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A. Colarusso & Son sues Hudson Planning Board

Dec 28, 2021 5:45 am

Roger Hannigan Gilson is reporting for the Times Union A. Colarusso & Son Inc., the Greenport gravel business with a dock on the Hudson riverfront, has filed suit against the city, arguing the city Planning Board has overstepped its authority. The issue concerns Colarusso's right to continue to operate the dock and to expand a private haul road connecting the dock to its mine. The planning board in November issued a decision requiring a thorough review of Colarusso's entire operation and the company is now trying to get that requirement thrown out. Colarusso bought the dock and a mine outside of Hudson in 2014, three years after the city rezoned its waterfront. The dock was grandfathered in as a "non-conforming use" and was able to continue to operate as long as no improvements were made. Opponents of the company's dock operation say as soon as Colarusso altered the dock's bulkhead and installed 2,000 tons of rock along the shoreline in 2016, it lost its grandfathered status, and the entire operation could be thoroughly reviewed by the planning board. Colarusso is claiming the planning board decision was "arbitrary, capacious, irrational, affected by [an] error of law and grossly in excess of the (board's) jurisdiction." In a statement provided to the Times Union, Colarusso president Paul Colarusso said the company was "compelled" to "assert our legal rights and to protect our business for the sake of our future and our employees." He said the environmental impacts of the company's mine, the proposed haul road upgrade and dock repair and operations "have been exhaustively analyzed by other federal, state and local agencies and found to be complete and compliant,... There is simply no legal basis for the board to demand any further analysis. ...." Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson and planning board chair Stephen Stein both declined to comment on the lawsuit. Note: Johnson is an active WGXC on-air volunteer programmer. Read the full story in the Times Union.