On September 26, 2011, there was a special meeting of the Common Council on the subject of the LWRP (Local Waterfront Revitialization Program) and the GEIS (Generic Environmental Impact Statement) done in conjunction with the LWRP. At the end of this meeting, the Common Council voted to adopt the GEIS, but before that happened, city attorney Cheryl Roberts and Bill Sharp, senior attorney with the Department of State, spent the better part of the meeting--a meeting that lasted for an hour and forty-five minutes--explaining the impact of changing the zoning for the dock and the causeway from Industrial to Core Riverfront. Roberts characterized that zoning change and the change from Industrial to Recreational Conservation for the rest of South Bay as being "very protective of the environment."
In the minutes from that meeting. which happened almost five years ago, Sharp makes the point that "a lot of things are permissible in an Industrial Zone that would not be permissible in an 'as of right' in the new proposed Core-Riverfront District." Sharp goes on to say, "The Core-Riverfront District would not allow a port use as a permitted use," noting that "immediately on the change from industrial zoning to the C-R zoning to the extent that the existing port use is a lawfully permitted use under the Industrial Zoning, it would actually become a non-conforming use under the C-R Zone." He explains the port use would be allowed to continue without modification of any of the structures, uses on the property and the causeway, but "should there be any changes to either a building on the property, or a new building being constructed, or changes to the roadway it will require that the owner get a conditional use permit, and there is an extensive list of requirements in the conditional use permit section for an existing commercial dock operation."
Speaking about the requirements for a conditional use permit, Sharp gives some examples: "hours of operation, levels of noise, dust or other obnoxious, bothersome uses that would be generated on site." He concludes, "There's a recognition that if there is going to be continued commercial dock operations down there, that they try to co-exist, and exist well with the other kinds of uses that are happening in the City of Hudson."
That night the Common Council passed a resolution adopting the final GEIS. At another special meeting on November 30, 2011, the Common Council passed a resolution amending the city zoning code to implement the zoning set forth in the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. South Bay became zoned R-C, Recreational Conservation, and the dock and the causeway--including that part of it that continues on the east side of Route 9G--became zoned C-R, Core Riverfront.
Now there is a proposal before the Planning Board not only to widen the causeway going west from 9G, through South Bay to the river, but to move it several yards south. Not only has the term "conditional use permit" never been heard uttered by anyone on the Planning Board, but one member--Carmine Pierro, who once chaired the Planning Commission/Board--has stated his opinion that the proposal should be considered an amendment to a plan that was already approved by the Planning Board. It is not known when that approval was granted, but Gossips hasn't found any record of it in the minutes of the Planning Commission/Board, certainly not since the LWRP zoning was enacted in 2011.
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