5 Things from 10/1’s Council Meeting

5  I.  American Legion – They had a 2nd violation of serving non-members while members were not present. Their lawyer worked out a deal with the town attorney, that if it happens a 3rd time (It happened in 2012) a 40 day suspension of their liquor license will be imposed.

II. Attorney-Client Communications: Noise Ordinance Amendments (In Private Session) – Nothing Discussed in Public Session EXCEPT for dissatisfaction that this is still NOT addressed.

III.  Town Flooding – We keep going round and round and hearing  ‘ we’re “4 th ,5th ,3rd ” in line for funding’ and in the mean time nothing, and we’re looking into other funding.  You maybe remember this shovel ready project in 2010. We were in line for funding then too. What happened, nothing except Irene and Sandy.

IV.  Web Survey was announced for town website. What it encompasses: a) what residents are looking for in a municipal site, b)how to better give it (the web site a useful purpose) c)take response from survey and compile with info from other municipal sites and put it into a  RFP for a new website  The Survey:  http://tinyurl.com/highlandswebsurvey

The survey will be open for 3 weeks and reported back to Council at the Nov 5th Meeting with results of the RFP.

V. O-14-27 Ordinance Prohibiting Parking on Portland Road – Tim Hill requests more time to discuss with Chief Blewett.  Today there are signs no parking on portlandon the right side of the road that say no parking. Some how “No one claims knowledge on how they got there”, no clear ordinances on file for the signs to exist. But they do.  So there needs to be more information to decide if parking *should* exist on Portland on one side

Maybe it was aliens? Drunken DPW in the middle of the night? Ghosts? Mischieviants?  How do you think the “No Parking” signs exist on Portland road?

Question: What’s New & Coming to Highlands?

Hint #1:  Home Made Sausage

Hint #2:  Home Cured Bacon

Hint #3: Porchetta


Bubney is on it's way to being official with a new logo #bubneysbodega #highlandsnj

A photo posted by et al fine food|Highlands NJ (@bubneysbodega) on

What’s Going on With The Zoning Board Tonight

proposed lux apts bay ave
Bay Ave/Waterwitch


7:30 P.M.
Meeting Location:
Highlands Elementary School, 360 Navesink Ave
Hearings on New Business:
ZB#2014 13 Shanagan, Francis Block 69 Lot 15.20 15 Cedar St #20
ZB#2014-15 Grover, Chris, Block 88 Lot 5–321 Bay Ave
ZB#2014- 16 Seylaz, Geraldine Block 79 Lot 13– 27 Washington Ave
ZB#2014-17 Fitzpatrick,Andrew Block 100 Lot 26.30 – 30 Gravelly Pt
Rumor has it, there are people going tonight that are against this development happening, if you want a positive outcome that will make the corner look nicer, increase ratables and support business, please come to zoning board meeting tonight.
There will be free beer and cookies. — (Ok, that part’s not true) But your support is needed.
The Zoning ALL voted Yes for the new plans for the building on Bay/Waterwitch aka Old Pharmacy – There were a few caveats that were positive in resolving:
a) Garbage – which other businesses in the area offered up sharing dumpsters to help him facilitate that part.
b) Parking – which the retail part is already taken care of with the municipal lot being within 1000 feet from the building, on the residential side, there were several ways he *could* accommodate this that were being explored and as long as he could accommodate the parking, no issues.
c) The sizes of the apartments, there was a min of 1000 SQ ft needed per apartment, however it is currently grandfathered in a nonconforming use with the size of the existing apartments as one is 750 sq ft, the new apartments would be over Krankys bike shop where there is nothing currently. It could be looked into to make 2 of the apartments conforming. His architect was confident that he could work on some changes that could accommodate, if the zoning recognized there was one existing that was non-conforming.
All in all – a very positive meeting. All public comments (which there were many) were FOR the new building.

October Festivities Calendar 2014


oktoberfest Highlands Oktoberfest

When: Saturday, Oct 4th,  2– 9PM  – RAIN DATE: OCT 5th

Where: Veterans Park
(Rain Date: Sunday, October 5th) Attendance – Free
An Authentic German Experience
German Food, Beers and Oompah Bands.

Asbury Park Zombie Walk

This year it’s Zombies vs. Brain Cancer! To help us fight the war against brain cancer we are calling on the most powerful army we know, the undead.  The 2014 New Jersey Zombie Walk will kick off “GREY MATTERS,” a campaign that spreads awareness about brain cancer.

Where: Asbury Park Boardwalk
1300 Ocean Ave

10:00am to 4:00pm:


– Undead Festival of vendors is open

  to the public in the Casino

– GREY MATTERS area is open for info and fundraising

  1. Makeup Artists are available for professional

   Zombie Makeovers

  1. Zombie Blood Drive will be accepting donations in front of the Stone Pony

  2. Zombie Food Drive, bring canned

11:00am – 3:00pm:


4:oopm – 4:30pm


6:00pm – 8:00pm:


Live music and festivities continue Downtown and at local businesses throughout Asbury Park.

