RED BANK: TAX BREAK CLOUDS SAXUM HEARING

Saxum’s project would replace the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board kicked off a process Monday night that could result in a rezoning of prime real estate.

But while the ultimate goal of the effort – a tax break for a developer – was not under immediate consideration, it was clearly on the minds of objectors, including at least one board member.

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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT HEARING SLATED

Outline indicates the properties under consideration for “area in need of redevelopment” designation. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA possible zoning reclassification for the site of an approved 210-unit apartment project is scheduled go to the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

The review will offer the first public airing of a request by would-be developer Saxum Real Estate for tax breaks in order to proceed with the project.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SEEKS TAX BREAKS

A long-idle gas station at Riverside Avenue and Bridge Avenue will be included in a second review of the designation for the former VNA headquarters, at left above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe would-be developer of a massive apartment complex at Red Bank’s northern tip is now angling for tax relief in order to build the project.

Consultant Ken DeRoberts told the borough  redevelopment agency Tuesday that Saxum Real Estate has submitted a new plan for the former Visiting Nurse Association property that’s driven by a need for a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes agreement.

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RED BANK: ROUNTREE OK’D OVER OBJECTIONS

Cherron Rountree, bottom left, during the Redevelopment Agency’s June 22 meeting Tuesday. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s council hired a new executive director for the borough redevelopment agency Wednesday night over objections based on her inclusion in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The dispute highlighted competing interpretations of who should get the benefit of doubt in a so-called “me-too” case.

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RED BANK: SPEED, POT & BUDGET ON AGENDA

The speed limit on the full length of Front Street/River Road through town would be reduced to 25 miles per hour under a Monmouth County proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA ban on fireworks, a new executive director for the redevelopment agency, a reduced speed limit and more crowd a busy agenda when the Red Bank council holds its only regular session of July Wednesday night.

 

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FAIR HAVEN: MARINA, TOWN SETTLE LAWSUIT

fair haven yacht works jim cerrutiFair Haven Yacht Works owner Jim Cerruti in November, 2019, with the disputed dock visible in the distance. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA six-year battle between Fair Haven’s government and one of the town’s oldest businesses has been settled, the two sides announced late Thursday.

The pact requires Fair Haven Yacht Works to relocate boat slips from a thin slice of the Navesink River it had used without challenge for 90 years.

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RED BANK: HIGHRISE GETS NEW POOL & NAME

The new pool and poolhouse at the former Riverview Towers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank riverview towers 091319Three years after their swimming pool mysteriously popped out of the ground, residents of a Red Bank riverfront highrise got a closeup look at its $3.5 million replacement Monday night.

The 53-year-old Riverside Towers, at 28 Riverside Avenue, has also been rebranded as the Navesink Riverside Residences and Marina.

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RED BANK: RIVERVIEW WATER DEAL DETAILED

red bank riverview 032020 2The agreement ends a lawsuit alleging the hospital illegally connected its Blaisdell Pavilion to the borough water system. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njUnder a “confidential” settlement approved by the borough council last week, Riverview Medical Center will pay Red Bank just $850,000 for water and sewer usage the town contended in a lawsuit was worth at least $5.3 million.

The hospital also will get 10 more years to pay off the obligation, some of which dates to 1984.

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RED BANK: LOOSE LIPS AT COUNCIL SESSION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, and Councilman Ed Zipprich, center left, seen on Zoom during Wednesday’s council session Attorney Greg Cannon is in second row, third from left. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe final Red Bank council meeting of 2020 included a couple of apparent cases of loose lips.

In one, Mayor Pasquale Menna revealed more than the borough attorney thought he should about the settlement of a lawsuit over Riverview Medical Center’s water bill.

In another, Councilman Ed Zipprich  questioned the qualifications of a newly hired official.

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RED BANK: SUIT SEEKS $5.3M FROM RIVERVIEW

red bank riverview 032020A lawsuit filed by the borough alleges an illegal water connection to the Blaisdell Pavilion, at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRiverview Medical Center owes Red Bank $5.3 million for at least half a billion gallons of water consumed over a 33-year period, the borough alleges in a lawsuit.

