Friday, September 21, 2012

Sip n' Suds n' U-Hauls

On Wednesday night, the Zoning Board of Appeals once again took  up the request from Selha Graham-Cora for a use variance to rent U-Haul trucks from 453 State Street. On August 18, the ZBA held a public hearing on the application, but their legal counsel was not present at the hearing. City attorney Cheryl Roberts had to recuse herself because she had served as the lawyer to the building's owners--Gwendolyn Sherman and the estate of Rosemarie Sherman. On Wednesday, Daniel Tuczinski was at the ZBA meeting in Roberts' place.

In his advice to the ZBA, Tuczinski made the point that use variances are given to properties, and this property already has a use variance, which was granted in 2004 to enable the owners to open a laundromat and Internet cafe in the building. He also advised that it was the owner and not the tenant who must apply for a use variance, and it is the owner who needs to prove that the current zoning causes unnecessary hardship. Graham-Cora rents and operates the laundromat. 

According to New York State municipal law, there are four tests that must be met by a property's owner before a use variance is issued:
  1. the applicant cannot realize a reasonable return, provided that lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence;
  2. the alleged hardship relating to the property in question is unqiue, and does not apply to a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood;
  3. that the requested use variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood;
  4. that the alleged hardship has not been self-created.
The ZBA will take up this matter again and perhaps make a decision at its next meeting, which is scheduled for October 17.


  1. do these same variance rules apply to galvan and galloways development for hudson?

  2. I asked that question at the last Human Services Meeting.Only in reverse.BOS-4 Hudson Hughes claims they can only have the Homeless SRO on State and 7ht, because there is only a small area zoned for this type application.Scattered housing wouldn't be zoned for around Hudson or any where elsein County appaerently...I asked ,ah, Your crew just tried to shove the"Civic" Cops and Courts and 2 floors of SRO homeless warehousing down our throats at 4th and Columbia.Scalera ET AL,had no worries about getting zoning variences.By the way,who came up with the Zoning?take a look at the map.
    So ,I guess it depends on who is asking, for a varience and why$$$$

  3. Slightly off-topic, but Vincent asks a good question. Does anyone know whether Galvan or Lantern representatives have appeared before the ZBA?

    In a 14 September Gossips post titled "A Controlling Interest," one commenter had asked, "Does anyone know if in fact some of Galloway's properties were given a sizeable tax decrease?"

    (The immediate comment concerned a dual member of the Assessment Review Board and the Historic Preservation Commission, and a possible conflict of interest concerning Galvan and a commission member's family.)

    The subject seems to have been dropped since then, but these questions merit a follow-up.

    Simple questions too: Why does the city website report "3" as the number of Assessment Review members, but list only 2 names?

    And what is the mechanism for conflicts of interest, other than a reliance on people recusing themselves? I once heard a county official who was arguing Galvan's case at City Hall admit that he worked for Galvan! When challenged about the conflict of interest, he responded "I don't care."

    The same Gossips commenter, "Standing Strong in Hudson," also offered this sound suggestion:

    "The City of Hudson needs definitive rules on how conflict of interest situations will be handled."

    1. To answer your question about Galvan and the ZBA, Galvan applied for and got an area variance for the buildings at Union and First streets, and they also went before the ZBA for an area variance for the proposed Civic Hudson project. That proposal was withdrawn, and no decision was ever made. As I recall, they did not apply for a use variance for Civic Hudson, probably because they were defining the housing part of the project simply as low income housing, which is a permitted use in that part of the city, not as a group home.

  4. I believe the question is should there be a U-Haul rental place located across the Street from the Hudson Armory/Library that I believe is presently on the request list to be recognized as a Historical Landmark by NYS (& Fed too?)
    Is every item that appears in Gossips going to be another sounding stage for opinions on Galvan, the Homeless issue, Assesments, etc.
    I support your freedom to comment on Gossips'articles but could we stay with topic at hand.
    Should a variance be granted to the owner of 453 State St. to rent/store/house UHaul vehicles or not?
    And if voted yes to allow same how will it affect future businesses in Hudson requesting variances.
    Will it mean that a coffee house/tavern/bar be able to add a chat room, a laundromat, a snack bar, etc. all in one business location.
    Better ask Galvan, they know the future of Hudson. Oops, sorry about the Galvan sentence.

