Construction company alleges city has exceeded its authority | Columbia County


HUDSON – A. Colarusso and Son, Inc., a construction and mining company operating in Hudson since 1912, sues the Hudson City Planning Board on the grounds that it illegally required the company to prepare a return additional environmental impact.

The objective of the planning board directive is to assess whether the company’s commercial wharf operations and the use of a private transport route have significant adverse environmental impacts that are below the standards set by the State’s Environmental Quality Review Act.

Colarusso’s lawsuit alleges that the town planning council does not have the power to issue such a “costly and time-consuming obligation” and requires the town planning council to make a decision on the town’s site plan request. company for the complete repair of its quay.

Planning board chairman Stephen Steim said on Monday he had not read the full lawsuit, filed on December 17. The planning council did not release an official statement on the matter on Monday. The mayor’s office declined to comment on the ongoing trial on Monday.

Victoria Polidoro, who Steim believes could be the city’s defense lawyer on the case, did not respond to requests for comment.

If Polidoro held the post, she would replace Cheryl Roberts, legal counsel to Hudson, who withdrew from cases involving Colarusso in October.

The lawsuit is the latest chapter in a complicated back-and-forth between Colarusso, the Hudson and Greenport Planning Boards, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state department of state.

Colarusso transports minerals and raw materials from its Greenport mine to the Hudson Town waterfront, a port space it uses for the storage and shipping of goods and raw materials. In 2011, the Hudson Common Council recommended the use of the haul road as a means of diverting truck traffic from the city’s public streets.

In 2016, Colarusso submitted site plan requests to the Greenport Planning Council to add a lane to the haul road that operates in both Greenport and Hudson.

Fourth Ward Supervisor Linda Mussmann, co-owner of Time & Space Limited on Columbia Street in Hudson, has strongly criticized heavy truck traffic on city streets and advocates widening the haul route. Mussmann said truck traffic creates noise and dust pollution and should be diverted from residential and commercial areas.

A year later, in 2017, the Greenport Planning Board conducted an environmental review of the two-lane proposal and found that the project would have no environmental impact on the Town of Hudson and the Town of Greenport.

The Town of Hudson Planning Council disputed the finding, alleging that Greenport Planning Council had failed to “adequately consider a range of environmental impacts, including impacts resulting from traffic. trucks to and from the commercial wharf ”.

For the past five years, the Hudson Planning Council has refused to allow Colarusso to improve the haul route through a site plan request citing an unauthorized repair carried out by Colarusso on the wharf in 2015 and 2016. The Hudson Planning Council wishes to conduct its own environmental review. .

But, according to Colarusso, the repair was authorized and for “erosion control”. Colarusso did not apply for a conditional use permit and ultimately refused formal approval from the Hudson Town Planning Council.

The Albany State Supreme Court ruled that the wharf repair project was outside the jurisdiction of the City of Greenport and ruled that it was the responsibility of the Hudson Town Council to consider and d ‘approve the renovation.

But the state Supreme Court also ruled that Greenport’s environmental review was specific and “appropriately analyzed.” In May 2017, Colarusso applied to the Hudson Town Planning Council for retroactive approval of its limited dock repair project.

In November 2021, Hudson’s planning board responded, saying Colarusso had to prepare another environmental impact form.

The decision forces the company to go back to square one, Colarusso said. The lawsuit alleges the directive is illegal because it contradicts the 2019 findings set out by the state’s Supreme Court ruling.

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