RED BANK: SAXUM CHANGES APPROVED

Architect Adrian Melji with a rendering of the revised project’s Bodman Place side looking northwest from Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicFilling in a horseshoe void, Saxum Real Estate won planning board approval Monday night for changes to a massive apartment project in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SEEKS MORE BEDROOMS

Saxum’s project would be built on the vacant former Visiting Nurse Association headquarter site at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicTwo years after obtaining approval for a massive residential real estate project in Red Bank, Saxum Real Estate is heading back to the borough planning board in search of a booster.

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FAIR HAVEN: FIRST-EVER APARTMENTS OKAYED

A rendering of the proposed development, as viewed from River Road and Cedar Avenue. (M&M Realty Partners. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMore than a century into its existence, Fair Haven is on track to get its first-ever apartment project following planning board approval Tuesday night.

The milestone went unmentioned, however, as the board spent three-plus hours reviewing plans for the multiuse development of stores and housing on a former gas station site.

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FAIR HAVEN: MIXED-USE PLAN SCRUTINIZED

A rendering of the proposed development, as viewed from River Road and Cedar Street. (M&M Realty Partners. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThough its approval might appear preordained, a plan for new stores and apartments on the site of a former gas station in Fair Haven received nearly three hours of close scrutiny by the planning board Tuesday night.

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FAIR HAVEN: MULTIFAMILY PROJECT ON DECK

The project would be built on the former Sunoco site at River Road and Cedar Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal for Fair Haven’s first multifamily development in modern times, if not borough history, is scheduled to go before the planning board Tuesday.

 

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN OUTREACH PLEDGED

Monday night’s planning board meeting was lightly attended. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA New York City planning firm will run a series of public sessions and set up a web portal for comments while overhauling Red Bank’s Master Plan, planning board members said Monday night.

The promised outreach effort put the proposal by BFJ Planning “heads and tails above” four other pitches for the contract, said member David Cassidy.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

The borough’s zoning map is among the topics up for Master Plan review. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicThe choice of a consultant to lead the rewriting of Red Bank’s Master Plan is expected to get a spotlight at the planning board meeting scheduled for Monday night.

After a demand by Councilman Michael Ballard for greater transparency, the board is expected to review its selection process.

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RED BANK: BOARD NIXES REDEVELOPMENT BID

Saxum owns the former VNA site, viewed here from the former Raceway gas station on Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSaxum Real Estate‘s request for a controversial zoning change in Red Bank hit a solid brick wall Monday night.

At a meeting that lasted just 12 minutes, the borough planning board unanimously rejected a proposal that objectors feared would lead to massive tax breaks for the developer.

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RED BANK: EBANKS OFFERS PLANNING PRIMER

Community planning director Shawna Ebanks speaking at the library Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAbout 15 Red Bank residents got a brief seminar in municipal planning and zoning at the public library Thursday night.

But presenter Shawna Ebanks, the borough’s director of community development, steered clear of third-rail issues such as tax abatements.

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

A rendering of Saxum’s planned project at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOpponents of a potential tax deal for a massive proposed development in Red Bank may have to cool their heels until October to challenge the first step in the process.

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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: REVISED CORNER PLAN AIRED

The site, at the corner of West Front Street and Maple Avenue, was cleared for construction last October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Zoning board hearings on a new plan to redevelop property next door to the Red Bank Public Library got underway without conclusion Thursday night.

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RED BANK: MUMFORD SHRINKS PLAN AGAIN

The latest changes to plan for 234-240 Shrewsbury Avenue reduced the building to three stories, from four, shown below. (Renderings by Thomas J. Brennan Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Developer Roger Mumford has again reduced the size of a proposed apartment building on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank.

Whether the zoning board will hear the details at its July 15 meeting is unclear, however. Also on the ambitious agenda: a mixed-used project next door to the borough library; an “exotic car rental” business in a downtown office building; and a gym on residential property.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN UPDATE BEGINS

A southward view of Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank embarked on a full-scale rewriting of its Master Plan for the first time in 25 years Monday night.

At a meeting via Zoom that lasted less than 12 minutes, the planning board initiated what could be a two-year process of rethinking the town’s zoning for the next generation.

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RED BANK: BANK DIMS LIGHTING TO WIN OK

The bank agreed to remove the lights behind the red logo atop its ATM machine, but said the site overall was inadequately lit under state regulations. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWells Fargo dodged likely planning board rejection when it agreed to dial back an illumination plan for its Red Bank branch Monday night.

The fact that the property is under review as a possible new home for borough government also lit up the conversation.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ZOOMING THIS WEEK

red bank, nj, council, mic, microphoneThe council is expected to discuss possible changes to the public comment protocol at its workshop session Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board, council and zoning board meet this week, all via Zoom.

In chronological order, here’s what to expect in terms of business:

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FAIR HAVEN: NO DUNKIN’ ON OVER EASY

fair haven over easy 061620Over Easy Kitchen plans to open in space vacated by Bike Haven nearly four years ago. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNo angry crowds, no predictions of traffic jams or children being run over by cars.

A restaurant proposed for Fair Haven’s Acme shopping center had a far easier time winning approval Tuesday night than its prospective neighbor, a Dunkin’ coffee shop that divided the town for months.

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ON THE GREEN: RED BANK JOINS MOVE ONLINE

Fair Haven remote council meeting 032320Fair Haven’s March 23 council meeting, conducted via Zoom from the office of Forefront Incorporated, drew 68 attendees. (YouTube screen grab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Thanks to a videocamera placed on a conference room table, Fair Haven residents got a close-up view of Mayor Ben Lucarelli’s beard when the town’s governing body held its first-ever online-only public session two weeks ago.

Now, thanks to the limits on public gatherings in the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank is also about to enter the fuzzy world of public sessions at which no members of the public are present.

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FAIR HAVEN: VOTERS APPROVE SCHOOLS PLAN

fair haven viola sickles school 052219.An addition to the Sickles School will create room for all-day kindergarten. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven voters overwhelmingly approved a $15.6 million plan to create classrooms and improve security at the borough’s two schools in a special election Tuesday.

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FAIR HAVEN: VOTERS TO DECIDE $15.6M PLAN

fair haven knollwood school 052219.Architectural renderings of the proposed additions to the Knollwood School (above) and Sickles School. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sickles plan 052219Fair Haven residents are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $15.6 million plan to create classrooms and improve security at the borough’s two schools.

But first, they’ve got to go to the right polling station.

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RED BANK: FOOD TRUCK BAN TO CONTINUE

red bank riverside avenue gas stationA proposal would have allowed food trucks to operate on underused property outside the downtown, including the vacant gas station at Riverside and Bridge avenues. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA push to end Red Bank’s ban on food trucks ran out of gas Wednesday night.

Over the objections of one of their colleagues, council members sided with owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants, who say trucks would unfairly undermine them while rewarding other property owners for neglect.

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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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