Six years ago, when The Gossips of Rivertown was just getting started, Holcim/O&G proposed creating a haul road, following the path of the old railroad bed from the waterfront to the quarry. The part of the road east from Route 9G to Route 9 was then before the Greenport Planning Board for review and approval. Exactly six years ago today, on January 28, 2010, Gossips published this report, which included the photograph below.
The project foundered, or so it seemed. Several months earlier, in October 2009, Cheryl Roberts, then city attorney for Hudson, had sent a letter to O&G, which at the time, in a lease agreement with Holcim, was extracting aggregate from Becraft Mountain and shipping it from the dock on the Hudson waterfront. The letter stated: "Though the City [of Hudson] has steadfastly maintained that O&G will require site plan approval from the City of Hudson Planning Commission prior to undertaking this action [i.e., "the construction of a roadway beginning in a mine owned by Holcim, LTD, in Greenport, New York, and terminating at the deep water port located in Hudson, New York"], the City Planning Commission has not received a permit application from O&G to date." The letter went on to warn that "seeking approval from the Town of Greenport Planning Board in advance of a declaration of lead agency and undertaking a coordinated review . . . amounts to segmentation in violation of 6 NYCRR 617.3(g)." The project never came before the Hudson Planning Commision (now the Planning Board), and, to Gossips' knowledge, it was never approved by the Greenport Planning Board.
Still, in the summer of 2011, two years after Roberts sent the letter, the road from 9G west to the waterfront was widen and improved, without the review and approval of the Hudson Planning Commission.
Now, six years after the project was before the Greenport Planning Board, improvements have been made to the road going east from 9G--improvements that have happened within the past year, since the property has been owned by A. Colarusso & Son.
This may seem like Greenport's problem not Hudson's, but the first part of this road--what appears in the picture--is in Hudson not Greenport. The Hudson/Greenport line is about at the road's disappearing point in the photographs. What's more, this road is located in a part of the Waterfront Revitalization Area that has been designated a "Conservation District" in the City's Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.
To Gossips' knowledge the plan to improve this abandoned railroad bed never came before the Planning Board for review and approval. How do these things happen?
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK