Friday, August 30, 2013

Scenic Hudson Acquires 173 Acres on South Bay Creek

In its continuing campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most, Scenic Hudson has acquired 173 scenic and ecologically significant acres along the main channel of South Bay Creek, which flows into the Hudson River through South Bay. A portion of the newly acquired property is in the Olana viewshed. 

The map below shows the location of the 173 acres--in Greenport, just west of Route 9. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) Scenic Hudson's announcement of the acquisition can be read here.


  1. Superb!

    From Scenic Hudson:

    "The property also could provide an opportunity for paddling and fishing in South Bay Creek, increasing its recreational use in hopes of diminishing the feasibility of environmentally destructive proposals for South Bay."

    But the single most "destructive proposal" for South Bay has already come to pass: the bay's new zoning.

    Holcim and O/G were given the zoning simply because they asked for it! Hudson residents let it happen with nary a peep. (Only a few turned out for the hearing.)

    In an anticipated exchange for the acreage south of the port, city attorney Roberts personally designed the zoning for the companies' perpetual use of the causeway road.

    As we now know, Holcim didn't give us the land or anything else, and is currently selling the property to someone else.

    We were totally betrayed! No, not by the landowner, but by Mr. Moore and Ms. Roberts!

    If they'd stuck to the original zoning proposal for the 2009 Draft LWRP, then today the causeway road would have been a "non-conforming" use. The road would have included a sunset provision to take effect as soon as Holcim sold the property.

    Look where we'd be right now if those individuals had heeded our wishes along with the wishes of the Common Council throughout 2010!

    Residents should immediately demand a change back to the zoning proposal of the Draft LWRP, the proposal we applauded in our official public comments on the Environmental Impact Statement.

    The folks at Scenic Hudson have shown what they are willing to do. Why not acknowledge their "hopes" for the South Bay by speaking up and putting the zoning issue back into every LWRP discussion of this political season.

    For those who care about ecology, this is the only LWRP issue worth discussing. The only reason it's not being discussed publicly is that the politicians who bungled the thing while betraying us and the bay don't want it to be.

    Residents should be instructing the politicians about the election issues they care about, but it rarely works that way. Unfortunately where the LWRP is concerned, the individuals who've proven that they are totally untrustworthy are shaping our discussion for us.

    It's time to make something happen again. Even if you're not a Hudson resident, please contact me if you'd like to be involved.

  2. I'm a resident and I demand a zoning change!

  3. Ah, Peter Meyer! One of only a few residents who turned out at the November 2011 zoning hearing.

    At the hearing I remember you made the same statement - and were ignored by the council.

    It might have been different if anyone else had turned out.

    (The only other residents who attended the zoning hearing were Prison Alley, John Friedman as alderman-elect, and possibly Gossips.)

    With very little effort, city residents can still achieve an enormous goal that's worthy of Scenic Hudson's efforts by instructing the Common Council to change the zoning back to the original plan.

    From an environmental standpoint, this should be the only issue in the election.

    I'd think that anyone who is concerned about any trucks anywhere in Hudson ought to be paying attention, but where are you all?

    Anyway, thanks as ever PM.

    - TO'C

  4. Gossips' coverage of the fateful November 2011 vote to amend the South Bay zoning:

    One exasperated commenter had asked, "but what can we do?"

    Now that we know what to do, it's time we do it.

    Let's meet Scenic Hudson halfway.

  5. Sometimes it's like trying to get the attention of a bunch of hummingbirds...

    1. By "hummingbirds" I think you mean our neighbors?

      Too true.

  6. Windle submitted this comment:

    I want a zoning change too!

    I have been told over and over that a zoning change would require a "taking" and that a "taking" would cost the city $10 million at least.

    We are sent such confusing messages that we retreat to our warrens or bury our heads in the sand. Everyone that has invested their time and $ into Hudson or cares about the future of the waterfront should be all over this! The apathy stems from confusion.

    1. Thank you Windle!

      Yes, we've all been sold a bill of goods, and repeatedly so.

      For anyone who wants to understand why a re-zoning of the South Bay in line with the proposal offered in the Draft LWRP is not a "taking," please listen to the city's BFJ Planners in discussion with the Common Council and the public at the July 12, 2010 "full council work session" on the LWRP.

      (I'd cut and paste the applicable transcript sections, but I'm away from my home computer at the moment.)

      From the inestimable WGXC audio archives, care of Victor:

    2. This straw-man "taking" locution is Cheryl Roberts speaking, and I've been present when she said it and I've been present when Whitbeck said it. All I can point out is,"Your cat may have had her kittens in the oven, but that don't make 'em biscuits."

    3. Roberts routinely makes up whatever she needs in the moment. By now we have so many examples of this.

      She'll also speak very quickly at points, right inside of a sentence, or suddenly drop her voice and garble her words when she needs to conceal something that she's otherwise required to say.

      But the most amazing thing is revealed when making transcripts, because sometimes her sentences have no syntax. They make no sense. You must listen very closely, which is of course impossible to do in the moment.