forms of “commercial recreation” downtown.

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FAIR HAVEN: TOWN TAKES UP POT DEBATE

Councilmen Bob Marchese, center, and Jon Peters, with Business Administrator Theresa Casagrande in foreground, at Monday night’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven officials mulled joining other towns in Monmouth and Ocean counties in opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana Monday night.

But the discussion was left unfinished, as council members differed over what specifically they would oppose of Governor Phil Murphy’s plans for legalization, and what they would find acceptable.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP HOME PLAN WINS FINAL OK

A yellow border outlines the site of developer Ray Rapcavage’s Azalea Gardens project, with Harding Road at the bottom, Clay Street to the left and Hudson Avenue at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Demolition of a house destroyed by fire five years ago could begin as early as this month as the first step toward the creation of a new 18-home community at Red Bank’s Five Corners, developer Ray Rapcavage told redbankgreen last week.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL MUM ON GARAGE PLANS

A lawsuit claims the redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot ignores the town’s Master Plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1Would-be developers in downtown Red Bank will no longer have to pay fees for failing to provide enough parking, following action by the borough council Wednesday night.

But progress toward a public garage on White Street — a partial solution to what many business owners consider a parking crisis — may have hit a legal speed bump.

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RED BANK: PARKING CHANGES ON AGENDA

rb plow 021314On the agenda: a change to the ordinance on overnight street parking in winter. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1A possible 773-vehicle garage on White Street isn’t the only parking issue on the Red Bank council’s agenda Wednesday night.

At its semimonthly meeting, the governing body is expected to take action on a number of matters that would tweak parking downtown as well as in residential neighborhoods.

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RED BANK: BLUE LINE HONORS LAW ENFORCERS

RB blue line 011317 4rb blue line 011317 3A crew from Alert Traffic Lines painted a vivid blue line along Broad Street in downtown Red Bank Friday in support of local law enforcement. The borough-based company, owned by John and Michael Garofalo, paid for the project, which the borough council authorized by resolution in December.

The line was laid between existing double yellow lines in spite of objections voiced elsewhere by the federal Department of Transportation that they’re unsafe because the pavement between the yellow lines is not visible. Councilman and Police Commissioner Mike Whelan told redbankgreen in a statement that he and Chief Darren McConnell disagree with the DOT. 

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RED BANK: PARKING NEWS

rb broad st 011217Under a recommendation of the council parking committee, the left-turn lane from Broad Street into Linden Lane would be eliminated, restoring three parking spaces on the west side of Broad. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LicPlate1For the first time in recent months, the clamor for and against a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank was absent at the first regular council meeting of 2017 Wednesday night.

Still, there was a smattering of parking-related news.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP CLEARS FIRST HURDLE

sposaro-121516Developer Ray Rapcavage, seated at right, and his attorney, Armen McOmber, listen as Hudson Avenue resident Anthony Sposaro endorses the Azalea Gardens project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A year after his last try was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage won a key approval Thursday night for a new plan to rebuild a shabby half-block on the southeast edge of downtown Red Bank.

On a unanimous vote, the zoning board granted Rapcavage variances for 18 homes fronted by an English garden on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But he’s not yet clear to start work.

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RED BANK: LATEST RAYRAP PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

RayRap site 121015 2The project calls for 16 townhouses along Clay Street, seen at left above, that would face east into an English garden with two freestanding homes. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Will RayRap have better luck this time?

A year after his last plan was shot down, real estate developer Ray Rapcavage returns to the Red Bank zoning board this week hoping to obtain approval for new plans to build homes on half a block’s worth of properties the edge of downtown.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP SEEKS ‘REHAB’ SITE LABEL

rapcavage 082714Ray Rapcavage, center above, with his wife, Suzanne, and Hudson Street resident Scott Broschart at the Five Corners site in 2014. Below, a detail of the latest proposal for the site. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Having been thwarted by the zoning board, developer Ray Rapcavage plans to ask the Red Bank council to designate his assembled properties on the edge of downtown as an “area in need of rehabilitation,” redbankgreen has learned.

If granted, the controversial label would enable Rapcavage to avoid a return trip to the zoning board with his revised plan, though he denies that’s his intent.

Rather, it would create a more “expeditious” route to possible construction on the half-block of properties he’s assembled on Harding Road between Clay Street and Hudson Avenue, Rapcavage said Monday.

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RED BANK: RAYRAP TO PUSH FOR LAW CHANGE

rapcavage tumia 061316Ray Rapcavage, seen last month with Harding Road neighbor Kenny Tumia, above. Below, a detail of Rapcavage’s plan. (Architectural rendering by David John Carnivale. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rayrap 061316 1Hoping to pave the way for his latest plan for a troubled site on the edge of downtown, developer Ray Rapcavage intends to ask the Red Bank council to amend the borough zoning law.

Rapcavage tells redbankgreen he’ll appear at Wednesday night’s semimonthly council session to ask for a change to allow builders to construct units with up to three bedrooms without having to seek a use variance.

