In 2008, the Hudson Islamic Center announced a plan to build a mosque on the northwest corner of Third and Columbia streets. Raising the money, which was anticipated to take five years, took longer than expected, and there was some issue over acquiring a needed parcel of land (the site is actually three parcels) from HCDPA (Hudson Community Development & Planning Agency), but now it seems all the hurdles have been cleared, and the project is ready to move forward. Tonight, the Zoning Board of Appeals granted the project the needed setback and parking variances.
At the public hearing, which preceded the ZBA's decision, the plans for the mosque were presented by the architect for the building, John O'Connell. O'Connell is familiar to Hudson. He designed the interior of Mexican Radio and was involved with the proposed but never realized plans for Galvan Quarters at State and Sixth streets and early on with the plans for the adaptive reuse of 701 Union Street as the Hudson police and court building.
At the public hearing, no one spoke in opposition to the plan, and, although maybe thirty or more members of the Hudson Islamic Center filled the room, only one person, John Matthews, spoke in support of the project, attesting that "Hudson embraces a diverse community."
Following the public hearing, the four members of the ZBA present—Mary Ellen Pierro, Kathy Harter, Theresa Joyner, and Myron Polenberg—voted unanimously to grant the needed variances.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CAROLE OSTERINK