By John Burton
RED BANK – Where Republican Borough Councilwoman Cindy Burnham is seeing victory, Mayor Pasquale Menna sees sound and fury signifying nothing.
The borough is formally withdrawing an application to remove Maple Cove from its list of open space protected under the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Green Acres Act. It is, however, continuing to request that library property, adjacent to Maple Cove that is used for parking, be deleted as a protected area.
“I see it as a victory for Red Bank and for future generations who will enjoy this open space land in Red Bank,” Burnham said of the decision.
Menna, on the other hand, said, “The bottom line, as I’ve been saying for months, is nothing earthshaking is happening.”
Borough officials were looking to amend the open space inventory, initially seeking to omit Maple Cove, which has a parking area, and a piece of property at 94 West Front St., adjacent to the public library.
The proposal became controversial when Burnham alleged officials were looking to remove the sites from the protected list for possible future sale.
Officials had stressed they were seeking DEP approval only to allow public parking at the paved areas because DEP regulations restrict parking to those using the recreational sites. The entirety of the sites had to be listed in published notices as required by the DEP, Menna said.
The mayor said there were never any plans to sell the property and it was always the intention of the governing body to preserve those locations.
The resolution the council was expected to approve (after press time) during its Wednesday, Feb. 12, meeting says: “The Borough has no plan to sell any of the Lots mentioned in this Resolution for private development purposes.”
The purpose of the resolution is “to clarify things and move on,” Menna said.
Prior to taking her seat on the council, Burnham was instrumental in establishing Maple Cove.
“I’m just happy with the final outcome,” she said.