JCP&L Problems After Lifting

As more and more houses get lifted, more and more unforeseen problems are popping up..utility poles

  • Increased Flood Bills AFTER Lifting
  • Home owners required to replace Utility poles AFTER lifting

In Augusts’ 2014 app.com article, they outline an Ortley resident who was required to pay more than $20,000 for a new utility pole because his house was raised five feet to comply with new flood standards and now than sat dangerously close, about three feet, from its high-voltage line.

The resident’s point was “they [JCP&L] need to absorb the cost and they need to make a new policy that doesn’t penalize one (specific) residential customers because…other residential customers use that (same) pole.”  Also JCP&L never warned him or his contractor of the problem when they filed their plans or when they began construction or removed the wires’ connection to the roof. “At no time, did they tell us, ‘Hey, you’re going to be too close to the wires.’ We could have redesigned the house differently,”

At least one Highlands resident is reporting having something similar happen. With all the lifting going on, it may be more prevalent than first thought.


Capture The Affordable Housing Alliance will be hosting an informational workshop presented by local Township Administrators and Building Code Officials to learn the Building Permit process.

When: Tuesday, September 30th at 6:00 pm

Where: Housing Recovery Resource Center at 171 First Ave., Atlantic Highlands.

Please call the Resource Center to RSVP at 732-982-5072.

Are Fashion Trucks in Highlands A Good Idea

According to this weeks Business Insider, Fashion Trucks are popping all over America.   In Highlands a few days a week, you’ve probably noticed Penelope’s Traveling Boutique either by Huddy Park or by Vets Park.  American Mobile Retail Association (AMRA)  told BI that there are about 500 fashion trucks spread across all 50 states. They began popping up four years ago, but the trend has exploded in the past year as new entrepreneurs learn from the successes and failures of the movement’s pioneers.

Part of the business idea’s appeal is the low-cost of entry, and not having to go through the traditional mercantile processes that a traditional store front would. So the risk is lower.


(RAIN DATE 10/5/14)

Wine and lighter beers will also be available for purchase.

Admission is $5.00 for anyone over age 10.


Performing at the 2014 Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival…
It’s a mix of Irish Music, Blues, Funk, Pop, Rock and Roll and much, much more!



farmers marketThe Borough of Highlands Recreation Dept. will be registering participants for the 2014 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program from Sept. 22nd – Sept. 26th. Eligible participants AGES 60 AND OVER will receive $20.00 in vouchers to be used at local Farmers’ Markets in our area. Income guidelines for this program are as follows:

Family Size of 1: $21,590 annually and Family Size of 2: $29,101 annually.

If you are eligible and would like to receive the vouchers please call the Recreation Dept. at 732-872-1224 ext. 232 to set up an intake appointment at the Borough Hall Trailer located at 42 Shore Dr.

You will need to bring a Driver’s License or photo ID and proof of income, such as Income Tax Return, Social Security Statement, Bank Statement showing Direct Deposit, SSI, Pension, etc.

You will also be required to sign a client eligibility and certification form. If you have any additional questions regarding this program, please call 732-872-1224 ext. 232.

How to Increase Revenue & Save Money in Highlands

Attached is a pdf from 2010 that address some ideas on how to cut spending increase revenues.

Some of the ideas at a high level include:

  • Code Enforcement
  • Recycling
  • Selling off some Boro vehicles
  • Admin/Shared Services
  • Hydro Alternative Energy
  • Streamline Mercantile process

To review Down Load the .pdf –>FY2010 Budget committee recommendations  (You will need adobe acrobat to view)

What other ideas can be included to either cut spending or create revenue?


Bikes to Over Take Highlands

twin lights rideEvery September, the Bike of New York does their annual Twin Lights regional rides to give New Yorkers a taste of rural riding and engage the City’s neighbors in safe cycling practices.  Proceeds from these rides fund Bike New York’s Education Programs.

Mileage Options100, 75, 55, or 30

Arriving: There will be masses of people arriving on the Ferry and taking off from Huddy Park.


5 Things From 9/18 Council Meeting

5 1)R-14-199 Resolution Approving Strategic Planning Report – Steve Nelson spoke briefly and answered some questions from the residents.  The plan was approved by the council and now goes to the state for approval.  The state generally approves these quickly and Steve Nelson said he expects approval within a week.  The town can then start applying for grants.  The aggregate maximum of the grants is $300k and there are line item limits.  For example, there is a maximum grant amount for rewriting ordinances, a maximum grant amount (I think $50k) for rewriting the Master Plan, etc.

