At the last Common Council meeting, it was decided that there would be a special meeting to take up the issue of the zoning amendment needed to build a block of four row houses on Hudson Avenue.
That special meeting never happened. Instead, the Common Council has scheduled a public hearing on the request for a zoning change for Monday, November 7--the eve of Election Day--at 5:45 p.m., preceding a special meeting about the 2017 budget at 6:30 p.m. and the informal Common Council meeting at 7:00 p.m.
It will be recalled that the zoning amendment had been sent to both the Hudson Planning Board and the Columbia County Planning Board for recommendations. In preparation for the public hearing, the responses from both boards are now available on the City of Hudson website. The response from the Hudson Planning Board makes the following comments:
Interestingly, although a legal opinion from Virginia Benedict, of the law firm Rapport Meyer, stated "The fact that rezoning . . . benefits a specific person is not determinative" in deciding if a zoning change is an example of "spot zoning," and Tom DePietro, who chairs the Planning Board, told the Common Council on October 18 that the board's recommendation "did not hinge on spot zoning," item 2 in the Planning Board's "report" seems to make it pretty clear that the possibility that "some members of the public" might perceive the zoning change as spot zoning is the reason for the board's recommendation.
The response from the Columbia County Planning Board is also interesting. After noting that "this proposed action does not appear to have any significant county-wide or intercommunity impacts associated with it," which means the county planning board has no say in the matter, the county planning board makes a few comments: one being that the parcels should be rezoned R-3 instead of R-S-C to create "a more cohesive neighborhood and . . . minimize the potential for conflict between existing residential uses and future commercial uses"; the other being a concern that in changing the zoning for these three parcels, Hudson is giving up part of its limited "land available for job creation and/or retention." To support the latter, the county planning board quotes from page 31 of Hudson's 2002 Comprehensive Plan.
In 2002, the Comprehensive Plan seemed to cling to the notion that job creation can only happen in an industrial zone. Fourteen years later, when this particular industrial site has been vacant and abandoned for ten years and Hudson is witnessing the growth of a creative economy, the need to maintain every bit of our industrial zones certainly doesn't seem as great.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK