Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Furgary Update

Just as I was finishing my post about the discussion of the Furgary Boat Club that took place at last night's Common Council meeting (actually it really didn't get finished), I received word that Mayor William Hallenbeck, accompanied by City Attorney Cheryl Roberts, Code Enforcement Officer Peter Wurster, and Wurster's assistant Ken Ellsworth, arrived at the Furgary Boat Club this morning and delivered a message that was summarized as: "No deal. Get out in 30 days." 


  1. Why can't the city just let them stay through the season? I imagine there will be people, generations of people, who want to come and have a final fling.
    This seems harsh.

  2. The city wants the Furgarians to be ejected as quickly as possible in order to lessen the likelihood of a full SEQR review regarding their historic shacks.

    Last year the city already expressed its intention to tear down the shacks. Now they don't want anyone thinking about it, especially not the well organized people with a mind towards historic preservation.

    For those who don't know about the site, consider that the Furgary shacks and their contents were once part of the Hudson River's 19th century shad fishery. In that regard Furgary is a rare artifact of a lost world. (Nothing like it has survived in any other former shad fishery.)

    Tearing down the shacks would constitute "an action" by a municipal government, which already necessitates meeting the earliest and merest requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

    Here's the DEC webpage on permits vis-a-vis historic sites:

    At no. 7, notice that historic sites needn't be officially designated in order to win certain considerations towards their protection. Even documentation submitted to local historians should be referenced "to determine whether an archeological survey is needed."

    I'm very sorry that people are only now taking an interest in this which, as Gossips points out, is somewhat the fault of the Furgarians themselves (although not entirely).

    But there's still time to get interested in Furgary's historical dimension, and that's precisely the recognition the city is now racing against.

    They want the public to roll over again and again and again. It's fair to say we've proven that we do that very well.

  3. The City faces unlimited liability so long as the TBC is in place unless and until the Appellate Division's latest decision is overturned or stayed. If the TBC wishes to petition for review of the decision it can do so and seek a stay of the eviction order. I think they'd likely get the stay. I don't believe they have any further appeals as of right, only through petition and there's no requirement the Court of Appeals accept it. But for now it's the City's property and the City (i.e. its taxpayers) are liable for what happens down there. I believe this is what motivates the administration's decision.

  4. I think that whatever the city does now - even in the apparent best interest of all - should be considered a follow-up of its whole nasty act against Furgary, the TBC.

    Even before the Statute of Limitations was initiated (the one the Furgarians didn't act on in time), were there any city officials who did not know that the shacks were never on state land? The city attorneys had to know that the Furgarian claim was correct, yet they pursued a falsehood. Why?

    The city is far less concerned about liabilities with its other funky properties, even to the point of accepting new ones when possible (e.g., the Kaz warehouse). Now let's watch how inordinately motivated they are to have the Furgary shacks come down.

    May I remind readers that the Columbia Land Conservancy's "Concept Master Plan" never characterized Furgary as an obstacle to their plan, nor is it.

  5. Stop the presses!
    Could this be the next big realty show "THE FURGARIANS"

    I wish the best to the Furgarians.