RED BANK: SAXUM TRAFFIC Q&A DELAYED

Red bank 176 Riverside saxumA rendering shows one of the two buildings proposed  for the former VNA site, with Riverside Avenue at left and Bodman Place at right. (Rendering by MVMK Architecture. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

It was a night of “hold that thought” as hearings got underway on one of the largest development plans in Red Bank history Monday night.

At a planning board session on a 210-unit apartment complex proposed for a busy stretch of Riverside Avenue, neighbors who packed the room were repeatedly advised to defer their questions and comments on traffic until the developer’s traffic consultant testifies.

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ RETURNS, HOT AS EVER

fair haven dan hughes 061819Shopping center principal Dan Hughes listens as objector Tracy Cole speaks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a four-month detour over legal issues, a hearing on a plan to open a Dunkin’ coffee shop in Fair Haven resumed Tuesday night, just as hot as before.

For three hours, opponents predicted traffic and safety problems at the Acme-anchored shopping center on River Road where the shop would operate. The site’s principal owner called that scenario “ridiculous.”

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FAIR HAVEN: FAST-FOOD LAW NEEDS RE-DO

sal alfieri fred heyerBorough attorney Sal Alfieri and planning consultant Fred Heyer at Monday’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA missing-in-action law that banned fast food restaurants in Fair Haven is effectively revoked and will have to be rewritten, the borough’s attorney said Monday night.

In that case, the next one needs to address “ambiguities” that enabled a proposed — and controversial — Dunkin’ coffee shop to clear the first hurdle to possible approval, officials and residents said.

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FAIR HAVEN: FAST-FOOD LAW GOES M.I.A.

fair haven bea senaFormer Councilwoman Bea Sena reads minutes from a 2002 council meeting at which she voiced concern that parts of the borough code had gone missing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFast food joints in Fair Haven? Why, there oughta be a law, say some residents, angered by a pending proposal for a Dunkin’ coffee shop.

Well, it turns out there is — or was — a borough ordinance explicitly prohibiting fast food restaurants. But it seems to have vanished from the town’s official code book, a resident told the borough council Monday night.

What that means to the most controversial planning board application in recent history, as well as others expected to soon follow, immediately became a lightning rod issue.

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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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FAIR HAVEN: LAWYERS GET DOWN TO DUNKIN’

fair haven planning board dunkinPlanning board attorney Douglas Kovats, right, leads a joint swearing-in of witnesses at the February 19 hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njEven Fair Haven residents hopped up about a proposed Dunkin’ shop might want to fortify themselves with extra caffeine Thursday.

That’s because a zoning board hearing on the controversial plan could prove to be a seminar in arcane land use law.

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ PLAN UNDER APPEAL

fair haven nj dunkin donutsThe Dunkin’ shop would occupy space alongside a new breezeway in the Acme shopping center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe spillover crowd that was treated to an hour of arcane legal arguments over a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts in Fair Haven last month may soon get a free refill.

Lawyers for two objectors have filed appeals over whether the planning board has jurisdiction to hear the coffee shop’s application, leading to a detour in the case, redbankgreen has confirmed.

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ GETS SPILLOVER CROWD

The shop would occupy newly renovated space formerly home to Laird’s stationery store. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFair Haven residents steamed over the possibility of a Dunkin’ Donuts opening in town had to keep a lid on it Tuesday night.

Instead, a three-hour planning board hearing that required a change of venue to accommodate a spillover crowd was dominated by occasionally hostile cross-examination of a traffic consultant by lawyers representing two objectors.

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RED BANK: DEMS BACK ‘PURE’ GARAGE

Councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich, flanked by fellow Democrats Erik Yngstrom and Kathy Horgan in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council — and a candidate to join them there — endorsed a downtown parking solution that calls for a new White Street garage without additional development Tuesday.

