Thursday, July 14, 2016

Happening Tonight at City Hall

The Hudson Planning Board tonight begins its review of the haul road being proposed by A. Colarusso & Son from their facility on Newman Road to the waterfront. The road going east from Route 9G has already been transformed from the rutted path it was a year ago into a widened gravel road. The first 930 feet of that road are in the City of Hudson, in an area zoned R-C, Recreational Conservation.

The proposal also includes widening the road going west from Route 9G--the "causeway" that runs through South Bay--and moving it slightly to the south. There is some debate about whether causeway refers to the actual roadway or to the filled-in berm through South Bay on which the roadway is situated. According to one definition, the proposal is to move the causeway; according to the other, the proposal is to move the roadway on the causeway. The difference may have significant legal implications.

The Planning Board meets at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.


  1. A. Colarusso & Son, Inc. are delighted at the widespread confusion between its past and future actions.

    To wit, the Planning Board is beginning its review of a road the company has already installed. Please think about that a moment.

    Naturally, the company is disinclined to discuss the Local Laws it has already broken, and prefers to only look forward to future phases of the plan.

    Some will want to correct Gossips, and say that the new road was placed in the Zoning District which was created for it. But Gossips is right to say that the road, or at least most of it, is placed "in an area zoned [for] Recreational Conservation."

    The aim of the waterfront program's Core Riverfront District was to limit any expansion of this same road, an aim the NYS Department of State (DOS) made redundant by recommending that the road also be categorized as a "nonconforming use." But even two hurdles weren't enough to check the company's aggressive advance.

    The purpose of the redundancy was to keep further industrial development of the City's waterfront within proportion. (Not that anyone remembers anymore, or even cares, but proportionality was at the crux of the DOS's rejection of the St. Lawrence Cement proposal in 2005.)

    So anything paved beyond the width of the two-rutted road which you see in the above photo was work done in the Recreational Conservation District.

    How much new road was placed in the conservation district?

    Within City limits, the average width of the two-rutted road was a little less than 12 feet.

    The average width of the new road is a little more than 31 feet! (The company had to cut trees to accommodate the new width, so don't let anyone tell you they went a little over by mistake.)

    Multiplied by 930 feet of length, the difference between the old and new roads is 0.4 acres, which is the amount of road that A. Colarusso and Son built inside our conservation district.

    Residents need to send a message that the City's LWRP zoning, and in fact all of its Local Laws, must not be dishonored.

    Before discussing any further proposals, we must scrutinize the work already accomplished when the Colarusso company ignored the City's Zoning Code by circumventing planning review.

    Otherwise, what's the meaning of the Zoning Code? Why must residents respect the law if Colarusso doesn't, and then gets away with it?

    No double standards. One rule of law for all.

  2. True to form, Mr. Pierro used his time to mischaracterize anyone who opposes the Colarusso corporation's law-breaking.

    Because it wasn't an official Hearing, the public wasn't permitted to defend itself from his strawman arguments, which rehearsed the same false either/or used throughout the last LWRP effort.

    Questions were permitted at the meeting, but can a defense against a strawman depiction be formulated into a question? I doubt even Socrates could manage that.

    Unfortunately, no one asked Mr. Pierro if he'd stand with City residents in support of a Resolution banning trucks downhill of the State Truck Route - a menace he personally facilitated for years.

    Back to his old maneuvers, Mr. Pierro depicts those who'd ban gravel trucks from the lower City - but who also oppose Colarusso's recent actions and proposals - as being in conflict with Environmental Justice concerns.

    That's a lie, meant to distract us who actually live in the City from the explanation Mr. Pierro owes us for his past actions which fostered an increase of truck traffic here.

    To defend itself against such calumny, the public is grateful for the opportunity to comment at Gossips, Imby, and the Community Board. But even combined, that's not much of a venue, when nearly all the members of both Planning Boards are already carrying water for the law-breaking corporation.

    But don't worry. The Planning Boards of both municipalities will conduct the SEQR review together, which is sure to keep everything honest.

  3. Why is our Planning Board accepting an application before its Environmental Assessment Form is corrected to reflect the City's actual zoning requirements?

    Last evening, the Board invited the applicant to interpret the Zoning Code for the clarification of the City. The company spokesman discussed our zoning with the same self-assurance he explained how SEQR really works.

    In the latter case, the Board's lawyer stepped in and said, essentially, "Whoa, wait a minute!"

    But why doesn't Hudson's Planning Board know the City's Zoning Code well enough to ask any questions? Certainly that was a missed opportunity to point out that the EAF is not complete, and that consequently the application can't be accepted at this time.

    Instead, it fell to the public to ask whether or not the applicant knew the road was a "nonconforming use," and knew it before it shelled out nearly $8 million for the purchase.

    The Colarusso corporation has promised to look into the matter.