Whatever position the Planning Board ends up taking in the matter, a group of Hudson residents and business owners have decided they are not content with the Greenport Planning Board's definition of the project and have hired a lawyer, law use and environmental attorney John Lyons, to represent them. Last week, Lyons submitted a five-page letter to the Greenport Planning Board, making the case that the Greenport Planning Board, as lead agency in the SEQR process, must consider the "whole action." The letter's summary reads as follows:
The Planning Board's upcoming determination as to whether this application is deemed complete is an important one. As far as the issue of completeness is concerned, you must require the Application to contain detail about these impacts before you deem it complete. Without the information you cannot make a proper Determination of Significance.
Below we discuss why, as Lead Agency, you must require that the application contains sufficient, detailed information about how this proposed haul road will function in relation to Applicant's overall future plans for the operation of the mine. This is necessary to avoid improper segmentation. The information required should include a definitive statement from the Applicant as to the intensity and scope of the mining operation, as well as the present and future truck traffic figures if the road is approved. Without sufficient information about this Project, you cannot make a proper Determination of Significance as part of your environmental review.
Also discussed below are your responsibilities as Lead Agency to evaluate potential adverse environmental impacts which may occur in the City of Hudson, including, for example, potential adverse impacts to community character. Since the City of Hudson Planning Board is an Involved Agency, and Involved Agencies can make their own, independent State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) findings, it is important that the record have a thorough evaluation of all potential adverse impacts of this project wherever they may occur. Specifically, you should consider how this Project may impact the sense of place and quality of life, not only in Greenport, but also in Hudson. This includes evaluating impacts from traffic, dock activity, and impacts to the newer, and growing, aspects of Hudson's community character in the area of the river. This community character reflects the present day balanced and mixed-use water front which is less industrial now (and will be in the future per the City's zoning) and which will grow in orientation toward a character which reflects tourism, recreation and the aesthetic appreciation of Hudson's river front.
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