Friday, July 7, 2017

Mark Your Calendars

As Gossips has already reported, the Economic Development Committee is planning to hold a public hearing at the beginning of its meeting on July 20 to receive comments from the community about the request from Stewart's Shops for the City of Hudson to change the zoning along Green Street and Fairview Avenue to allow Stewart's to expand their gas station and convenience store, creating on that site something that will resemble the Stewart's Shop in Chatham. 

Yesterday, Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), who chairs the committee, issued the following press release:
The City of Hudson’s Economic Development Committee will host an information session as part of its regularly scheduled monthly meeting for Hudson residents regarding proposed changes to the Stewart’s Shop on Green Street. Stewart’s intention is to expand and update its building and change its parking lot for safety and accessibility reasons. Stewart’s has purchased the homes on either side of its existing shop and plans to demolish them to provide space for this expansion. The Stewart’s plan requires a change to the City Code before it can be approved by the Planning Board. A Stewart's representative will present the project and answer questions from the Committee and public.
John Friedman, 3rd Ward Alderman and Committee Chair, invites Hudson residents to attend the meeting and share their thoughts about the plan. “Stewart’s has been a good neighbor and employer in the City of Hudson for many years. The store’s parking lot essentially straddles the northwest side of the intersection of Green Street and Fairview Avenue and has been the site of several accidents in the past. This is the busiest intersection in the City according the State DOT and we hope this discussion will propose a solution to make it safer.”
The Economic Development Committee has raised concerns about the plan in relation to the code variance required as well as the plan to take down two adjacent residences. Rick Rector, 1st Ward Alderman and a member of the Committee said, “The Council is aware of the current need for more affordable housing in Hudson, and we want to be sure that we understand the impact of the potential loss of two dwellings in this area before we make a determination.”
The meeting is scheduled to take place on July 20 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Hudson City Hall.
Gossips believes that the press release is incorrect in stating that "Stewart’s has purchased the homes on either side of its existing shop." When the Stewart's representative made a presentation to the Legal Committee in March, he said that the company was in contract to buy the two houses but the sales were contingent on the City changing the zoning to allow the proposed expansion. It's unlikely that the status of the sales has changed.


1 comment:

  1. First off, a thank you to John Friedman for organizing and executing a public forum. Again, he gets it done.

    My guess is, based purely on observation and speculation, which in this specific case is based on school and property taxes, that the two owners must be, if not delighted with the proposed offers made to them by Stewart's, at least satisfied-edged-with-joy with the prospect of getting out from under increasingly burdensome taxes.

    And while it's good, if not great, to see that there is going to be an open and robust conversation about the potential loss of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. . .one hand plus a finger of housing units in Hudson, I look forward to the open, robust conversation about the multiple handsful of housing units dark and empty, for at least a decade now.

    Stewart's, it should be noted, hasn't ever, in my memory, asked for any grants or stipends to cushion their bottom line, either. They just employ people, provide a service to the community, and maintain their property. What a concept.

    Oh, and here's some additional food for thought:

    Thank you again Councilman Friedman.