If you've been wondering what's happening with the LWRP, Common Council President Don Moore read the following statement on the subject at tonight's informal Common Council meeting.
Over the past few weeks, members of the Common Council and I have been asked for an update on the status of Hudson's Local Waterfront Development Program (LWRP). Thanks to inquiries to the New York Department of State by members of the Hudson community and from discussions with DOS by the City Attorney, the Mayor, and myself, here is a brief report on where we stand.
By way of background, in 2008, the Common Council issued a "Positive Declaration" under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and determined that it would conduct a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS). Over the past almost year and a quarter, with the release of the Draft LWRP and Draft GEIS (DGEIS), the Common Council, the public, and affected governments and agencies have examined these two documents. During a formal public comment period from January 21, 2010, to March 15, 2010, opportunity was provided to offer comments in writing and during a public hearing. The comments then required responses by the City. Those responses were drafted by the City's LWRP consultants and its attorney after discussions with the Common Council last July.
The next step then was for the DOS to review with the City through its attorney the draft comments and responses for conformity with the policies of the Coastal Zone Management Act and SEQRA. The DOS review is almost complete. We expect to have the LWRP and the DGEIS returned for final review by the Common Council by the end of February 2011. Within a few days, discussions between DOS and the City may produce a final return date. Let's keep out fingers crossed.
I anticipate a month in which the Council will have the opportunity to review responses to the comments on the GEIS and changes to the LWRP based on those comments and then pass judgment on them.
It can be difficult for any of us to grasp--it certainly steepens my learning curve--just how lengthy, thorough, and demanding this process is. But we are very near the end. Once the Council has determined its course of action on the LWRP, and if it approves, then a Final GEIS and SEQR "Findings" are prepared by the City, the Council then enacts the legislation that carries out the LWRP and at the same time adopts the final LWRP, and submits the LWRP and SEQR Findings to and awaits approval by the NY Secretary of State.
What then? The City and its partners in the business, environmental, and civic communities being the work of planning and making the LWRP a reality.