Wednesday, May 10, 2023

CLC Seeking to Acquire Land in North Bay

In 2011, the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) published its master concept plan for the area along the river on Hudson's north side called North Bay Recreation and Natural Area. The plan outlined a proposal to transform the capped landfill at the north end of Second Street and the surrounding open space of tidal wetlands and grassland habitat into a "public park and conservation area that will offer exceptional beauty, the natural resources of the Hudson River estuary, education about human settlement and industry along the river, and access to a trail network covering potentially 1,000 acres, all within walking distance of downtown Hudson."

More than a decade has passed since CLC published its master concept plan for North Bay, and in that time nothing has happened to make the plan a reality, but this morning, at the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) meeting, Gossips learned that the CLC is looking to pursue its plan for North Bay by acquiring a parcel of land along the river currently owned by the Hudson IDA. On the map below, C marks the parcel owned by the IDA, which comprises about 39 acres of tidal wetland and about 14 acres of undeveloped upland and extends from the river east across Second Street to abut Charles Williams Park.  

(On the map above, A is the landfill area; B is the location of Harney & Sons Tea; D is Charles Williams Park; and E is City-owned property on which the Hudson Dog Park is located.)

The following is quoted from the proposal presented by the CLC to the Hudson IDA:
In 2011, the Columbia Land Conservancy, with support from the City of Hudson and Columbia County created a Concept Master Plan for the North Bay Recreation and Natural Area. The plan focused on creating greater public access to this ecologically rich area that also provides incredible recreational and scenic values to the residents of Hudson. The North Bay area has been a community resource for many years. This is exemplified in the 2002 Hudson Comprehensive Plan that calls for a trail network at the North Bay, and the City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) also endorses this vision. 
Unfortunately, this vision has been held up due to concerns with leeching around the base of the landfill. Various experts have indicated there are no environmental hazards associated with this leeching; however, concerns exist and no approval has been provided to create access across the landfill base. Instead of looking for alternatives, no work has occurred to advance the vision and it has prevented years of greater access to the outdoors. 
Today we come to you with an alternative proposal that will allow a portion of this vision to move forward. The original vision always included a trail from Charles Williams Park to the Greenport Conservation Area as well as a loop to 2nd Street and the 2nd Street dog park. . . . Most of this trail would be built on lands now owned by the City of Hudson IDA (tax parcel: 110.5-1-1.2). This land has sat vacant for many years and includes a mix of tidal marshes and upland green space. 
Our proposal is for the Hudson IDA to donate or bargain sale this property to the Columbia Land Conservancy. The Columbia Land Conservancy will work with Build Hudson, a local workforce training program, to design and build a trail from Charles Williams Park to the Greenport Conservation Area, realizing a significant portion of the vision for a trail network on this land. CLC will commit to additional fundraising to ensure the long-term care of this property including trail maintenance, educational signage, and future expansion of the trail network including the potential of an ADA trail on adjacent lands–all at no cost to the City of Hudson. 

The trail development being proposed at this time, leading directly from Charles Williams Park to the Greenport Conservation Area, passing along the base of the landfill, is outlined in red on the concept plan below. This map was part of the master concept plan published in 2011, which explains why the Hudson Dog Park does not appear on the map. 

At today's meeting, the IDA agreed to do an appraisal of the parcel to determine fair market value, which is a necessary first step in pursuing the proposal.


  1. Great idea! Do it. Thank you CLC.

  2. This is a wonderful plan to give Hudson direct walking access to the Greenport Conservation Area.

    Presumably Harney and Sons would also need to grant an easement across a chunk of their property behind their building, or FASNY along their property line. Neither landowner is currently putting those portions of their property to any productive use.

  3. While they are at it the city should donate the North Bay former Furgary area. CLC could get rid of those shacks and do something productive with that land. The city really dropped the ball on that, along with the Dunn warehouse, that area is a real embarrassment.

    1. City Hall didn't "drop the ball" on the DRI award to stabilize a handful of shacks and remove the rest. Rather, it exploited the Covid crisis to exclude the project's organizers and the public from even knowing what was going on. (City Hall maintained - and I believe unlawfully - that the DRI proceedings were not subject to the state's Open Meetings Law.)

      So for years the DRI committee meetings have continued, but without any outside knowledge or input. No one dropped a ball, that was a decision.

      Where things stand now is that the city will accept the sole bid entertained for a sham remediation, and subsequent demolition, by a close friend of one of the DRI committee members who'll take the entire DRI award for this work. (Corruption alert: this demo- friend hails from Stuyvesant.)

      But watch for an arrangement that's being cooked up between the city and an external party, though it won't be with the CLC.

      Even several years ago Hudson residents would have demanded transparency. Today Hudsonians are little better than sheep. City Hall not only knows it, but its creatures have actively tamed us.

      "Dropped the ball" my eye!

  4. Hilary Hillman submitted this comment by email:

    This is a very exciting trail plan put forward by the CLC. This will give Hudson residents and visitors access to the Greenport Conservation area and many more people will be able to see the amazing views over the Hudson and to the Catskills from the ridge.

    I am thrilled about this proposal form the Columbia Land Conservancy.