The Planning Board meeting last night went on for more than three hours, and most of the time was spent considering the conditional use permits needed by Colarusso: for the dock and for the haul road. A new element presented by Pat Prendergast, engineer for Colarusso, was the plan for screening from view stockpiling of rock and activity at the dock. To improve the view from Basilica Hudson, it is proposed that forsythia, hydrangea, and cedar be planted along the fence that borders the east side of the dock area. There will also be plantings, requested by DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation), on the riprap bank and along the top of the dock, which will be visible from Rick's Point.
Prendergast displayed the following simulations to show the appearance of the east side of the dock area today, at the time the shrubs and bushes are planted, and after five years.
The intent of the proposed planting is to screen the storage and dock operations but not to obstruct the view of the mountains or, from Rick Point, the view of the lighthouse or barge loading, which some people apparently enjoy watching.
Some other new information emerged last night. On a site visit with some members of the Planning Board, together with Ryan Weitz of Barton & Loguidice, and representatives of Colarusso, it was suggested by Matthew Frederick, who seems too have become an unofficial consultant to the Planning Board, that the existing haul road could be retained for recreational use when a new haul road is constructed at the center of the berm, which is sometimes referred to as "the causeway." John Privatera, attorney for Colarusso, responded to the suggestion by saying it had "all kinds of liability issues."
In summarizing a letter he submitted to the Planning Board, Weitz spoke of the silo and the "salt shed" as structures that are "a valued part of the the waterfront to many folks." Speaking of the structures, Privatera indicated Colarusso would fulfill its "ownership responsibilities" and maintain them, but they would not do any work that would require returning to the Planning Board.
Weitz also mentioned the railroad trestle that will be used to access the Nack Center and spoke of potential assistance from Colarusso in restoring the trestle.
At the outset of the meeting, Planning Board chair Walter Chatham defined the concerns as physical design and operational issues. Regarding the latter, Privatera announced that Colarusso has willing to agree to a following hours of operation for trucks traveling between the quarry and the dock: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday; no trucks on Sundays or major holidays. To this proposal, Chatham commented, "If we could have a truck free weekend, this could go a whole lot easier."
Chatham's stated goal of the meeting was "to get a laundry list of the issues to be looked at." After two hours and twenty minutes, he seemed to be satisfied that this had been accomplished and asked for a motion to deem the application complete and set a public hearing. Planning Board member Clark Wieman expressed the opinion that the application was not complete, because Colarusso has never provided actual counts of number of round trips made every day, "from the day they took over until now." Paul Colarusso protested that they don't keep such records. When Wieman spoke of continuing "to try to drag some kind of numbers of present intensity" out of Colarusso, Privatera told him, "You're struggling with it because you have created the issue. You have no right to regulate trips." Colarusso noted that providing this information could put the company at a competitive disadvantage and stated, "There is no more information we will give you on that."
Although Wieman and Laura Margolis were opposed to scheduling a public hearing, the remaining four members of the Planning Board present (Chatham, Betsy Gramkow, Ginna Moore, John Cody) voted to move forward. The public hearing will take place on July 9 at 6:00 p.m. in a location yet to be determined. Code enforcement officer Craig Haigh recommended a venue other than City Hall, noting that the capacity of the Council Chamber is 45 and warning, "That will be enforced by code enforcement and the police."
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK