Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Back to Zoom

Council president Tom DePietro announced this morning that tonight's Legal Committee meeting would take place on Zoom. 

It's a good thing the meeting can be viewed from the comfort of home, because it is likely to go on for a long time. On the agenda for the meeting, to quote DePietro, are "sidewalks, inclusionary zoning, 4th ward zoning, and the cause for eviction law on our desks." By "4th ward zoning" I believe DePietro means the proposal to amend the zoning to allow eating and drinking establishments as a conditional use in R4 Districts. R4 Districts, shown in pink on the zoning map below, exist in many places in the city other than the Fourth Ward. 

Click here to join the meeting. 


  1. Back to Zoom (with no in-person attendance, I presume) thanks to unvaccinated people all over this country who have rebooted the pandemic. Is that too simplistic a take on things?

  2. Even though it's not on today's agenda, with the map up this is a useful occasion to point out an anomaly discovered at the city's southern extreme. Common Council members are just beginning to investigate this matter at the county level.

    The problem is at the municipal boundary along that patch of orange at the bottom where the map indicates "Town of Greenport."

    Sometime in the 1970s, perhaps in preparation for the 1977 purchase by St. Lawrence Cement, the County Board of Supervisors detached the tax boundary from the municipal boundary at that line. The difference between the to sets of lines is about 13 acres.

    That's why the current owner of the approximately 13 acres inside the city, the humongous corporation LafargeHolcim, pays no city taxes. Instead, property taxes on this acreage go to Greenport for property in Hudson!

    For those who'd argue that vacant land isn't worth a whole lot, they should know land values differ greatly between the city and town. I say, let's get to the bottom of it.

  3. 2.

    Although indirectly related to the above, on Colarusso Ventures' 2014 deed survey this adjacent landowner to the circa 13 acres misidentified the municipal boundary by collapsing it into tax boundary.

    Since I've now concluded that it is IMPOSSIBLE to convey this simple fact (and convenient error) to the current Planning Board members, the notorious applicant A. Colarusso & Son is about to score another success in its consistent misreporting of the total land area subject to SEQRA review.

    But to be accurate, the scam is also due to the naivety of the city's engineering consultant who takes on full faith the veracity of any signed and stamped survey.

    In that regard our engineer is like Dudley Do-Right, whose unshakable confidence in the system blinds him to the fact before his eyes that Snidely Whiplash is tying Nell Fenwick to the railroad tracks. Like Dudley, our engineer first tips his hat to the pair before he realizes that Nell is in distress.

    At least Dudley comes around in the end! Unfortunately, our Planning Board members are all too happy to adopt shortcuts under cover of their engineer's credulousness. This is a problem.