FAIR HAVEN MAN BUSTED FOR BURGLARY SPREE

AUTHORITIES_FH1A Fair Haven man faces burglary and other charges after a two-town spree early last Saturday in which he allegedly broke into three stores, using an axe to get into at least one.

Jonathan Chapin, 20, of Maple Avenue, was arrested as he rode a stolen bicycle away from the Krauszer’s convenience store on River Road – after taking a sweater-wrapped axe to the front door, police allege.

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7-ELEVEN SETTLEMENT GETS QUICK CHECKOUT

A lawyer for the planned 7-Eleven said signage lighting would be turned off, and other lighting would be reduced to the minimum needed for security, during the hours when the store is closed. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ending months of wrangling and litigation in just 35 minutes, Red Bank’s planning board approved the conversion of the Welsh Farms convenience store on East Front Street to a 7-Eleven Monday night.

Not your typical 7-Eleven, though. While the parent corporation usually insists its franchisees keep their stores open 24 hours a day, it’s making an exception in this case, agreeing to limit the shop’s hours of operation to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. That’s unusual, said lawyer Philip San Filippo, representing Welsh Farms owner Dina Enterprises.

“In my experience, 7-Eleven will not agree to anything less than 24 hours,” but was allowing it at this location out of a desire to be “a good neighbor” and comply with local laws, he told redbankgreen after the hearing.

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AS EXPECTED, WELSH FARMS HEADS TO COURT

The owner of the store had sought a variance for an expansion and signage, but was derailed by a last-minute change in the noise ordinance.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank planning board’s rejection of a proposal to turn a Welsh Farms convenience store into a 24-hour 7-Eleven has triggered a lawsuit.

Dina Enterprises, owner of the East Front Street store, filed suit in state Superior Court in Freehold August 8, claiming the board kowtowed to public opposition and exercised “palpable abuse of its discretionary authority” in rejecting an expansion variance in May.

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PLANNERS DEEP-SIX EAST SIDE 7-ELEVEN

The Welsh Farms store, which now closes at 10 p.m., would have become an all-day 7-Eleven if the plan had gone through. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s planning board shot down a proposal to convert the East Front Street Welsh Farms convenience store to a 7-Eleven Monday night.

The 6-o vote on a motion by borough Administrator Stanley Sickels was driven by one issue: the plan by the operator, Dina Enterprises, to keep the store that now closes at 10 p.m. open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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LAWYERS SQUARE OFF OVER 24/7 7-ELEVEN

The Welsh Farms store on East Front Street, site of a planned 7-Eleven, would be banned from opening all night under a law passed Wednesday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In a contentious exchange that appeared to foreshadow a lawsuit to come, a lawyer for a Red Bank convenience store challenged the rationale for a new local law that banned all-night businesses Wednesday night.

Squaring off against three lawyers sitting on the council dais, store attorney Philip San Filippo said a revision to a noise ordinance passed by the governing body just moments later was overly broad in scope and designed solely to torpedo his client’s plans, now pending at the borough planning board, to convert the store to a 24-hour 7-Eleven.

The law, cast as an amendment to a noise ordinance, was “absolutely” designed with his client’s plans in mind, San Filippo told reporters afterward.

“It absolutely was not,” insisted Councilman Mike DuPont, even as he touted the hastily enacted law as a “creative” response to a problem.

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RED BANK AIMS TO BAN OVERNIGHT BUSINESS

The unacknowledged elephant in the room: the Welsh Farms on East Front Street, now seeking to convert to an all-day 7-Eleven. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Without explaining the reason for its haste, the Red Bank Council introduced an ordinance change Thursday night to ban retail businesses from remaining open between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The law, an amendment to the town’s noise ordinance, would not apply to any business that now operates at those hours, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. Nor would it affect bars and restaurants.

Not a word was said, however, about its potential impact on the East Front Street Welsh Farms convenience store, which is in the midst of planning board hearings over cosmetic changes as it prepares to convert to a 7-Eleven and remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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