Although the prospect of having food trucks offering tacos and burritos, pizza, Thai noodles, and Indian food all in one place is tantalizing to many Hudson residents and to visitors as well, it is having a different effect on some members of local government. When the project was first presented to the Planning Commission in February, commission member Cappy Pierro, formerly the mayor's aide and now Fifth Ward alderman, used the occasion to lament that the current vendors law (Chapter 307 of the City of Hudson Code) did not apply to food trucks situated on private property. Responding to Pierro, Carl Whitbeck, counsel to the Planning Commission, clarified that the vendors law addressed vendors that used public streets and sidewalks, and since the proposal for 347 Warren Street involved food trucks on private property, it had to be judged by the standards that applied in any site plan review, pointing out that there was nothing currently in the city code to prohibit the project that was being proposed.
Pierro's determination to revise the vendors law has not abated. He has brought up the issue both in a Common Council meeting and in a Legal Committee meeting, and his statements give the impression that he is most interested in limiting the proximity of food trucks on private land to conventional restaurants. At last week's Legal Committee meeting, Mayor William Hallenbeck, speaking from the audience, echoed Pierro's concern.
Meanwhile, the Planning Commission's consideration of the project proposed for 347 Warren Street moves forward. Although at their March meeting, because legal counsel was not present, the commission did nothing more than receive the elaborated drawings they had requested the month before, a public hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m., after which, during their regular meeting, the commission will continue its site plan review and possibly render a decision.