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RED BANK: MORE PAID PARKING OK’D

rb monmouth st 031015The plan enables the town to charge for parking on parts of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street that have long been subject to two-hour parking limits, which merchants say were not enforced. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Over the objections of business owners and nearby residents, the Red Bank council approved a controversial plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district Wednesday night.

The go-ahead came on a rare tiebreaker vote by Mayor Pasquale Menna after a 3-3 deadlock among council members, one of whom, Council President Art Murphy, moved and voted in favor of the plan by phone.

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RED BANK: PAID PARKING PLAN TABLED

rb council 031115Business owner David Prown pleads his case to Councilman Art Murphy Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council put off a vote on a plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district after calls by merchants and residents for enforcement of existing law Wednesday night.

The objections to the expansion plan came despite a move by the council to enable 15-minute parking in the expansion district west of Maple Avenue.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN MAY BE TWEAKED

rb monmouth st 031015An ordinance scheduled for a vote Wednesday night would expand paid parking on Monmouth Street and part of Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Following objections by merchants, a proposed expansion of Red Bank’s paid parking zone may be modified, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The plan, scheduled for an adoption vote Wednesday evening, could be altered to include some short-term parking spaces for customers of stores and other businesses west of Maple Avenue, Menna told redbankgreen Tuesday.

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RED BANK: PROPOSED LAW EYES DOG NEGLECT

rb dogs 061714 14The ordinance, championed by Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, addresses tethering of dogs and other issues. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 052614Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna wants to put more teeth into the borough’s protection of dogs.

The mayor, whose canine companion of 14 years died last month, introduced a proposed ordinance Wednesday night that he said would make it easier to prosecute those who neglect dogs by leaving them tied up for hours, or with heavy tethers, or when the weather is “extraordinarily cold or extraordinarily warm.”

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RED BANK: METER PLAN FACES PUSHBACK

rb monmouth 022415 1Merchants along the western stretch of Monmouth Street say paid parking would hurt business. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposal to expand paid parking in central Red Bank ran into both expected and unexpected opposition Wednesday.

Expected: The ire of affected store owners.

Unexpected: Democratic Councilman Ed Zipprich joining his frequent sparring partner, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, in opposing the introduction of a measure to enable the change.

“I’m really infuriated by this pay station business,” David Prown, of Prown’s Home Improvements, told the council. “My experience tells me this is a done deal.”

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RED BANK AGENDA: CABS, DOGS & PARKING

rb monmouth 022415 2Parking in front of these businesses and others on Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue would no longer be free if an ordinance up for introduction Wednesday wins approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[This article has been updated since it was originally posted to reflect the contents of proposed ordinances.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The agenda for Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank Council is a busy one, with a handful of proposed changes to borough laws.

Here’s what’s on the draft agenda.

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LOCAL WOMAN DEAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE

[CORRECTION: Reports from New Orleans, cited in this article, said that Sara Lamont had moved into an apartment late last year with the man who police say killed her. The Lamont family disputes that, saying Sara had her own apartment, according to Father Alberto Tamayo.]

By JOHN T. WARD

sara lamont linkedinA 25-year-old Tinton Falls woman studying law in New Orleans was shot and killed by her boyfriend before he turned the gun on himself sometime over the past weekend, according to a report by NOLA.com.

Sara Lamont, described as a “brilliant” student specializing in sports law, was killed by her 28-year-old boyfriend and classmate, Wajih Mazloum, in the apartment they’d shared for the past year, according to the report. Another roommate discovered their bodies Sunday morning.

“Everybody’s just in shock, a lot of people in tears,” said Father Alberto Tamayo, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Red Bank, where Lamont was a congregant, a reader and choir member.

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RED BANK: MOONSHINE REPLACES NEON

rb crate's 082614 2A display of moonshine products at Crate’s Liquor in Red Bank. (Photos by Rachel Weston. Click to enlarge)

By RACHEL WESTON

rb crate's 082614Neon signs may be endangered, but the light of the moon shines more brightly in Red Bank after Crate’s Liquors installed a new window display last week.

Russell Burlew, owner of the North Bridge Avenue bottle shop, was among the retailers who received a confusing letter from borough hall this spring directing them to remove illuminated and neon signs from storefront windows. The signs violated borough ordinances, they were told.

After an outcry by business owners, some of whom have had their signs for decades, enforcement of the orders has been halted by the borough council, which is reviewing the sign ordinance.

Meantime, though, Burlew went ahead and removed 15 signs that advertised beer and other beverages and found a new use for the space: a moonshine display.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL DIGS INTO SNOW LAW

rb snow 020314 3An unidentified man shovels snow on English Plaza in Red Bank earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

Repeatedly frustrated by an inability to clear snow-clogged streets, Red Bank officials are expected Wednesday night to mull an outright ban on overnight parking when it snows.

Also on the agenda for the borough council’s bimonthly meeting: a measure requiring shovelers to clear a path at least 42 inches wide, and banning them from throwing or plowing the snow out into the street.

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