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Hudson Business Coalition Advocates for the Future of Hudson’s Waterfront; Enjoins Planning Board to Reject Application and Conditional Use Permit Sought by A. Colarusso & Son

City of Hudson Waterfront
City of Hudson Waterfront

Hudson Business Coalition [HBCi] has long advocated for the responsible, long-term development of Hudson’s waterfront, as a place for low-impact businesses, that are compatible with our community’s collective vision, to open and expand. Hudson’s waterfront is one of the crown-jewels of our community, and as such, should not be subject to further industrialization that puts the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors at risk.

As such, we are writing to the City of Hudson Planning Board, enjoining them to reject the current site plan application and conditional use permit being proposed by A. Colarusso & Son.

What’s happening at the waterfront marks a critical moment for the entire Hudson community. What is being proposed by A. Colarusso & Son will inhibit the expansion of other businesses, threaten the environment of the South Bay conservation area, and limit the opportunities for our citizens and visitors to enjoy all that our waterfront has to offer. We believe that their proposal is fundamentally at odds with what is in the best interest of Hudson’s greater community— for our residents, business owners, and tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Read the letter submitted today to the City of Hudson Planning Board, ahead of their public hearing. It appears as PDF below, and the text is reproduced at the bottom of this page.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

City of Hudson Planning Board
520 Warren St.
Hudson, NY 12534

RE: City of Hudson Planning Board Public Hearing on A. Colarusso & Son’s site plan application and conditional use permit for road improvements

To Chair Theresa Joyner and the Members of the City of Hudson Planning Board:

I write to you today on behalf of Hudson Business Coalition, Inc. [HBCi], a non-profit membership organization committed to advancing the interests of Hudson’s diverse and vibrant business community, enjoining you to reject the current application and conditional use permit sought by A. Colarusso & Son.

At this particular moment in time, we believe that the City of Hudson faces an inflection point, and has the opportunity to chart a course that will carry it forward for decades to come. Hudson’s waterfront is one of our community’s crown jewels, and serves as a place for our residents and visitors to congregate, recreate, and enjoy nature. It’s also become a place where many other low-impact businesses are located, and serve their customers and members of the public. These are businesses who are compatible with the City’s own vision for what the waterfront zone should look and operate like.

While Hudson’s waterfront has a long and storied history of industry, countless other communities throughout the Hudson valley and across New York state have been rethinking their approach to development of their waterfronts for the last several decades.

City of Hudson’s own Planning Board has already determined that the proposal currently under consideration is misaligned with the City’s own established Vision Plan, Comprehensive Plan, and Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP). 

Additionally, we’re uncertain how a company that lost its use permit to operate at the waterfront in 2017 is able to continue to do so. It’s difficult to imagine that this kind of exception would be granted for any other business.

We recognize and appreciate the need for a measured approach when it comes to economic development, environmental conservation, social justice, and a respect for the traditions and history of a community. But with that said, no one business— regardless of its contributions to the community or its long-standing history— should be permitted to act with impunity or without concern for the negative externalities that its operations may result in. 

If A. Colarusso & Son receives approval for its conditional use permits, it will have adverse effects on the waterfront, and indeed, the City of Hudson at large, that will reverberate for decades. And worse still, the City of Hudson will have little or no recourse.

Hudson’s waterfront stands on the cusp of further economic development and business expansion opportunities that are better suited to serving the needs and desires of a much greater contingent of residents and visitors to Hudson. There are many other new and incumbent businesses and organizations that currently operate in the areas of hospitality, retail, and entertainment, that are all looking to expand their operations or footprint at the Hudson waterfront. Collectively, our Hudson waterfront businesses employ a greater number of residents working at the waterfront than any other single entity. The Hudson waterfront is the place where visitors and residents attend countless private and public community events every year. Finally, given the recent sale of the former “KAZ” property, there is potentially a large-scale mixed-used development that will be breaking ground within years and will be located adjacent to the site in question.

For the safety and well-being of visitors and locals, and the quality of life for our residents, it may otherwise be tempting to approve of the proposal that would seemingly “get the trucks off the city streets,” as many advocate for. 

However, A. Colarusso & Son and its legal representation have made explicitly clear that they reserve the right to continue to drive gravel trucks through the city streets, even with the approval and development of the so-called ‘haul road.’ 

It’s worth noting, we also support getting the trucks off the city streets, and that serious consideration for moving the truck route must be granted to improve public safety, ensure the long-term health of our residents, and protect the structural integrity of our buildings and infrastructure. But these issues shouldn’t be conflated, nor should A. Colarusso & Son use this as a cudgel to extract their own demands.

Furthermore, we understand that denial of A. Colarusso & Son’s application before the Planning Board will not have a significant adverse effect on the company’s ability to conduct its operations or generate a profit. This proposed plan exclusively represents an expansion of A. Colarusso & Son’s operations, which will come at the expense of our natural environment, our collective health and safety, and has the potential to inhibit the expansion and development of other businesses and organizations.

Given these facts, we urge the City of Hudson Planning Board to deny A. Colarusso & Son’s application for its site plan and conditional use permits.

Respectfully submitted,

Alexandre J. Petraglia, HBCi President,

and the HBCi Board of Directors,

Billy Blowers, HBCi Treasurer & Membership Director 
Ivy Dane, Rebus
Eric De Feo, Made x Hudson
Kristan Keck, Wm. Farmer and Sons
Shanan Magee, Park Theater Hudson
James Male, HOUSE Hudson Valley Realty
Elizabeth Moore, Elizabeth Moore Fine Art
Peg Patterson, DISH Hudson
MaryVaughn Williams, Hudson Clothier