As Gossips has reported before, there are two issues involving Colarusso before the Planning Board: the repairs already made to the dock without obtaining the required permits from the City of Hudson and the proposed changes to haul road through South Bay. The former--the dock--was the subject of a lawsuit brought against the City by Colarusso and dismissed by acting Supreme Court Justice Michael H. Melkonian in January. The significance of that judgment and the conditions the Planning Board is allowed to impose on Colarusso still seems to be a matter of debate.
Colarusso's lawsuit against the City, which was dismissed by the court, challenged the determination that making unauthorized repairs to the dock ended the grandfathered nonconforming use status of the dock operations and triggered the need to seek a conditional use permit from the Planning Board. The lawsuit also sought relief "regarding a laundry list of complaints." Those complaints--eleven of them--were enumerated in Footnote 1 of the decision. (The "respondents" are the City, the Planning Board, and the Hudson Development and Planning Agency; the "petitioners" are A. Colarusso & Son and Colarusso Ventures LLC.)
- vacating and annulling respondents' determination to conduct a second SEQRA review of the Erosion Repair Project;
- prohibiting respondents from imposing excessive fees on petitioners in connection with respondents' review of the Erosion Repair Project;
- prohibiting respondents from imposing excessive fees on petitioners in connection with respondents' review of the Truck Traffic Diversion and Haul Road Improvement Project;
- prohibiting respondents from further regulating the intensity of petitioners' use of their commercial dock and haul road;
- vacating and annulling respondents' determination that petitioners require a development permit pursuant to Chapter 148 of the Code of the City of Hudson before they may resurface their haul road;
- declaring that neither the City nor any of its Boards or Agencies, including respondents, may in any way regulate interstate commerce by decreeing any limit upon the number of trucks that may travel by any route between petitioners' Greenport quarry and petitioners' dock on the Hudson River;
- declaring that respondents lack the power or authority to recommence SEQRA review of the Erosion Repair Project;
- declaring that the fees demanded by respondents in connection with their review of the Erosion Repair Project are excessive and unlawful;
- declaring that the fees demanded by respondents in connection with their review of the Truck Traffic Diversion and Haul Road Improvement Project are excessive and unlawful;
- declaring that petitioners' use of their commercial dock is permissible under the Code of the City and [sic] Hudson and that respondents may not lawfully further regulate the intensity of such use;
- declaring that petitioners' efforts to resurface their haul road are not subject to floodplain review pursuant to Chapter 148 of the Code of the City of Hudson.
On Tuesday, Wieman suggested that the Planning Board should go through the legal decision "line by line" to see "what it clarified relative to board's role." Had this been done, attention might have been paid to this statement on pages 7-8:
Here, respondents rationally concluded that the erosion repair project was one of the "actions of events specified in Section D" [of City Code §325.17.1] triggering the termination of petitioners' right to continue to operate the commercial dock without conditional use permit and the SEQR review for continued commercial dock operations is necessary.And to this statement in Footnote 3 on page 5:
The rational [sic] of this zoning ordinance (according to respondents' counsel) was that "it allows the dock owner & operator (Petitioner since 2014) to carry on its commercial dock operations as such operations existed in 2011, as a nonconforming use, as long as the owner/operator did not seek to make improvements, expansions, or changes. As soon as the owner/operator sought to make an improvement, enhancement, expansion, or change, the right to operate as a nonconforming use ceased."The Planning Board has not yet granted a conditional use permit, which seems to be a requirement for the continued commercial use of the dock, still there has been no cessation of use since the decision was handed down in January. The picture below was taken just this morning.
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