In its January, 2019 complaint, the town contends the hospital hid an illegal connection and meter when it built the Blaisdell Pavilion wing in 1984.

The East Front Street hospital denies the allegations, and the dispute appears headed to mediation.

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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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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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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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FAIR HAVEN: MARINA LOSES LATEST ROUND

fair haven yacht works jim cerrutiFair Haven Yacht Works owner Jim Cerruti in his boatyard last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Fair Haven marina lost the latest round Thursday night in a years-long and increasingly bitter battle with the borough government over property issues.

At a compliance hearing held in Rumson, Judge Thomas J. Smith III found that Fair Haven Yacht Works had not complied with an earlier ruling that it file a zoning application with the town, and upheld a $1,500 fine.

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RED BANK: POOL LAWSUIT CLAIMS NEGLIGENCE

red bank riverview towers pool 091319 2Work to replace the Riverview Towers pool was underway last week, as seen from a balcony. The deck of the Atrium at Navesink Harbor is visible at left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank riverview towers 091319Sixteen months after their swimming pool mysteriously popped out of the ground, residents of the Riverside Towers high-rise in Red Bank are rebuilding their treasured riverfront amenity.

Meantime, they’re also in court against a number of vendors, offering an unusual explanation for the, um, floating pool.

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RED BANK: BANK STREET SHITHOLE PERSISTS

red bank poku shithole 90 bank streetThe porch and yards surrounding 90 Bank Street are crammed with items and vehicles that the owner calls “assets.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNine months after Red Bank’s most prominent residential shithole was in a media spotlight, the situation just keeps getting worse, neighbors say.

Now, after years of litigation over summonses, the borough is going after the owners in civil court, hoping to win an order allowing the town to remove all the junk at their expense.

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RED BANK: AU REVOIR, CÉ LA VI

RED BANK CE LA VIA Singapore-based restaurant has threatened to sue Cé La Vi over its use of the name. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njLess than two weeks after it opened, a Red Bank restaurant with an Americanized French name has been threatened with a trademark infringement lawsuit.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL DROPS REVERSE APPEALS

red bank nj oceanfirst hqThe OceanFirst Bank headquarters was the subject of a reverse appeal case settled Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBombarded by criticism from the business community, the Red Bank council on Wednesday dropped a plan to pursue a new round of  “reverse appeals” against commercial properties it believed to be undertaxed.

But first, the council approved the settlement of an older reverse appeal that will boost the taxable value of a downtown building by 69 percent over three years. And battles over cases filed in 2018 continue.

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RED BANK: ‘REVERSE’ TAX APPEALS ON AGENDA

8 east front st. red bank njA law firm hired by the borough says 8 East Front Street, which sold last year for $5.68 million, is improperly assessed at just under $3 million. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesA year after authorizing a law firm to go after owners of properties believed to be undertaxed, the Red Bank council is expected to renew its “aggressive” approach this week.
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FAIR HAVEN: HOUSING PLAN DRAWS FIRE

fair haven nj fair share housing overlay A new overlay zone centered on the western business district would encourage development of low- and moderate-income housing, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFair Haven residents packed a hearing on zoning changes written to show “the right gestures” toward providing 370 new homes for low- and moderate-income earners Tuesday night.

But the planning board board’s determination to immediately vote on a complex proposal it had just unveiled irked many who sat through the three-hour session as much as the substance of the changes.

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SHREWSBURY: PANTER CLAIMS WIN v. O’REILLY

By JOHN T. WARD

shrewsbury, nj, mike panter, michael panterA Shrewsbury man claimed victory Tuesday in a yearlong legal standoff with former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly.

Former New Jersey Assemblyman Mike Panter, right, said O’Reilly dropped a $5 million defamation suit he’d filed over a Facebook post in which Panter recounted an ex-girlfriend’s allegations of sexual harassment by the combative TV host.

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RED BANK: POKU CLAIMS RACIAL PREJUDICE

An undated drone shot shows the collection of vehicles and trash in Poku’s backyard. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The owner of a Red Bank residential property packed with rusting vehicles and other junk told a TV news program on Tuesday that he’s a victim of racial prejudice.

William Poku, whose property was the subject of a report by redbankgreen earlier in the day, also denied that he’s hoarding junk.

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