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Neighbors Oppose Entrance to New Municipal Parking Lot in Little Silver

Residents told the mayor and council that it would "look terrible" and pose safety issues.

resident John Ferrin said he was "shocked" when he received a notice in the mail last week regarding a zoning change to accommodate the borough's planned construction of a adjacent to his Prospect Avenue home.

What surprised Ferrin was not so much the building, which he had known was in the works, but the size of the accompanying parking lot and its entrance onto Prospect Avenue.

"It's just one more entrance coming onto our main street," said Ferrin of the plan to knock down the building at 466 Prospect Ave., where was located, and create a 25-foot driveway leading to a 65-by-185-foot parking lot. "It's going to look terrible from the road and it's a safety issue."

Ferrin was joined by about eight other Prospect Avenue neighbors on Monday night at the Little Silver Borough Council's workshop meeting to see if an alternative plan, which eliminates the Prospect Avenue egress, could be considered. He also brought with him the names of about 65 residents who signed a petition opposing the Prospect Avenue entrance that he gathered for a few hours last Saturday afternoon walking around the downtown area.

Ferrin, who is an interior designer, reworked the existing plans to eliminate the Prospect Avenue entrance and end the parking lot a few feet behind the front of borough hall, which would create more green space and allow the lot to be camoflaged by some type of plantings.

The reworked plan makes up for lost parking spaces by converting existing parallel parking spots in front of the police department entrance into 12 head on parking spots, and squeezing a few more spaces into existing lots behind borough hall.

The mayor and council were amenable to Ferrin's concerns and indicated that while the project had already gone out to bid, following a public hearing at the council level and review by the planning board, there was still time to alter plans to incorporate Ferrin's suggestions.

A group -- including Ferrin, council members, police and the borough engineer -- would meet to determine how much of the revised plan was viable.

The rezoning of the lot, from a professional to municipal use, will be addressed at a public hearing at the council's next meeting on April 2 at 8 p.m.

You can view the original and reworked plans for the borough's project to the right of this article.

Don March 21, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I have to agree with John Ferrin. This would look terrible. I can't imagine why anyone would agree to have this massive parking lot built. It would be aesthetically displeasing. The plan should be changed immediately.
Sharon March 23, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Its an open parking lot! Who cares! Its better then a house that wont be maintained! Get over it!
Don March 23, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Do you live close to the proposed parking lot? And who says that a house would not be maintained. From what I see, most maintain their property.
Sam S March 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Little Silver's streetscape is so beautiful. The battle was lost with all the other parking lot frontage at A&P, GiftWinds, etc.
Sharon March 23, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Yes Don I do! I dont let these things bother me! LS residents complain about pointless issues..much more important things in life then to worry about landcape!
Helen March 26, 2012 at 04:28 AM
More important things in life than to worry about landscape - what is Monmouth County known for if not the beautfiul trees, plantings and open space? Imagine driving through Red Bank or Spring Lake if their main streets were just a string of asphalt parking lots.
Suzanne Wolf April 04, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Sharon, Bring some life back into Little Silver! Greenery not only filters our air but there is an ordinance in Little Silver to preserve as much permeable land as possible. Little Silver, after all, was famous for its farms and nurseries that have almost all been replaced by housing today. Today, Prospect Avenue is a true “Main Street” and it intersects with the charming shops in historic old houses that line Church Street. But Prospect Avenue, our main street is not so quaint at all! We have some specialty restaurants, But our town is mostly parking lots and strip malls with very little of the green beauty that our town was known for when we had our famous nurseries.
Suzanne Wolf April 04, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Yes, we thankfully have a new park further down the street by the creek but what about our "town" area? What can we do with our town that will make us happy and proud? What can we do to provide our citizens a less kaotic and more ideal lifestyle? Safe sidewalks, running and bicycle paths. We need Well planned traffic, and safe intersections - beautiful greenery, outside eating areas, places to hear music, places to see art, maybe even a theater. These are important things to keep people happy even in economically hard times. Giftwinds has been vacant too long and now we are losing a bank. Its time to shape our town again. And Sharon, It does not need to cost alot, it just takes "caring". We need to get out heads out of the sand. This is a quaint little town that "could be" WONDERFUL. We don't always have to leave to go to Redbank, Fairhaven, or Shrewsbury to enjoy their towns. Lets enjoy ours a little more. How do you want to help our town Sharon?

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