Monday, June 18, 2018

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

For those who haunt City Hall, attending meetings, Monday, June 18, is a day off. Meeting-wise, the week begins on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, June 19, the Common Council holds its regular monthly meeting. In addition to the Council voting on all the resolutions introduced at the informal meeting on June 11, it is expected that Sheena Salvino, executive director of HCDPA (Hudson Community Development & Planning Agency), and Joe Czajka, senior vice president of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, will present the Strategic Housing Action Plan, the work product of the Housing Task Force convened last year by Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton to work "in tandem" with the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) process.

On Wednesday, June 20, the Common Council Public Works & Parks Committee meets at 5:15 p.m., followed by the Zoning Board of Appeals at 6 p.m. The ZBA is holding a public hearing about the area variance needed for offstreet parking by Hudson Mainstay, located at 437 Warren Street.

On Thursday, June 21, the Common Council Economic Development Committee meets at 6 p.m. The agenda for that meeting is not yet available, but at the HCDPA (Hudson Community Development & Planning Agency) meeting last week, executive director Sheena Salvino said she was planning to propose to the Economic Development Committee that the City swap the two parcels it owns at the end of Warren Street for 235 Warren Street. Four parcels make up this sad little mostly asphalt open space that the end of Warren Street: two belong to the City of Hudson; the other two belong to HCDPA.

HCDPA owns 235 Warren Street, the land on which Thurston Park was created in 1997. The park was named for John W. Thurston, the Proprietor who owned that parcel of land in 1785 when the city was incorporated.

The idea is that the City will take ownership of Thurston Park and make it dedicated parkland, which it isn't now (in fact, in 2010, 235 Warren Street appeared on the HDC website in a list of properties available for sale), and HCDPA will market the entire lot at the end of Warren Street as a potential building site. Up until sometime shortly after 1970, two buildings stood on that site, which can be seen in this 19th-century picture taken from the entrance to Promenade Hill and in this detail from a 1970 aerial photograph of the first block of Warren Street. 

The point was made that the "park" at the end of Warren Street didn't need to exist because it was right across the street from one of Hudson's major parks, Promenade Hill. Architect Walter Chatham, who chairs the Planning Board and is ex officio a member of the HCDPA Board, commented that, "from an urban design standpoint," there should be a building there.

On Friday, June 22, the Historic Preservation Commission holds its second meeting for June at 10 a.m. at City Hall. Later on Friday, at 5 p.m., the HPC will hold a public hearing on its proposal to amend the southern and western boundaries of the locally designated Union-Allen-South Front Street Historic District to resolve a discrepancy between intent and resolution that happened back in 2006 when the district was created. The public hearing will take place at City Hall. More information about what's being proposed and why it matters will follow.

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