To view presentation from town hall CLICK HERE
To view NJ Future’s Report CLICK HERE


2) Captain’s Cove – The Zoning change request from RA Multimedia aka Captain’s Cove was requested to be postponed.  Councilman Card asked to move forward on the town’s clean up of Captain’s Cove parking lot and placing a lien on the property.  The council agreed to move forward on this.

3) O-14-26 – Bonding for the Community Center Playground and Shore Drive Phase II project: This did not move forward and no public hearing date was set.  There was some concern on the other costs of the projects in their entirety.  So such as, the playground there is a $90k snowflake grant that needs to be used for the playground only, the entire project could be in the hundred’s of thousands of dollars, can we afford the differential in costs to get a playground?

Tim Hill is looking into our minimum requirements to use these funds or if we may have to give up the funds if we can’t come up with the additional monies to complete the projects.

4) R-14-202 – Increased the 2 minute rule to 3 minutes.

5) Finance Committee – Mayor Nolan appointed 2 additional people, the two residents he appointed where: Chris Francy and Kim Skorka


To see the meeting in its entirety click here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/highlands-meetings

Town Hall Meeting notes from 9/15

NJ Future logoMonday night’s town hall meeting, wasn’t necessarily a “town hall meeting” like past meetings have been conducted. Steve Nelson from NJ Future presented a summary of the SRPR (Strategic Recovery Planning Report).  – If you hear people speak about the SRPR you now know what it stands for.

The SRPR was worked on by Steve Nelson (who also handles the SRPR in Sea Bright as well as Highlands) and a Steering Committee in Highlands made up of Art Gallagher, Larry Colby, Mayor Nolan, Tim Hill and Kevin Redmond.  I don’t know how they were chosen to make up the steering committee, I would personally put someone else on just to have a different perspective, but that’s just me.)

The council is going to go through the report in its entirety and then vote on adopting the report as a road map to move the town forward (R-14-199) in Wednesday’s Night Council Meeting.

Chapter 1 of the report – goes over the demographics of Highlands (Although admittedly they used pre-sandy demographics).

Chapter 2 of the report – goes over the impact assessment of what Sandy did to Highlands.

Chapter 3 of the report – goes over future risk assessment

  • Future Hazards
  • Risks
  • Potential Impacts/exposure of Sea Level Rising
  • Cohesion of the community
  • Governmental Services

Chapter 4 of the report covers Getting Resilient

  • Communication and outreach

In this chapter they looked at the current Master plan, current zoning, the Planning Documents from Rutgers studio and the recommended FEMA plan

Chapter 5 Assessment of Existing Planning and Zoning Documents (such as)

  • Clam Plant Zoning
  • Bayshore Region Strategic Plan (from before Sandy)
  • Masterplan from 2004 and the re-examination of MP in 2008
  • Monmouth County Haz Mitigation plan (2009)
  • Current Zoning Ordinance for Highlands Recovery Strategy

Chapter 6 Recommendations (not in order of priority)

  • Storm water piping from Rt 36
  • Property maintenance and code compliance
  • Steep Slope mitigation
  • Municipal Facilities Plan (i.e. where to put Town Hall/PD)
  • Obtain NFIP compliance & apply for CRS certification
  • Sewer upgrades (I&I)
  • Pump Station Repairs, install “new” catch basins, pipes etc
  • Economic viability of Clamming Study
  • Determine the need of redevelopment and where it should be
  • Update Boro Haz Mitigation Plan
  • Update municipal codes, plans and strategies to handle future flooding risks, hazards and vulnerabilities
  • Update the latest version of the FEMA’s flood maps using “best available flood hazard data or most stringent version”

Chapter 7 includes the Who, What, When and dollar amount to achieve the recommendations.

To view presentation from town hall CLICK HERE

To view NJ Future’s Report CLICK HERE

Who’s Job Is it Anyway?

finger pointingAnybody remember the story of  four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

The following is the Highlands Version:

There was an important job in Highlands to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody in Highlands did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought that Anybody in Highlands could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody in Highlands could have done.

There are 3 main reasons why Highlands should move past blame and into effective action.

1) It is far more productive to focus on corrective action in the future.

2) It’s less expensive to get on to a solution instead of investing good money after bad simply to point the finger of blame.  i.e. like why we (Highlands) didn’t have flood insurance on our municipal buildings. The reality is we didn’t have it, we can’t change that, how do we put our town buildings back together without it and make sure we’re covered in the future.

3) Even if you can perfectly decide who was to blame, most likely those to blame will never ever admit to it and you still have to solve the problems at hand. Energy is better spent and figuring on how can we move on, get better, learn from this, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Leadership is very much needed in Highlands and we have to be able to get past simple blame games and exhibit  positive leadership if we want to move forward as a community.