Thursday, December 13, 2012

Solar Power for Basilica Hudson

Last night, at the meeting of the Planning Commission, a representative from Hudson Solar presented plans to install a solar electric system at Basilica Hudson. He explained that the original plan was to install the panels on the roof of the main building, an action that did not require site plan review, but the nature of the building's steel and concrete roof made it easier and less costly to erect a new structure to hold the solar array. 

The new structure being proposed is a covered, open-air car park to be located on part of the "triangle" of land along the railroad tracks, which was purchased from HCDPA by former Basilica owner Patrick Doyle in 2006. The 32 x 116 foot structure would be adjacent to the smaller building at the Basilica, sometimes used as a gallery and now being used by Kite's Nest. The spokesperson for the Basilica suggested that the new structure might be designated for handicapped parking or made available as a rainy day alternative for the farmers' market. 

Cappy Pierro, Planning Commission member and Fifth Ward alderman, pointed out that the Planning Commission had already given site plan approval to an earlier plan for this space. Cheryl Roberts, counsel to the Planning Commission, indicated that it was "the applicant's responsibility to know if [the current proposal] is an amendment [to the original application] or a new application."

When the question of a public hearing on the project arose, Pierro and Planning Commission member Cleveland Samuels expressed the opinion that there didn't need to be a public hearing. Gossips, speaking from the audience on behalf of the public, urged that there be a public hearing, and Planning Commission member Laura Margolis agreed. The public hearing on this project and on the new bar proposed for 702 Columbia Street has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, at 6:30 p.m. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a good thing. If it is also a shaded parking space, it is especially good---cooler cars create fewer Greenhouse Gases in summer.