  5. Mr. tmdonofrio, the next time you see the words "off topic," I'd remind you that you're free to skip reading. Chalk it all up to postmodernism.

  6. Here's something on topic.
    unheimlich you may want to stop reading now.
    Please start at the top of the page with "Sips n Suds n U-Hauls"
    Should a U-Haul rental be at 453 State St.?
    "Off topic" Should Galvan request a variance to have a U-Haul business at the Armory building across the street? Or a laundromat w/ a chat room? Or a used car lot? Or whatever. That would set a few heads spinning. Chalk it up to Galvan owns your City & your City needs his tax dollars.
    So goes the same for your library, police department, social services, etc. along with a few more rotting & decaying buildings in need of a few million dollars to rebuild them. Maybe he can save your School Distric with a nice donation too.
    Galvan, Hudson's love/hate relationship.
    Many people disliked Robert Moses & his plans for NYC.
    My point is why is the variance request for 453 State St. have to flip to Galvan?
    Here's something else. Maybe the multi million dollar art center owner's building mgr for 7th & Columbia could clean up its streets.
    Back to "on-topic" Is the U-Haul location at 453 State good or bad for the neighborhood & the traffic flow in the alley? And based on those facts either grant the variance or say no.
    Can it be that complicated?
    Only if Hudsonians make it so.
    So sorry for the too many items & tangents to be discussed.
    But thanks to Gossips & its commentors there is a open forum with my sincere respect to each & everyone of you.

    1. Galloway does Homeless Warehousing-
      that is his Booming business in NYC .
      That's it.
      U-hauls, laundromats ,used car lots/what are you talking about?
      Long Alley is where GalVan proposed entrance to 2 floors of Homeless SRO's with major issues,across from Elementary School.
      That was very supported in Common Council.
      Funding was the reason it is a sleeping plan ,for now.

      A U-haul business in a residential neighborhood,
      is clearly a bad idea,for a myriad of reasons.

      A laundromat and access to Internet and a cup of coffee,
      in a poor to lower working class neighborhood ,is clearly a very needed and great addition to the neighborhood.
      People without the luxury of washer and dryer or the money to pay for Internet Access at home,or a useful and relaxing thingto have while waiting for your laundry.

      Do you begrudge Swallow,with a cafe ,a separate bakery and Internet access?
      Or Spotty Dog with books,cafe,pub and art supplies,musical performances,book readings,children's events and Internet Access?

      As far as Robert Moses goes
      That already happened here in Hudson
      Urban Renewal and its continued devastation
      and the irreparable damage that was done.

      Mr. tmdonofrio
      I mean no disrespect to you, by what I am saying.
      I have always enjoyed yours and Jennifer's posts and reminisces
      of growing up in post war Hudson and
      your support for the idea of having a Museum for the City of Hudson.

      "Gossips"does an amazing job and provides a crucial service of awareness
      to the community
      by covering history ,politics and current events of our City in such an insightful and informed way
      and providing a forum for people to post their thoughts and ideas.

    2. I have endured living next to one of Galloway's
      "rotting &decaying buildings" for the past SIX YEARS
      at the Gate Way to Hudson,
      with his total disregard and contempt of the law and safety to all surrounding neighbors,
      and giving a 3rd World impression of this City, to all that enter on main Trk.Rte
      The Bldg Dept.,as most of Hudson's officials,
      save a blessed handful,
      are under Galloway's control
      The Law here is enforced ,selectively
      The only recourse is to make complaints to Albany and then to Federal Government

      It is disgraceful.

      Galloway has picked up most buildings in Hudson at rock bottom prices,
      so his taxes are minimal.As many as he can,he will get off the tax roll.

