As it turned out, the public hearing about the relocation of the Hudson Area Library to the Armory at North Fifth and State streets was cancelled late in the day yesterday, it seems as unexpectedly as it was announced. The explanation given was that the applicant wasn't ready. The applicant in question must have been the Galvan Foundation since a couple of members of the HAL Board of Directors showed up at the meeting unaware that the public hearing was not going to happen.
But showing up at a Hudson Planning Commission meeting one is rarely disappointed, and last night was no exception. Dan Proper from Crawford & Associates was there to present the application for site plan review of the elevator tower to be built at the back of the Hudson Opera House. For now, the drawing below is the only information that has been made public about the tower. It will be two stories high, and there will be a transformer enclosure on top of it.
The Planning Commission had two concerns--both of which were initially voiced by Planning Commission member Cappy Pierro: vehicle sight lines and noise. The addition to the building will align with the east side of the building and extend to within "one or two feet" of Cherry Alley, which Pierro commented, "is going to leave a real blind corner" for vehicles driving east on Cherry Alley and attempting to cross or turn onto City Hall Place. Pierro also expressed concern about noise from the transformer, which would be in close proximity to the Inn at Ca' Mea, opposite the tower on City Hall Place. Proper told the commission that a noise analysis had been done, but it had not been included in the application, and assured them that the project was "intending to spend quite a bit of money on the louvers" to ensure noise suppression.
Planning Commission counsel Cheryl Roberts talked about the need for a coordinated review (the project needs an area variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals and a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission) and advised Proper that the review process would take three months. She then asked the Planning Commission to decide whether or not the application was complete so she could do a "coordination letter." The five members of the Planning Commission present--chair Don Tillson, Pierro, Cleveland Samuels, Gail Grandinetti, and Claudia DeStefano--voted unanimously to deem the application complete with the stipulations that more information about decibel levels and vehicle sight lines be provided.
The project is on the agenda to be presented to the Historic Preservation Commission tomorrow, Friday, May 10, at 10 a.m., and to the ZBA on Wednesday, May 15. at 6:30.
When Tillson asked if there was any other business, Pierro brought up 347 Warren Street and complained that the food truck enclave, which the Planning Commission approved in April 2012, "doesn't look anything like what it was supposed to." There is no denying he's right.
It was decided that this was "a job for code enforcement."