RED BANK: FOOD TRUCKS UP FOR DISCUSSION

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 red bank njIs Red Bank ready at last to unlock the gates that keep out food trucks?

The idea of easing restrictions on food truck operations came up at last week’s borough council workshop meeting, as it has in the past. But this time, it’s not being summarily rejected by the agency that promotes the downtown business district.

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FAIR HAVEN: $15.6M SCHOOLS PLAN UNVEILED

fair haven schools sickles planNew classroom space and other facilities, shown in blue, would be built on a vacant lot adjoining the Sickles School, said Superintendent Sean McNeil, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sean mcneil Fair Haven residents would get classrooms to allow for full-day kindergarten as well as improved security under a $15.6 million plan officials unveiled Wednesday.

The typical homeowner would also get a tax increase of as much as $566 per year if a public referendum on the plan passes muster with voters in September.

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RED BANK: SIGNAGE MARKS COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank sandwich board signsThe council plans to allow sandwich-board signs on downtown sidewalks through 2021. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council is expected to take up a number of housekeeping measures concerning signs, false alarms and more Wednesday night.

Here are the highlights.

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RED BANK: HOTEL DELAY REQUEST REJECTED

red bank hampton innA rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn, with the former VNA building at right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

In a move that could torpedo a hotly debated hotel at the northern entry to Red Bank, the planning board Monday night shot down a request by the would-be developer for more time to get the project in the ground.
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RED BANK: TACOHOLICS TO GET THEIR FIX

90 Broad st. red bank nj tacoholicsTacoholics plans to covert the storefront at 90 Broad Street to a 27-seat restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Another eatery that got its start as a food truck won a green light from the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL SAYS ‘BYE-BYE, 2018’

red bank nj councilman mark taylor cole At his last meeting as a councilman, Mark Taylor posed with his infant son, Cole, as his wife, Ashley, took their photo. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council wrapped up 2018 last week with swan songs for two one-term members of the governing body, one of whom was the youngest ever elected in the borough’s history.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank, nj, borough hall, 90 monmouth st.Borough hall would get a new phone system under a contract up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here’s a preview of the Red Bank borough council’s agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night:

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RED BANK: TATTOO & POT ZONING MULLED

Councilman Erik Yngstrom, seen here on election night in 2016, says he has “a bunch” of tattoos, and initiated the expansion of tattoo parlor zoning. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Once widely seen as evidence of moral decay, tattoos and pot may soon have a place among the nail salons, ice cream shops and restaurants in downtown Red Bank.

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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: TOWN HIRES TOWER LAWYER

The tower looms over homes on Prospect Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Little Silver council hired an attorney Monday night to help it determine if it’s stuck with a new a cell tower that’s dialed up widespread anger in the borough.

As special counsel, Kevin Starkey is expected to start out by reviewing some two years worth of correspondence and other records for guidance on how the governing body might proceed in dealing with the tower’s sole user so far: Verizon Wireless.

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LITTLE SILVER: CELL TOWER DIALS UP OUTRAGE

Many in the overflow crowd voiced concerns about health safety and the tower’s impact on property values. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hundreds of Little Silver residents packed a school auditorium Monday night to give elected officials an earful about their decision to allow a 95-foot-tall cell tower to be built just 500 feet away.

Few appeared placated by either an account of how the tower came to be or the assurances of a telecom engineer that it’s safe.

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RED BANK: RESTAURANT OPENS; DECK WON’T

“Upscale” 26 West on the Navesink opened Monday night in a building previously occupied by a string of nightclubs and Mexican restaurants. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank got a new, upscale seafood restaurant Monday, even as its owners were a few blocks away, at borough hall, getting approval for an expansion.

But not the approval they originally sought.

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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: HAMPTON INN WINS APPROVAL

Peter Steck, a planner hired by an opponent of the proposed hotel, testified that the developer was “stuffing” the one-acre site. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After nearly seven years of battles, a proposed hotel at the northernmost entrance to Red Bank won approval Monday night.

The planning board’s OK of a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn at the foot of the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge came after a last-minute concession by the developer.

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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: HOTEL ANTAGONIST RETURNS

larry-cohen-rbank-hampton-121916Rbank Capital managing partner and would-be Hampton Inn developer Larry Cohen at Monday night’s planning board hearing with an architect’s rendering of the hotel. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A hotel developer’s long and contentious battle to build a 76-room Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway grew longer more contentious Monday night.

It also got a bit deja vu-y when, for the second time in the plan’s six-year history, its chief antagonist, lawyer Ron Gasiorowski, returned, claiming once again to represent a client with legal standing to challenge the plan.

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RED BANK: WILL HAMPTON INN GET THE KEYS?

hampton-inn-112116HOT-TOPIC_03Will a new hotel finally get the keys to Red Bank? After almost six years in litigation and other delays, a six-story, 76-room Hampton Inn proposed on the former site of a Exxon station at the foot of the Route 35 Cooper’s Bridge could go to a vote Monday night.

But first, the plan must overcome the objections of at least one planning board member, who has warned that the hotel’s traffic plan is dangerously flawed to the point that “someone is going to die” if it’s allowed.

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RED BANK: BEER GARDEN, VEGAN PLANS OK’D

img_5866Birravino’s proposal for a 1,500-square-foot beer garden, as shown to the left of the existing restaurant in renderings below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Renderings by Michael James Monroe. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

birravino-plan-120516Two Red Bank restaurants won approvals for expansion plans Monday night.

• The borough planning board gave unanimous a OK to Good Karma Café, the only vegan restaurant downtown, to triple in size by leasing vacant retail space next door.  Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANT PLANS ON AGENDA

Good KarmaGood Karma Café has proposed expanding into the East Front Street space vacated earlier this year Creative Kitchens, which relocated to Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s rapidly growing restaurant scene once again dominates the attention of the borough planning board Monday night.

That’s when a vegan restaurant expansion, a beer garden addition to another restaurant, and the possible creation of a new one occupy a busy agenda.

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RED BANK: APARTMENT PLAN APPROVED

74 broad st. 092713The upper two floors of the building, which have been vacant for years, will get two apartments each. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A landmark Red Bank building’s upper two floors will be turned into spacious apartments under a plan approved by the borough zoning board Thursday night.

In a rarity in this parking-starved town, the change would reduce the demand for downtown spots, the building’s new owner told the board.

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