Today's Register-Star finally has coverage of the public hearing on the zoning amendments that are part of the LWRP--a hearing that took place a week ago: "Nearing final vote, waterfront plan still divisive."
At the hearing, Timothy O'Connor, representing the South Bay Task Force, and Mark Wildonger, representing Scenic Hudson, both criticized the proposed zoning amendments for not doing enough to protect South Bay or "promote the creation of a vibrant waterfront." Speaking in support of the zoning amendments, according to the article, were the usual suspects: Linda Mussmann, Bill Hughes, and Rick Scalera.
It's pretty obvious to most that the LWRP is being railroaded through so it can be Scalera's legacy. What's interesting is that he seems already to be engaging in some revisionist history. He's quoted in the article as saying, “There was never this divide. Bring the cooperation back, bring the community back, build up your waterfront . . . take the plan that was originally in the spirit of cooperation that people wanted to see down there and once again we could be proud of.” When was this fabled time of cooperation and community of which the mayor speaks? Was it back in 1994-1995 when the community met regularly to envision what Hudson and its waterfront could be--a vital and energizing process, remembered fondly by those who participated, which produced the 1996 Vision Plan, still embraced as a kind of blueprint for waterfront development, and was shut down by Rick Scalera in the fall of 1995 when he perceived a comment by the chair of the Vision Plan Task Force, published in the group's monthly newsletter, to be an endorsement of his opponent in the 1995 mayoral race?
Meanwhile, the process of adopting the LWRP marches on. At the Common Council meeting on Tuesday, four proposed new local laws were placed on the aldermen's desks. The first contains all the LWRP zoning amendments, which affect the Waterfront Revitalization Area; the second is a zoning amendment creating a local Coastal Consistency Review Board; the third is the charter amendment required to create a local Coastal Consistency Review Board; and the fourth is a charter amendment creating the position of harbor master.
According to the proposed legislation, the Coastal Consistency Review Board, also called the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) Consistency Review Board, "shall be responsible for coordinating review of actions in the City's coastal area for consistency with the LWRP, and will advise, assist and make consistency recommendations to other City agencies in the implementation of the LWRP, its policies and projects, including physical, legislative, regulatory, administrative and other actions included in the program." The board will be made up of three members appointed by the mayor, one of whom can hold another public office in the City of Hudson. One wonders who the mayor has in mind for this board, for surely he will make the appointments before he leaves office on December 31.
Absent a clear harbor management plan in the LWRP, the creation of the position of harbor master seems both unexpected and unnecessary, but the duties of the harbor master as described in the proposed law seem to be the same duties assigned to Guy Falkenheimer when he was made "dock master" a few months ago, so this may just be a title change.
The Common Council will vote on these four proposed local laws in a special meeting on Wednesday, November 30, at 6:15 p.m.