Friday, May 12, 2017

The Planning Board Considers Parking

Neither the Colarusso haul road nor the dock was on the agenda for the Planning Board last night, so in less than an hour's time, the board conducted three public hearings (at which no one from the public made comments); approved a proposal to repair existing office space in the basement of 5 East Court Street, approved a proposal to convert the parlor floor of 239 Warren Street onto an apartment on one side and commercial space on the other, tabled, because the applicant was not present, a proposal to convert 205-207 Warren Street into two retail spaces on the ground floor and two apartments on the second floor; and heard a revised presentation of the plan to build out the basement of the Galvan Armory to accommodate the COARC Starting Place daycare program and professional office space.

The latest plan for the Galvan Armory was first presented to the Planning Board in March. At the time, a public hearing on the proposal was scheduled for April, but the proposal was temporarily withdrawn to address problems of egress from the building. Although the main entrance will be from Short Street, a second means of egress from the building onto Rope Alley will be created. The plans for this second entrance will need a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission as well as site plan approval from the Planning Board.

As it was when the proposal to adapt the armory building for use by the Hudson Area Library was before the Planning Board, the question of parking was an issue. According to code enforcement officer Craig Haigh, the zoning code requires that the use now being proposed must have eleven offstreet parking spaces. Since that is impossible, short of demolishing a house on Short Street, Planning Board chair Tom DiPietro requested in March that a parking study be submitted. The findings of that study, which was done by Crawford Associates on March 29, 2017, were reported last night by Galvan representative Jason O'Toole.  

The parking study found that, within a 300-foot radius of the building, there were 206 onstreet parking spaces. From late morning until late afternoon, 130 spaces were always available. The conclusion was that the available onstreet parking far exceeded the demand for all the uses at the armory. 

A public hearing on the proposal has been scheduled for the next Planning Board meeting, which will take place on Thursday, June 8, at 6:30.

An audiorecording of last night's Planning Board meeting can be heard on WGXC.    

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