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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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RED BANK: DOUBTS ON PRESERVATION LAW

Homes along Washington Street, in the borough’s designated historic district, would be affected by the ordinance, as would properties beyond the district’s borders. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Does Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission need more teeth?

The borough’s planning board began chewing on that question Monday night, and seemed not to like the taste of it.

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LITTLE SILVER: LAW TARGETS 5G CELL TECH

The new cell tower in the heart of Little Silver inspired a citizen backlash in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A year after a big new cell tower popped up in the middle of Little Silver’s business district, to the shock of many residents, two new borough council members hope to head off any similar, or even smaller, jolts in the future.

They introduced a proposed law Monday night that would give the borough some say over telecom carriers wishing to install new high-speed wireless equipment in town.

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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: VACANT SITES TARGETED

The council plans to impose fees on long-vacant properties “that may not be decrepit” or abandoned, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. After a change of ownership, 1 Broad Street, above, has remained vacant for two and a half years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Owners of vacant residential and commercial properties in Red Bank could face steeply escalating fees for not renting them under a proposed ordinance up for introduction Wednesday night.

 

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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: 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: FOOD TRUCKS COMING?

johnny's 1 111113John Yarusi risked a summons when he parked his Johnny’s Pork Roll truck on Wallace Street in a short-lived experiment test of borough law in 2013. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Is Red Bank ready to finally  open the gate for food trucks?

The possibility that the borough might allow two mobile eateries to operate here was among the topics discussed at Wednesday’s semimonthly borough council meeting. Read More »

RED BANK: SIGN RULES IN LIMBO

rb signs 032416 2Proposed changes to the ordinance that regulates signage were rejected by the council. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

The Red Bank council yanked the plug on a new sign ordinance Wednesday night, leaving the town with a law that even local officials say is hot mess.

Amid widespread criticism, and some squabbling among majority Republicans, the governing body on Wednesday rejected proposed changes to the sign law that Councilwoman Cindy Burnham said had been in the works for three years and cost the town $18,000.

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RED BANK: SIGN LAW FLICKERS BACK TO LIFE

rb signs 061214 2A proposed ordinance to regulate signage is still too complex, officials say. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

After more than two years of review and tweaking, a proposed change to Red Bank’s signage law is still too complicated, according to… well, nearly everyone who’s looked at it.

“Fourteen pages of regulations with three pages of tables does not help simplify what’s allowed and not allowed,” Jim Scavone, executive director of the downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, told the borough council two weeks ago.

His comments have since been widely echoed. Planning board member Linda Cohen, who owns Eye Design on Broad Street, expressed concern that prospective business tenants would get one look at the document and decide to set up shop elsewhere.

Still, the planning board unanimously agreed Monday night that the proposed changes did not conflict with the town’s Master Plan, and kicked it back to the council with the message to “keep tweaking,” even if the amendments become law. Read More »

RED BANK: COUNCIL TAKES UP BUSINESS BIZ

rb doc shoppe 081915Doc Shoppe, and only Doc Shoppe, is permitted to have a table on the sidewalk out front under a trial run approved by the council. Meanwhile, a sign ordinance was sent back for more revisions. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb signs 061214 3Efforts by Red Bank businesses to draw in more customers were the subject of two measures discussed by the borough council last week.

One concerned retail and restaurant signage, which was the subject of an enforcement crackdown that generated considerable blowback a year ago.

The other is a trial run, using one store, to gauge the impact of allowing merchants to display wares in front of their stores.

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RED BANK: LANE MARKINGS NOW LEGIT

broad st 072215Though they’ve been there for years, the turning lanes on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank turn out not to have ever been codified by ordinance, an oversight, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna, that the borough council corrected Wednesday night.

The fix applies to turning lanes at Harding Road, Linden Place, Monmouth Street and East and West Front Streets.

Any lawyers out there want to weigh in on the validity of tickets issued before the change? (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: AFTER 26 YEARS, BARR ZONES OUT

donna smith barr 042815 2Zoning officer Donna Smith Barr leaves the job this week after 26 years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

people-in-the-newsThe cliches compete: it’s tempting to say Donna Smith Barr has had a front-row seat on Red Bank’s two-decade-long bounceback from “Dead Bank” to today’s bustling burg. But it’s probably more accurate to say she’s been the gatekeeper.

Whether you wanted to put a deck on your house or turn a downtown store into a restaurant, Barr’s office has been the first stop at borough hall. And if she spoke or wrote the word “variance” in response, it probably wasn’t your last, as it would mean the time and expense of making one’s case before the zoning or planning board.

“I’m glad I don’t have to tell people they need variances anymore,” Barr told redbankgreen Tuesday. A single instance is one thing, “but when you do it for 26 years, that’s enough.”

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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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