Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Work Has Begun at Hudson Terrace

Workers were busy today--inside and out--at the southernmost building in the Hudson Terrace complex. Roof shingles and siding are to be replaced, but Evergreen Partners Housing has yet to obtain a certificate of appropriateness for these exterior alternations from the Historic Preservation Commission. The buildings in the southern half of the complex are noncontributing structures in the locally designated Union-Allen-Front Street Historic District, and any exterior alterations are required by Hudson Code Section 169-5 to come before the Historic Preservation Commission for a certificate of appropriateness.


  1. Carole, has Hudson's historic preservation backbone turned to jelly? It seems that these kinds of open violations of rules are happening more frequently than ever (yes? no?). If they need a certificate and they didn't get one, shouldn't they be arrested? Should someone call the cops?

  2. Peter - Carole can confirm - my understanding is that before the preservation committee went valid our mayor made sure that they had no power - at that time our building inspector was forced out through pay starvation and then our present inspector was put in place by - drum roll here - the same mayor. The present inspector is a great guy but could care two hoots about preservation appropriateness - at the mayors bidding of course. Galloway is a savior we all just don't appreciate enough.
    what i wanted to say is;
    gawd - these buildings are even uglier in a pic!

  3. The Historic Preservation Commission has no policing power. The code enforcement officer is responsible for enforcing the preservation laws along with the zoning laws and building codes. That's not an unusual situation, and, to be honest, it's really not surprising that our CEO missed the nuance that noncontributing structures in a historic district are subject to HPC review just as contributing structures are.

    But here's the thing. As reported on this blog, I emailed the Historic Preservation Commission on February 6 to ask if Hudson Terrace had applied for a certificate of appropriateness. I went to their meeting on February 12 to raise the issue again. Yet it was only yesterday, after I emailed the HPC again, this time copying the city attorney assigned to that commission, that the chair of the HPC sent an email to the CEO informing him of the problem.

  4. Thank you Carole - I see the problem is not as easily explained as I thought.

  5. If the code enforcement officer is not doing his job has the idea of suing for a writ of mandamus (a court order to do the job) ben discussed? it seems appropriate and might even shame some action out of the City?

  6. John--People tend to walk on eggshells when it comes to the historic preservation ordinance in Hudson--for good reason. Mayor Scalera has been quoted as saying that signing that legislation was the biggest mistake he ever made--or words to that effect. Early on he suspended the law and made some changes that transferred some of the power usually vested in a historic preservation commission to the Common Council (having to do with designating landmarks and historic districts). The fear is that if preservationists make too much trouble, the mayor might try to repeal the law altogether.