Friday, September 23, 2016

Another Zoning Amendment Proposed

In March, a proposal came before the Planning Board to build four town houses on Hudson Avenue, the street that runs south from Union Street in the middle of the block between Fifth and Sixth streets. Hudson Avenue was created in 1907 for the sole purpose of giving access to the then new plant of the Gifford-Word Company. 

Gifford-Wood, c. 1915

Photo: Virginia Martin

The old Gifford-Word building, last used by McGuire Overhead Door, has been vacant for the past ten years, but as a legacy from those days, most of Hudson Avenue is still zoned industrial. Building houses there would require either a use variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals or a change in the zoning.

The project went before the ZBA in March seeking a use variance, but, at the same meeting the ZBA granted a use variance for the hotel to be created at 41 Cross Street, it denied a use variance to this project. Instead, the applicants were advised to petition the Common Council to amend the zoning.

In  August, an amendment to the zoning law that would change the zoning for three parcels on the west side of Hudson Avenue from I-1 (Industrial) to R-S-C (Residential Special Commercial), authored by Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), was introduced in the Legal Committee and forwarded to the full Council. At Tuesday's Common Council meeting, the amendment was placed on the aldermen's desks,  and the Council voted to forward the proposed amendment to the Hudson Planning Board and the Columbia County Planning Department for review.  

Some residents of East Allen Street were present at the meeting on Tuesday to express their concern that the proposed change in zoning would affect the view from their backyards. Given that the proposed change involves only three tax parcels along the west side of Hudson Avenue, totaling just 3 acres, it is unlikely that the change of zoning and the construction of four residential dwellings will have any impact at all on the houses on East Allen Street.


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