Last night, at the Planning Board meeting, the board got an update on the status of the permitting process for the proposed Colarusso haul road, from Colarusso's headquarters on Newman Road to the Hudson waterfront.
The discussion began with Planning Board chair Tom DePietro announcing that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had designated the Greenport Planning Board the lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) "because more of the project is in Greenport." This means that Greenport will be deciding whether to make a negative or positive declaration about the environmental impacts of the project. In addition to participating in the coordinated review with Greenport, the Hudson Planning Board must also review the project for consistency with the City's LWRP (Local Waterfront Revitalization Program).
Pat Prendergast, the engineer employed now by Colarusso and formerly by O&G/Holcim, began his presentation by reminding the board that the "whole purpose" of the haul road is to "shorten the route and keep trucks out of Greenport and off the city truck route." He reported that a revised storm water pollution prevention plan had been submitted to the DEC and that the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation had reviewed the plan and determined that no archaeological or historic resources would be negatively impacted.
Prendergast reported that the Department of Transportation (DOT) had requested changes to the course of the haul road as it approaches Route 9G. DOT wants the haul road to be perpendicular to the state highway and curbing installed to discourage trucks exiting the haul road from turning north into Hudson. DOT also requested signage: "No Left Turn" on the west side of 9G; "No Right Turn" on the east side of 9G.
Ray Jurkowski, the engineer from Morris Associates retained to advise the Planning Board on this project, asked Prendergast, not for the first time, how many trucks trips through Hudson would be eliminated by the haul road. He also noted that the permitting process for this project has been going on for several years, through different applicants and owners of the property, and requested, on behalf of the Planning Board, a chronology of the process—what applications had been submitted, what permits had been obtained—as well as copies of all the correspondence between the applicants and the state regulatory agencies. He urged the members of the Planning Board to review the plans submitted (not long before the meeting) "as quickly as possible" to identify "Hudson concerns." These, he advised, should be outlined in a letter to the Greenport Planning Board "to put them on notice that Hudson has concerns."
At the end of the discussion, audience member Timothy O'Connor objected that the EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) that had been completed for this project was incorrect, and that the municipal boundaries on the map accompanying the site plan for the project were incorrect. Reacting to the second objection, Prendergast asked, "Are you a surveyor?" Judging by a comment made on Gossips, it wouldn't take a surveyor to recognize the error. The map allegedly puts the Dr. Oliver Bronson House and grounds not in Hudson but in the Town of Greenport.
The next Greenport Planning Board meeting takes place on Tuesday, November 22, at 7:30 p.m., at Greenport Town Hall. The Colarusso haul road is the second item on the agenda for that meeting.
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