Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Preserving Community Character

At the end of 2017, the Common Council voted to enact Local Law No. 6 of 2017, which became Article XIV of the city code: "Community Character Preservation." The law, meant to "preserve community character, local business ownership, and local wealth," prohibits chain businesses, or "formula retail uses," in Hudson. Given recent developments, it's interesting to review the evolution of the law.

The law was initiated by the Economic Development Committee of the Common Council, a committee that was created in 2010 by Don Moore, then Council president, and abolished, along with all the other standing committees, in 2021 by Council president Tom DePietro. In 2017, when the law was being developed, former mayor Rick Rector, who was then First Ward alderman, chaired the Economic Development Committee. 

The original version of the law, which was placed on the aldermen's desks in October 2017, defined a chain or "formula retail use" as "a type of retail sales or service activity or retail sales or service establishment that has three or more other retail sales establishments in operation." It was that version of the law that was submitted, as required, to the Columbia County Planning Board for a recommendation. In its comments, the CCPB expressed concern about "the potential impact on locally owned and operated businesses . . . that have three or more locations," citing Bagel Tyme, then with three locations, and Steiner's as examples. 

As a consequence of the CCPB's concerns, the definition of a formula retail use was changed from "three or more locations" to "four or more locations." Had that change not been made, Savona's Trattoria, which is expected to open soon at Warren and Second streets, formerly the location of Vico, could not have located in Hudson. Savona's already has locations in Red Hook, Kingston, and Poughkeepsie. 

recently learned of another business planning to open its fourth location in Hudson: Westerlind

An upscale outdoor outfitter, Westerlind currently has stores in Manhattan, at 29 Spring Street, in Great Barrington, and in Millerton. According to Gossips intel, the Hudson location is expected to open in September.


  1. New pizza place is opening in the former Park Falafel on 7th St.

  2. I'm seeing a lot of shops in Hudson that are hard to figure out. They have an odd assortment of stuff that doesn't seem to add up to anything in particular. Kind of like when I played 'store' with my sisters in 2nd grade.

    1. 6 of those weird boutiquey type shops have open and closed in the last two years in the 600 and 700 blocks alone.