An application has been filed, but there is no date set yet for a Red Bank Planning Board hearing on a proposed Walgreens at the site of the 83-year-old defunct Rassas Buick dealership on Route 35 near the intersection of Newman Springs Road.
The spot, which sits next to a railroad crossing, and is nearly in the eye of a three-way intersection and jug handle has historically been a clogged traffic artery.
Officials know it. Residents of the area talk and complain about the prospect of plopping a likely large bustling chain retail/drug store on the spot.
Still, the application has not yet been heard. And, officials cautioned at a recent Red Bank Borough Council meeting, when the subject was broached, that it's just not the right venue in which anything on the matter should be heard beyond a mention.
"That's just a terrible application for traffic reasons and for a number of neighborhood safety issues," Councilman Michael DuPont said at last week's meeting as he brought up the issue. While he added that he wasn't even certain an application had been filed, DuPont still wanted to air the concern.
"Yes," Mayor Pat Menna confirmed, "an application has been filed; and, because the application has been filed, there is very little which we can do to at least exparte hear the application.
"Everyone is very painfully aware of the traffic and safety issues of that particular intersection, and, of course, it impacts two other towns (bordering it) as well. So, it's kind of a three-town issue (Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury). There have been some discussions, but other than to say an application has been filed at this point I think it would be premature to offer any other information."
Since then, the application's hearing has still not been scheduled. However, out and about town, outside of the confines of official meetings, people have been buzzing about it. We asked 10 people who were shopping nearby.
While no one wanted to offer their names, most (eight) hated the idea, calling it a potentially hazardous site to bear the additional traffic flow. A couple people, however, said they'd like the convenience of having a drug store nearby with later hours.
So, before it's heard, in a very unofficial poll, we ask: If not a Walgreens what do you think should replace Rassas? Tell us in the comments section below.