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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RED BANK: PREMATURE ON PAID PARKING?

bridge ave 012915Visitors to Bridge Avenue shops, above, and the western stretch of Monmouth Street may soon have to pay to park. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03After the Red Bank borough council passed a resolution last month authorizing the purchase of pay stations for parking along Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue, redbankgreen asked: Why? Parking is free there.

No ordinance amendment had ever been passed or even introduced allowing the town to charge for parking outside the central business district. There had been no public debate on whether it should even happen.

That’s all coming, says business Administrator Stanley Sickels.

So why spend $135,308 for 13 kiosks that haven’t been authorized?

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RED BANK: EV CHARGER SWITCHED ON

rb ev space 121614 1park itAfter a false start involving an enabling ordinance, Red Bank’s first  public charging station for electric vehicles is now legally approved and switched on, borough officials said.

Located outside borough hall at 90 Monmouth Street, the station doubles as a parking space for plugged-in cars, at $2 per hour, juice included. As elsewhere in town, however, the parking fee is waived through December 25. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: EV SPACE? HOLD THAT THOUGHT

RB EV CHARGER 110614 2The public charging station, located outside borough hall, remained under wraps Thursday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

park itIt seems somebody at Red Bank borough hall was a little premature in telling redbankgreen that the town’s first and only public electric vehicle charging station would go live Thursday.

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RED BANK: EV CHARGING SET AT $2 PER HOUR

rb ev charger 100614park itRed Bank’s first and only electric vehicle charging station, installed on Monmouth Street outside borough hall, will cost users $2 per hour for both a recharge and the use of the parking space under and ordinance approved by the council Wednesday night. That compares to $1 per hour for street parking and $.50 per hour in the lot, both without the juice.

The station was scheduled to be activated Thursday morning. Who will be the first to charge up? (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: CHARGING STATION TO GO LIVE

rb charging 092614The charging station, the borough’s first, has been bagged since completion of the Monmouth Street reconstruction project last year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

park itA long-completed but never activated electric vehicle charging station on Monmouth Street outside Red Bank’s borough hall won’t be idle much longer, town officials said Wednesday night.

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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 CUTTING FARM VENDOR FEE

RB farm mkt 1 051213Red Bank officials introduced an ordinance amendment this week that will allow food vendors at the Farmers’ Market to obtain yearlong health department licenses for $350, instead of paying $50 per week. A vote on the measure, which Mayor Pasquale Menna said would also reduce paperwork at borough hall, was scheduled for April 23. Here’s the amendment: RB 2014-10

The Farmers’ Market, based in the Galleria parking lot, returns on Mother’s Day, May 11, and runs into mid-November.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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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RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL PLAN SQUASHED

cinnamon snail 2 051213Red Bank has seen the last of the Cinnamon Snail, at least until next year’s Farmers’ Market at the Galleria, says mobile chef Adam Sobel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Plans for a mobile food truck to set up in downtown Red Bank on Sundays through December have fallen apart as quickly as they came together.

Vegan chef and Cinnamon Snail owner Adam Sobel tells redbankgreen‘s PieHole that town officials threw up bureaucratic requirements Friday that would be impossible to satisfy in time for the truck to operate in the Monmouth Street parking lot of Teak restaurant, as planned.

An unidentified borough employee told a Snail employee that the truck would need a peddler’s permit, the type of license issued to roving ice-cream trucks, Sobel said Saturday afternoon.

“It seems bizarre that we would have to do that just to operate on a different piece of property,” Sobel said. “It’s silliness.”

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RED BANK: LET THERE BE TRUCK FOOD!

cin-snail1The vegan magnet Cinnamon Snail will have a temporary home beside Teak, thanks to a little help from PieHole. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

PIEHOLE logoAs the final Sunday of this year’s Red Bank Farmers’ Market wrapped up in November, Cinnamon Snail food truck entreprenuer Adam Sobel was confident  he’d be able to continue serving his vegan truck food to loyal followers, telling PieHole that he’d remain at the Galleria parking lot every Sunday through the month of December.

But earlier this week, Sobel put out this urgent message on Twitter:

tweet_cinnamon_500_213.PNG

Now, thanks to the intervention of PieHole, the Snail appears to have found a temporary Sunday home – in downtown Red Bank, a place not seen as friendly to four-wheeled purveyors of fine cuisine.

Is this the breakthrough truck food fans on the Green have been yearning for?

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RED BANK: O LORD, I NEED A DRINK

cocktail 2 050411The merriment no longer has to wait until 11 a.m, in Red Bank bars on Sundays. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six mornings a week, those with a yen to wet their whistles in Red Bank can do so in a bar as early as 7 a.m.

For decades, though, they’ve had to wait until the ungodly hour of 11 on Sunday – a whole nine hours after closing time, the poor things.

The borough council fixed that injustice Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DUPONT TOUTS COMPOSTING

ComposterTim Zebo does some composting at his Red Bank home in 2008. (File photo. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Red Bank could become the first New Jersey town to recycle food, according to proponent Councilman Mike DuPont.

