Thursday, February 21, 2013

In the Zone

The new revised zoning map for Hudson, including the zoning changes to the Waterfront Revitalization Area that are part of the LWRP, is now available and can be viewed and downloaded on the City of Hudson website.

1 comment:

  1. Because the zoning was amended in 2011, this map which is intended "for the use and benefit of the public" (§325-3) is past due.

    Still, congratulations are in order - for the map that is, and definitely not for the zoning scheme itself!

    Note the narrow green line running down the center of the city's South Bay, an eccentric extension of the Core Riverfront District devised to accommodate the Holcim-owned causeway.

    At a special meeting of the Common Council on February 11, 2013, a question was raised about the actual width of the district there.

    The Common Council President agreed that the width of the district along the causeway does not exceed the width of the new causeway road itself, which is to say that it is no wider than the road was on the day the zoning was amended fourteen months ago.

    Considering that the causeway road has already been widened since December 2011, and without any sort of city planning permission, future generations who may become better stewards of the South Bay than we are will want to heed the president's admission. The statement was the first of its kind by anyone during the whole, long LWRP process, and it is significant.

    In the LWRP we read that "modernization of the existing port operation, including any man made modification to the road surface of the causeway, would be subject to the standards for Conditional Uses in the Core Riverfront (C-R) zoning district, all necessary city and state coastal consistency reviews and compliance with necessary environmental review" (LWRP, p. 26, under "Water Dependent Industrial Uses").

    In order to make good on the above language, the city must first have measurements for the current width of this CR District, particularly where the district equals the width of the causeway road. This must be accomplished BEFORE the road is made any wider. (This is a zoning issue inspired by the new map, and is unrelated to whether or not the state authorizes the LWRP.) Bringing about measurements will require the concern of more than one resident acting alone, and one to whom the entire defense of the South Bay has apparently devolved. Dear "Progressives" and "Conservationists": Nature cannot defend herself, and if the South Bay is not our responsibility then whose is it?

    At that same February 11 council meeting, and sitting immediately beside the president, the author of the city's zoning Cheryl Roberts sat mutely, pretending not to hear the exchange about the width of the CR District.

    Attorney Roberts should have answered the question, but she did not. Was that significant?

    If the exchange was NOT recorded in The Minutes of the meeting, then it will have amounted to hearsay signifying nothing.

    (Governing through misstatements is a form of crowd control that we're very familiar with in Hudson. During the LWRP process we were treated to multiple examples of "official" misstatements, whether in public meetings or published in the state-required environmental impact statement. I'd be more than happy to provide chapter and verse for anyone who's interested.)

    However if the exchange WAS recorded in The Minutes of the 11 February special meeting of the Common Council, then I'm guessing that that's something ... unless I'm still being too naive.