|South Bay painted by Sanford Gifford in 1861|
Mr. Jones' enterprise and untiring industry deserves to be encouraged by our citizens, and the city of Hudson could well afford to help him fill in the road across South Bay, if for no other reason than to get the stone teams out of the streets, which are already in very bad condition owing to the heavy loads continually passing over them from the quarries.A hundred and thirty years later, the problem is the same, and the argument is the same.
Carmine Pierro, who has been on the Planning Board for years but no longer lives in Hudson, expressed enthusiasm for the proposed haul road. He called it "a great benefit to Hudson," dropped the term "environmental justice," and declared it a "win-win, especially for the residents of the lower wards." He wanted Greenport to be the lead agency in the review, because, as he explained, "for us it's an amendment; for them, it's all new." According to Pierro, "all the environmental studies were done years ago," and the Planning Board had already approved a different version of the same proposal. When asked later on by audience member Ellen Thurston when the previous application had been approved, Pierro said it was 2009.
Checking the minutes of the Planning Commission for 2009 this morning, Gossips found no reference to an application for site plan review from O&G Industries. The haul road proposed by O&G was being reviewed in the fall of 2010 by the Greenport Planning Board, but that review has halted in October 2010, when the Greenport Planning Board informed O&G that no further action would be taken on their application until they submitted and had an application pending with the City of Hudson Planning Commission. The Planning Commission minutes for September 8, 2010, are the only place where reference to this application could be found. The following is quoted from those minutes:
In the final item of business, Ms. Roberts discussed with the commission a non-action issue, regarding O & G Industries' plan to use a roadway across an existing causeway, and a letter from the Town of Greenport to the Planning Commission concerning it. Segmentation is illegal under SEQR, therefore Greenport's Planning Board and the Hudson Planning Commission must work together. The Greenport board is unable to take action until Hudson's LWRP is approved. The Columbia County Planning Board will also be involved. Ms. Roberts advised the commission members that the Hudson Planning Commission has no jurisdiction in the matter.On the question of who should be lead agency, Pierro was eager to make a motion that Greenport be lead agency. "We're just doing an amendment," he insisted. "They're just moving a road." Mitch Khosrova, legal counsel to the Planning Board, advised against allowing Greenport to be lead agent, saying it was not true that Greenport "has a bigger look." He told the board that the attorney for the Greenport Planning Board had recommended that Hudson and Greenport be co-lead agents. Planning Board chair Tom Pietro called for a motion that the two bodies be co-lead agencies. Rob Bujan made that motion, which was unanimously approved.
Khosrova said he would send a letter to the Greenport Planning Board saying the Hudson Planning Board "would want to be lead agency, but, in the interest of cooperation, will be co-lead agency." Someone on the board noted that was not what the motion had said. There was a question of whether or not to amend the motion. DePietro recommended they "stick with the motion that we want to be co-lead," commenting, "If they end up being lead, it doesn't take much away from us." Khosrova cautioned, "When it comes to SEQR, if the lead agency issues a negative declaration, all the agencies must accept it." Laura Margolis, the only woman on the Hudson Planning Board, moved to amend the original motion to reflect the language Khosrova had suggested, but no one seconded her motion.
We were assured that last night was only the beginning of the review of the proposed haul road. When DePietro said, "This is controversial, but we want everyone to be happy in the end," Pierro and Glenn Martin demanded to know why it was controversial. Pretending to speak for those who find the proposal problematic, Pierro said, "The hell with the people of Hudson, let's worry about a six-legged frog." Rick Scalera, Fifth Ward supervisor, who was present in the audience, called it "a most exciting proposal." "The Colarusso family doesn't have to do this," he said.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK