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City planning: good times, bad times

Feb 14, 2011 8:45 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Robinson Street, as seen on the Gossips of Rivertown website, is being pegged for historic preservation as Hudson's last surviving example of 19th century workers housing."][/caption]Carole Osterink's The Gossips of Rivertown blog has two stories up that cover the gamut of planning and preservation issues in the City of Hudson these days, one about the sorts of preservation fights that end up in buildings such as the historic Brick Tavern, in Claverack, eventually disappearing, and the other about a new bakery moving into an historic bank building on Warren Street. In the history-related story, Gossips reports on the February 11 meeting of the city's Historic Preservation Commission meeting, where Historic Hudson presented a proposal to designate Robinson Street and adjacent blocks on North Second and North Third streets as a historic district - which would be the first ever in the Second Ward. The proposal, however, ran into stiff opposition from the Second Ward Supervisor who said that local residents in the proposed district should have been contacted before any proposal was considered, even though Gossips author Carole Osterink, a former representative from the city's First Ward, points out that the process for such designations involves proposals coming before public hearings are set. The proposal highlights Robinson Street's unique character as the sole local survivor of nineteenth-century working class neighborhoods in the City of Hudson. But the manner in which the process has panned out is similar to what occurred with a proposal to have the Catskills named a UNESCO World Biosphere Region, one of 524 around the globe, ultimately defeated by local cries of "home rule" abetted by conservative Congressional hearings, in the mid-1990s, about possible UN takeover of our "sovereign lands." In the "good news" piece, Osterink talks about how 230 Warren Street, originally the home of the Hudson City Savings Institution, was basically approved by city planners to be the new Bank House Bakery, opening in May.
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