Friday, January 13, 2017

Register-Star on the Haul Road

Although those involved and those closely following the review process of the proposed Colarusso haul road are still waiting for a definitive answer from Colarusso about the number of trucks that would be using the haul road, the Register-Star seems to have found it and put it in a headline: "Study: Proposed haul road could see trucks crossing every 3 minutes." Although the headline suggests the report may be about some new study, it turns out that it is based on the Project Narrative submitted in December 2016 by Pat Prendergast, which has been available for weeks on the City of Hudson website.


  1. No matter how the numbers work out by the end of the news story (I'll admit it will take me a few reads), this is excellent investigative reporting by a thorough researcher. Anyone who has even a remote interest in this owes Nick Olivari and The Register-Star a tremendous thank you.

    Make sure to buy a paper today!

  2. Ah!, let the truth be known (from the Olivari story):

    "From Route 9 to Route 9G, the road is described as in good condition with only grading and drainage work necessary to the shoulders."

    This describes the segment of road already built last year, months before the current proposal was announced.

    So why does page after page of site plan describe that same segment as if it will be built in future?

    NYSDEC Commissioner Seggos described the proposal for that segment as "renovation" which "would primarily occur within the Town [of Greenport]."

    Was the NYSDEC duped?

    The Commissioner continued that "the majority of the haul road and thus most of the construction activity is within Town territory. ... Thus, the first criterion favors the [Greenport] Town Planning Board [as SEQR Lead Agency], as most of the impacts would occur within its territory.".

    Hudson missed an important opportunity in its letter to the NYSDEC to mention the embarrassing fact that the Rte. 9 to 9-G segment of the road was completed before the proposal for it was announced. Commissioner Seggos wouldn't have known otherwise, and so he didn't know.

    Why embarrassing? To describe the road work which already happened inside City limits as unlawful is to put it mildly.

    We missed a chance to educate the DEC Commissioner before his decision, but as an ongoing violation we can and must bring the landowner to task. The City should order it to remove those portions of road it built in our Recreational Conservation Zoning District.

    Then and only then should we discuss the company's future use of the haul road, which nobody aside from Planning Board member Pierro believes anyone opposes. (Dude, get with the times!)

  3. To quote from Mr. Oliveri's Register-Star piece, "a January 25, 2016 letter to A. Colarusso and Son from Creighton Manning said hours of operation for transporting material to the dock from the quarry will be Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m with truck deliveries normally only from March to December."

    But two months after the Creighton Manning letter, in the May 3rd Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), the company answered the question "hours of operation during operations" as: Monday to Friday "24 - 7," and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays "24" each.

    In other words, operations were anticipated 365 days a year, and at any hour of day or night.

    The August 19 EAF changed again to Monday to Saturday "5 AM - 8 PM," with Sundays "Special Condition only," and "No major holidays."

    Isn't it odd that the company's lawyer would play the part of the upset party.

  4. Colarusso's projected hours of operation are not 12 hours a day, as everyone seems to believe, but 15 hours a day, which is the company's most recent projection (see the Narrative's 8/19 EAF, p. 7).

    Following is an interesting excerpt about a municipality's potential to regulate hours of operation generally, a partial transcript from a special meeting of the Common Council on September 26, 2011.

    The speaker is William Sharp, the Principal Attorney of the NYS Department of State.

    "Regulating hours of operation of business is tricky. If it's legislated rather than handed off to an administrative board that comes up with it on its own, it has made it through the courts satisfactorily. [There's] a case called Southland Corps. v. Janowsky that basically upheld the Town of Riverhead's imposition of an hours of operation zone on a 7-11 [store] .... 

    "It's [the zoning code that is] able to specify the use, but it is not supposed to be able to regulate the internal operations of a business. How the two balance out is with the courts. ...

    "But there are certain controls that the City could enact which may be outside of the course of zoning that you may be able to lawfully enact separate and apart from whether the owner goes and seeks a conditional use permit or not. They'd have to be looked at on an individual basis and the City would have to decide which ones if any it wants to adopt."