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Common Council looking to expand law to allow bars, restaurants in residential areas

Aug 11, 2021 6:00 am

Sam Raudins is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Hudson Common Council will introduce a local law August 17, that would allow some businesses to operate in an area currently zoned for residential use. The law would amend the law controlling the R-4 District, or the “three-story multiple residence district” west of 3rd Street, to allow eating and drinking establishments to apply for conditional-use permits in the area. The city code currently prohibits such businesses in the district, restricting restaurants and bars to Warren Street. The measure requires an environmental assessment report, approval by the planning board and the county planning agency, a public hearing and approval by the council, and a mayor's public hearing before the final vote of the full council. If passed, the law would allow businesses to apply for a conditional-use permit from the planning board, which would then require a "heightened" board review of the application as well as a mandated public hearing to allow residents to weigh in. Considerations for project approval include noise, odors, lights, vibration, the impacts of the project and limitations of the property under review, Attorney Jeff Baker said. Common Council President Tom DePietro said he saw the expansion of the current zoning law worthy of consideration. “I see it as part of trying to extend and get rid of this kind of strict residential zoning that we have, and to extend things beyond Warren Street, not everything, obviously, but certain kinds of businesses,” he said. Note: DePietro is an active WGXC volunteer on-air programmer. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.