At Wednesday night's meeting of the Hudson Planning Commission, Michael Davis, owner of 347 Warren Street, presented his plans for developing the property. Already the summer home of Tortillaville and the occasional site of a pizza truck, the lot will this spring, if Davis gets site plan approval, include three food trucks in a garden setting and a beer and wine bar at the back of the building with indoor and outdoor seating. The pizza truck will be back, along with a truck offering the cuisine of the Yum Yum Noodle Bar in Woodstock and another still to be determined.
Fifth Ward alderman and former mayor's aide Carmine Pierro, who is a member of the Planning Commission, spoke at length about vendors' permits, pointing out that the City of Hudson requires an annual fee from street vendors and prohibits them from operating within 100 feet of businesses that sell similar products. He expressed dissatisfaction that food trucks situated on private property were not subject to the City's vendor law and shared his opinion that the law needed to be changed.
Carl Whitbeck, attorney to the Planning Commission, pointed out that fees were charged to vendors who use city streets and the food trucks that were part of the proposal would be on private property, implying that the discussion of the current vendor law was not relevant to the matter before the commission. He made the point that the project needed to be judged by the standards applied in any site plan review, stressing that there was nothing currently in the city code to prohibit anything that was being proposed.
After considerable discussion and questions from various members of the Planning Commision, it was determined that Davis should refine his drawings of the site to indicate seating and lighting and return at the commission's March meeting.
Although the project has not yet received site plan approval, Wednesday night's discussion had one positive outcome: the 300 block of Warren Street will soon gain some additional parking spaces. The building at 347 Warren Street was originally a gas station, and for this reason the entire width of the property is a curb cut, "yellowed out" to prohibit parking. Davis indicated that he would like to retain one curb cut, wide enough to allow a vehicle to enter to make deliveries, but the rest of the space could revert back to curbing and be used for parallel parking. It was agreed that his amended drawing of the site would show the placement of the curb cut, the reinstated curbing, and the number of new parking spaces.