      Galloway has no business affecting our social services,police,courts,schools ,library
      ,our protected by LAW Historic any way.
      He even bought our Historic Newspaper Building
      and our newspaper has moved to Catskill.

      I pay ridiculous taxes
      and as an American Citizen, I Vote
      for my City Officials
      who are Civil Servants
      that my taxes pay for,
      to SERVE the PUBLIC

      Galloway IS NOT ON THE BALLOT.

      There is no love /hate relationship with Galloway.
      There is disgust and outrage/and the love of money or the promise of it.
      He has not to date done anything positive for the public.
      Lots of big talk.Much of it is threats to poorer communities
      by weighing them further down
      with homeless SRO warehouses,
      for the least disireable group of unfortunates.
      The county is delighted to dump on Hudson.
      Single,mentally ill,chemically dependent,
      suffering from HIV/AIDS, permanent homeless.
      any or all of above

      highest gov. pay out per head.-

      NO Homeless families,women with children or teens.PERIOD

      Why people throw money at Galloway in NYC

      Just make these people go away-without

      any of "us" having to be unP.C. or acused of NIMBYism

      Considering his massive resources,
      He has passed out some gratuitous, measly grants,
      to all the possible objecting,diverse groups here in Hudson ,

      to his multitude of plans for Hudson.
      Why Galloway even gave the Son's and Daughter's of Italy
      $5,000 for a Boccie Court.

      If people can be bought at all,
      or for so little money and lots of hot air.
      There is little hope for Hudson.

      The only love for Galloway ,are those who love his Wealth

      "If ye love wealth better than liberty,
      the tranquillity of servitude more

      than the animating contest of freedom,

      go home from us in peace.
      We ask not your counsels or arms.

      Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
      May your chains sit lightly upon you,

      and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
      Samuel Adams (American Revolutionary Leader)'

      "American Independence," 1 August 1776

  7. Galloway is NOT the savior of Hudsons real estate.

    His eagle eye connections + his deep pockets allows him to buy up properties others would be willing to also have a chance at.

    ... and ...

    a U Haul rental is a wonderful idea - but as discussed in a previous post - not in a residential neighborhood.

  8. So much of value above, yet so much of it "off topic."

    I say let the dialogue be errant, and decide afterwards what the topic ended up being (if it still matters by then).

    Discussions that are less linear in their pretensions can end up being more art-like, revealing of unanticipated connections. That may seem sloppy to some, but it's often interesting and rewarding too.

    For everyone else, we still defend the option which Winston only belatedly discovered in Orwell's 1984, which was to "turn it off."

    But there's a crucial distinction to be maintained between subject matter and standards of civility. When violated, the latter don't simply vary the subject matter!

    To my thinking, much of "postmodernism" goes off the rails when it obscures that distinction. Sometimes it seems that each generation is bent on filling the old sophistries in ever new bottles.

    I'd place subject matter and civility on different axes, often congruous but not necessarily so.

  9. I must commend each & everyone of you that shared your replies to my helter skelter input.
    This is what is needed in Hudson.
    Get involved, go to Common Council & City meetings to be heard, tell your alderperson what's happening in your neighborhood.
    It is your City & not one indivduals nor does it belong to one organization.
    Please spread the word what a great place Hudson is & what a great time to invest in its real estate.
    Is State St from 3rd to 4th an upcoming neighboorhood?
    Can State St. from 2nd to 3rd be saved?
    Could it be the place for an architect the likes of Teddy Cruz to vitalize the block?
    Should Hudsonians be open to a new style or modern forms of architecture to ignite additional areas of decaying Hudson?
    And could it bring in visitors to say what a beautiful, artful mix.
    And please respond to me asking you all to get together to starting the movement that Hudson is to have a Hudson City Museum by 2020.
    I was in Hudson today & seeing it again just continues my hope to be living their once again by 2013 Summer.
    My best regards to all of you.
    HCM 2020