The announcement set the course for a possible head-on collision with the governing body’s three Republicans, who have championed an approach that welcomed the possibility of hundreds of new housing units as well as a parking deck.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLANS MOVE TO THE FORE

Advocates for a White Street garage have brought proposals farther than any in a dozen years, but still face big tests. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It starts to get real this week, when more than a decade’s worth of talk about Red Bank parking moves into a new stage.

Proposals by five would-be developers of a public garage, and possibly much more, on the site of the borough-owned White Street parking lot are scheduled to get their first public airing Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DEMS GOAD GOP OVER GARAGE

The 273-space White Street was at capacity at midday Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s Democrats goaded two of their Republican counterparts Thursday to take sides on pending development proposals for the White Street parking lot.

GOP council members Linda Schwabenbauer and Mark Taylor “are the only two members of the governing body who have not provided the public with their position on the matter in the eight weeks since” five proposals for the site were received, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom said in a statement.

“We do not answer to Ed Zipprich,” Schwabenbauer said in response.

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RED BANK: WILL ‘PURE’ GARAGE GET A SHOT?

John Bowers’ plan calls for the borough to build a garage without housing or stores on the White Street lot.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As Red Bank officials, taxpayers and merchants sort through last week’s data dump of ambitious development proposals for the White Street parking lot, John Bowers may hold the wild card.

That’s because the downtown landlord’s proposal is the simplest, cheapest and quickest — and with the sudden shift by three council Democrats, it may also be the most politically palatable. But will it get equal time?

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RED BANK GARAGE: BIJOU PROPOSAL

A view of the proposed Bijou project as seen from English Plaza looking south, with a warm-weather festival underway. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Bijou Properties, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: DOBCO PLAN

An image from the Dobco pitch. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Dobco, Inc., one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK GARAGE: YELLOW BROOK’S ‘BEACON’

Yellow Brook’s proposed project, dubbed the Beacon, as seen from the northwest. Borough hall is at lower right. The plan incorporates the freestanding Atlantic Glass property at the northwest corner of White Street and Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[See correction below]

Here are the highlights of the proposal for a new Red Bank parking garage submitted by Yellow Brook Property Company LLC, one of five developers to submit plans in response to a borough solicitation earlier this year.

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RED BANK: DEMS VOW TO FIGHT GARAGE PLANS

Democrats denounced the five proposals regarding the White Street parking lot as part of “an aggressive course of urbanization” pushed by Republicans. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[Correction: Councilman Ed Zipprich is the only Democrat up for re-election this year. He’s expected to face off against incumbent Republican Linda Schwabenbauer.]

The three Democrats on the Red Bank council denounced their Republican counterparts late Wednesday for pushing a “Jersey City-style high rise vision” that could result in 12-story buildings with hundreds of residences on the site of the White Street parking lot.

In a press release issued hours after the council agreed to publish proposals submitted by five would-be developers of of a downtown parking facility, Democrats Ed Zipprich, Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom vowed “staunch opposition” to the proposals, which one termed “ridiculous” in size.

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RED BANK: WHERE ARE THE GARAGE PLANS?

Five developers have submitted proposals regarding the White Street municipal parking lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Seven weeks after receiving proposals for a possible new downtown parking garage, the Red Bank council may release them this week, Councilman Mike Whelan tells redbankgreen.

But the disclosure still hinges on legal roadblocks thrown up by former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who sued the town over the plan immediately after she left office.

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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: 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: HOTEL ACCESS PLAN CRITICIZED

hampton-inn-112116An architect’s rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn, as seen from Riverside Avenue, with the existing VNA building at right. (Rendering by Louis Silverstein. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

After years of litigation and other delays, a proposed Hampton Inn at Red Bank’s northern gateway returned to the borough planning board Monday night — and quickly ran into opposition.

Board member Guy Maratta sharply criticized a plan to allow vehicles to turn left into the Route 35 site across two lanes of southbound traffic that he said averages 60 miles per hour.

“Somebody is going to die, mark my words,” Maratta told the traffic engineer for the applicant, Rbank Capital.

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