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 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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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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