Attorney Vows To Fight Hampton Inn Approval

first_imgGasiorowski had also argued against the project’s traffic plan this go-around, opposing the developer’s proposal to allow traffic traveling north on Route 35 to make a left-hand turn, crossing two lanes of oncoming, southbound traffic at the busy intersection onto the property. Some board members expressed serious reservations about that idea, intimating they would vote against the project based on that provision. That led Cohen to withdraw the condition.An objector seeking to reverse a local land use board’s decision has to show a judge the board acted in an arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious manner, under the state land use law, a traditionally high burden for the plaintiff to meet.Martin A. McGann Jr., the lawyer representing RBank Capital, responded by noting, “My client will vigorously defend against any appeal.” McGann also took Gasiorowski and his clients to task, insisting they are “costing the borough of Red Bank money in legal challenges and lost ratables by an out-of-town competitor.”Michael Leckstein, the planning board attorney, declined to comment given he hasn’t even completed the approval resolution and the appeal has yet to be submitted. By John BurtonRED BANK — The objectors against the planned hotel for the Route 35 entrance to the borough want their day in court.As anticipated, Ron Gasiorowski, the Red Bank attorney representing the objectors, confirmed this week he plans to file an appeal of the borough Planning Board’s Feb. 6 decision approving the application to construct a 6-story, 76-room Hampton Inn and Suites at the Route 35 South/Bridge Avenue/Rector Place/Riverside Avenue intersection at the northern entrance to the borough. The site, which overlooks the Navesink and Swimming rivers, had been an Exxon gas station, but has been vacant for approximately 20 years and has deteriorated, becoming overgrown with weeds and still in need of contamination remediation.The appeal, Gasiorowski said, will be filed with state Superior Court in Freehold once the planning board memorializes its resolution of approval.Gasiorowski said the objections concern the size and scope of the project given the limitation of the property and the impact to area traffic, especially since the proposed hotel will be next to a residential area on Rector Place. “It truly is the proverbial 10 pounds of sand in a five-pound bag,” Gasiorowski said.Another sticking point, Gasiorowski noted, is the developer intends to construct a boardwalk area along the riverfront but may look to limit public access. Limiting it, Gasiorowski alleged, is counter to the standing borough-required easement, allowing public access to the river. “It’s violative of the public trust act; it’s violative of the terms of that easement,” he charged. “It defeats the whole purpose of what the easement is for.”RBank Capital and its principal, Larry Cohen, have been down this road before, during past efforts to construct a Hampton Inn franchise on this site. Gasiorowski has been representing Carey and Doran Tajfel, brothers, with Tinton Falls Lodging Realty, who own and operate the Doubletree by Hilton hotel franchise on Hope Road in Tinton Falls, and have objected to the project, presumably seeing this hotel, which will cater to business travelers, as a direct competitor. The Tajfels had tied up the project in court a few years ago, with Gasiorowski arguing many of the same points in two separate suits against the project. That eventually resulted in RBank Capital withdrawing the application.last_img

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