City Planning for Red Bank Parks
UPDATE: November 2, 2023
Parks-related activity is accelerating in Red Bank. Two major action fronts launched late in 2023 by the City have significant implications for Red Bank Central Park, and other park resources:
1. The "Parks Needs Assessment and Master Plan" process, being launched currently by consultant Kimley-Horn;
2. The city-wide "Comprehensive Plan to Include a Small Area Plan," that will be led by a consultant to be hired in late November 2023.
1. Parks Master Plan process began week of October 23rd.
The City of Red Bank contracted with consultant Kimley-Horn in early September 2023 to conduct a parks and recreation needs assessment and produce a resulting Parks Master Plan. The assessment effort will formally begin the week of October 23, 2023, and is expected to be completed by May 2024, in time to report results at the 2024 Red Bank Jubilee.
This project will have multiple parts, including (1) an assessment of existing parks and recreation conditions, (2) public opinion surveys, and (3) public input sessions. Subsequently, Kimley-Horn will produce a report summarizing existing park conditions and public opinions, with 10-year recommendations for city-wide parks and recreation improvements.
A public opinion survey of Red Bank residents' opinions about parks and recreation will be launched by Kimley-Horn at the Red Bank Christmas Festival on Friday, December 1, 2023.
2. Comprehensive Plan to Include a Small Area Plan.
The City of Red Bank issued on October 1, 2023 a public Request for Proposals (RFP) to implement this city-wide planning project. The deadline for consultant proposals is November 3, 2023. The City and the Commission are expected to reach a decision about the winning proposal by the end of November.
The selected consultants will lead the planning process that will include myriad city management issues, such as the future of streets and multi-modal transportation, stormwater management, zoning, future development, and a "Small Area Plan" for the 12-acre old middle school property.
The City expects to select and hire the consultant for this project by the end of 2023. The comprehensive planning process likely will take several months, possibly even beyond the 2024 election. The extent of public input to be sought or accommodated is unknown.
The above two parks-related planning processes in Red Bank will be conducted separately and independently, by two different consultants under two different contracts, but with parallel tracks and overlapping timelines.
Both processes and both consultants will collect information and public input regarding the the old middle school property. How or whether there will be any coordination or communication between these two consultants and their planning processes is unclear. Likewise, how or whether both consultants will provide written recommendations regarding the fate of the old middle school property is unclear.
The importance of abundant public participation in these two processes cannot be overstated! All the work that the Save Red Bank Central Park citizens movement has done so far in raising public awareness about the need to save all 12 acres of the former high/middle school property has been geared to this moment.