Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hudson's New Suburbanism

New Urbanism is an approach to planning and development that is based on the way cities and towns were designed in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The design principles embraced by New Urbanism are embodied by the City of Hudson--a walkable "Main Street," city parks, a gridded street system. Suburbia, as it exists just beyond the Hudson-Greenport border on Fairview Avenue, is the antithesis of New Urbanism. Indeed, the New Urbanism movement developed in reaction to the kind of spreading out of cities typified by this part of Greenport. 

Several people involved in making planning decisions for Hudson are proponents of New Urbanism, and the term New Urbanism is frequently evoked in discussions about planning for the Kaz site and the area around the former Gifford-Wood plant at the end of Hudson Avenue. Still, strangely, elements typical of suburbia keep creeping into Hudson. 

The first is the giant new Stewart's to be built at the corner of Green Street and Fairview Avenue, which involves the sacrifice of two houses, representing seven dwelling units, and a design that ignores a basic principle of New Urbanism by having the convenience store's main entrance oriented toward a parking lot instead of the street.

Now there's another proposal before the Planning Board which would bring something else associated with the suburbs into the city: self storage.

The proposal is to place nine 8 x 20 foot sheds and one 8 x 10 foot shed on the vacant lot on the corner of Fairview Avenue and Oakwood Boulevard.

The good news is that the units would be painted gray instead of the blue and white of similar facilities in the area and arranged so that all the doors will be in the middle. Despite the fact that the applicant declared, regarding the zoning in the area, "You can do anything up there," a self storage facility seems an inappropriate use for any lot within a city.

A public hearing on the proposed project will take place on July 9, at 6:oo p.m., to precede the public hearing on the conditional use permits required for Colarusso.


  1. More storage units for junk from China.

    Fairview Avenue needs a remake -- bury the wires, widen the road and landscape the edges -- add an electric trolley from State St on a circuit out and back -- and urbanize it.
    recycle the empty malls with housing --
    landscape the aprking lots into small parks

    It can be done -- we need vision -- right now it is huge eyesore and it just doesnt have to be if people have vision.

  2. Egad. Hudson seems determined to follow Greenport's bad example. And the powers that be don't even listen to its citizens who object. Many of us around the Stewart's site understand the negative ramifications of such a move, but the planning board were deaf to our cries. That's not how it's supposed to work. The city should not run roughshod over it's citizens and over its own self interest in maintaining a human scale and keeping residential areas residential. What's happening is wrong on so many levels, and proves that Hudson hasn't really learned anything since Urban Renewal destroyed much of it. We're still recreating the fiasco of urban renewal, one building at a time.

  3. J Kay and Cynthia are totally on point. Can we discover why the government ignores these intelligent views? Maybe we'd get somewhere ....

  4. Who is the applicant for the storage units proposal?