ATL. HIGHLANDS — The county has the right to charge for parking in its port area parking lots, attorney Jason Sena advised the governing body last week, smoothing out the final bump in passing changes to the county’s parking regulations. The Mayor and Council unanimously approved the new regulations as recommended by the Parks Committee after extensive and months of study and evaluation.
The ordinance was put into effect at last month’s council meeting, until former councilwoman Jane Frotton, also a former Port Commission chair, said the land was purchased with funds from Green Acres, barring the county from charging fees for its use raise. The council delayed implementing the regulation until Sena could investigate the background to the acquisition.
Code changes allow overnight parking in the Railroad Avenue and Holly Tree lots with special permits from the Police Department and limit parking to six hours in the Holy Tree lot. The code also eliminates overnight parking on the west side of Hennessey Blvd.
At last night’s meeting, Sena said research by both himself and District Administrator Robert Ferragina found no ban on the district charging for parking on the Holly Tree property. Sena said there appears to be no record of Green Acres funds being used to purchase the land, but even if they were, the county would have the right to charge for parking and other amenities on the property so long the proceeds will be held in a segregated account and used for further land conservation in the future. The attorney said it appears the land was purchased through other means, possibly from Monmouth County, rather than Green Acres, with no restrictions on future use. Ferragina said the state continues to explore funding for Green Acres, but both he and Sena feel sufficiently confident in the accuracy of the information they have to proceed with the proposed regulation.
Frotton, who was virtually present at the meeting, said she disagreed with the findings and also objected to the consideration of a second issue, additional lighting in the area, something not addressed in this regulation.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER SPONSORED CONTENT
REACH MONMOUTH COUNTY READERS
WEB – NEWSLETTER – SOCIAL MEDIA
Parks Committee member Mark Rich, who conducted extensive research and recommendations for the changes, thanked the governing body for taking action and also reminded them that the new code also means the removal of some parking signs currently on Hennessey Blvd.
In another deal, retired Police Commissioner David Rossbach was honored by the Governing Body for his 42 years of service to the local department until his retirement last month. It delayed action to sign the letter of intent with new boss Scott Reinert until the boss can attend a meeting.
Mayor Loretta Gluckstein also has another headboat slot available at the City Marina with the retirement of the Sea Hunter, one of the five headboats docked at the City Marina. With eight main boat berths available, the four remaining boat captains, most of whom will resume fishing next month, represent the easternmost number of party boats ever in port, where they are allotted eight berths. If you are interested in renting a party boat place, you can contact the port authority in the port. There are also a limited number of other boat slips available for hire for the upcoming season.
Councilor Jon Crowley also gave an overview of the work in progress which will enable the governing body to offer an improved system for virtual meetings and expects the work to be complete and sufficient testing for full use at meetings in late April or early May be performed.
Crowley also reported to the Regionalization Committee on the possible regionalization of the three education boards here and in Highlands and Sea Bright has decided to wait until a report currently ongoing at Henry Hudson has been completed before reporting to the governing body. Both Highlands and Sea Bright have passed resolutions urging the state education commissioner to put the regionalization question on the November ballot and are waiting for Atlantic Highlands to make its decision before a question can be put on the ballot. Mayor Gluckstein named Tracey Abbey White and Sara Weimer to the regionalization committee, commending both for their experience in education and as members of education committees.