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, DuPont announced that he is asking the borough Environmental Commission to comment on an informal proposal for a municipal composting program.

Some of his colleagues were amused. DuPont is known for green initiatives – he proposed banning plastic bags in 2008, though the suggestion was never enacted into law.

“You’re really becoming Farmer Brown, huh?” asked Councilwoman Sharon Lee.

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FAIR HAVEN EDGES TOWARD SMOKING BAN

Smoking could be banned, or segregated, in borough parks and at parades. (Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Fair Haven’s borough council engaged in a lively discussion about the pros and cons of banning smoking in parks Monday night.

“It’s a hazardous, offensive habit that doesn’t need to be in public,” said Councilwoman Susan Sorenson, liaison to the recreation commission, which has also been discussing the issue.
“What’s next?” replied Councilman Rowland Wilhelm, a smoker. “I understand it’s negative [behavior]. But you go down that slippery slope, and it opens the door for another governing body to come along and ban something else – sugary drinks maybe.”
“I’m going to vote no, because you’re opening a door that shouldn’t be opened,” he said.

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LITTLE SILVER BOOSTS ELEVATION LAW

A home on Town Creek, as seen from Paag Circle Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Like Rumson and Sea Bright before it, Little Silver adopted new federal elevation standards for homes in flood zones Monday night, only this time with a recommendation that homeowners go higher.

By a unanimous vote, the borough council adopted an ordinance amendment that would require all new homes, and existing homes that suffered substantial water damage during Hurricane Sandy, to follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new ABFE advisory base flood elevation guidelines, plus a foot for extra protection.

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RED BANK: SKATEBOARDER CHARGED FOR POT

A routine call about illegal skateboarding at the Globe Court parking garage resulted in the arrest of a 19-year-old Barnegat man, Matthew Velez, for misdemeanor marijuana possession Wednesday afternoon, Red Bank police said. Velez and another man were also cited for illegal skateboarding. (Click to enlarge)

MENNA DROPS SUPPORT FOR MENU CALORIES

Less than two days after endorsing a nascent plan to require Red Bank restaurants to list calorie totals for menu items, Mayor Pasquale Menna has withdrawn his support.

In a press release issued late Friday afternoon, Menna cited resistance by restaurateurs as the reason he no longer favors the idea.

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ON RED BANK’S MENU: SMOKING AND EATING

Red, above, and all other Red Bank restaurants may soon be required by ordinance to inform diners of the caloric heft of their meals. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

Health was on the minds of Red Bank officials Wednesday night, when the borough council agreed to develop measures that would ban smoking in municipal parks and require restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.

With restaurants in the RiverCenter business zone said to be on board with the calorie-count concept, Mayor Pasquale Menna said the council should consider making it a borough-wide requirement.

“If McDonald’s can do it, we can do it,’’ Menna said, adding that if the borough chooses to move forward, restaurants would be given ample time – perhaps a year – to comply. “We know it would cost them money,’’ he said.

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RENTERS MAY FACE FULL CPI INCREASES

By JOHN T. WARD

After three decades getting a discount, Red Bank tenants could have to pick up full cost-of-living increases starting later this year.

The borough council introduced an ordinance change Wednesday night that would allow landlords to increase rents by the full amount of the Consumer Price Index published by the federal Labor Department.

Since as far back as 1978 or even earlier, local increases have been capped at 60 percent of the CPI rise when a tenant pays for heat, and 80 percent when the landlord does.

The reason for the change, said Mayor Pasquale Menna, is that no one can remember the rationale for the discount, and no paper trail for it exists, leaving it open to a lawsuit.

“If it were challenged, we would not prevail,” said Menna, an attorney who made his political bones as a tenants’ advocate in the early 1980s. “It’s defective.”

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JURISDICTION QUESTION ICES HOTEL PLAN

A dispute over whether a height restriction applies to the proposed hotel site will go to the zoning board for resolution. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In yet another twist in what’s proving to be its most tortuous case in years, the Red Bank planning board voted Wednesday to halt testimony about a proposed Hampton Inn so an objector can press his case that the wrong body is hearing the matter.

Lawyer Ron Gasiorowski, representing objector Stephen Mitchell and other, unnamed parties, persuaded the planning board to kick a question about height restrictions and jurisdiction over to the zoning board, despite vehement objections by hotel attorney Marty McGann.

“You have jurisdiction. You have a right to hear this thing,” McGann told the board. “I have an application, and I want to proceed.”

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HOTEL HEARING DELAYED ANOTHER MONTH

By JOHN T. WARD

Planning board testimony about a proposed 72-room hotel at the foot of Cooper Bridge in Red Bank was put off until mid-January Monday night after a lawyer for an objector raised a question about the structure’s height.

Ron Gasiorowski, representing Stephen Mitchell, says a borough ordinance limits the hotel to 50 feet, whereas the proposed Hampton Inn is 30 feet higher than that.

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