To: Donald Tillson, Jr., Chairman Hudson Planning Commision For your upcoming special workshop meeting on October 19 at City Hall, please consider the following questions regarding the latest draft LWRP which we hope you will seek answers to from the City Attorney. As you will see, these questions focus on legal protections for the citizens of the City of Hudson concerning the use (and any expansion of use) of the causeway for trucking aggregate to the Port of Hudson. We'd greatly appreciate your forwarding these questions to the other Commission members, in case we are unable to contact them directly. Thank you for your consideration of the following. 1. The September 2011 draft LWRP contemplates the “temporary” use of the South Bay Causeway for Holcim’s and/or its tenants’ transport of materials via truck between Route 9G and the port. Please state what legal authority or control the City believes it has or can exert over any future (even temporary) such use of the Causeway. Please state the City’s view on precisely what permits or other local, State or federal approvals will need to be obtained by Holcim and/or its tenants prior to any such use of the causeway? 2. Pages 27 and 62 of the September 2011 draft LWRP indicate that use of the causeway will be a “temporary measure…” to be later replaced by a new, permanent “public access route from 9G to the port….” What is the specific time frame for the “temporary” use of the causeway?What is the time frame for the development of a new public access route as the permanent alternative to use of the causeway"? 3. Page 139 of the of the September 2011 draft LWRP states: “The City’s support of this project does not eliminate or insulate development of the causeway from the requirements of environmental review pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act, and it is anticipated that land conservation or wetlands restoration measures will be necessary to mitigate possible adverse impacts to the South Bay from using the causeway for a truck route in order to meet the conservation goals of the LWRP. Upon completion of any upgrades necessary to use the causeway for aggregate transport and issuance of all necessary approvals, the use of Columbia Street below Third Street by trucks transporting aggregate or other goods to the port will be prohibited.” Please describe in detail the “action” which will trigger the SEQRA review of the use of the causeway. Please explain how this SEQRA review will proceed. 4. Page 139 of the of the September 2011 draft LWRP further states: “The second phases of this transportation strategy would involve the development of a new public access route from Route 9G to the port and waterfront most likely using portions of the LB and possibly the Basilica properties. Development of this route could enable more intensive restoration efforts in the South Bay, as the City would seek a commitment from Holcim and its tenants to cease using the causeway for port access.” This statement strongly implies that the City believes that it must obtain a voluntary agreement from Holcim and its tenants to cease use of the causeway for port access. Please indicate whether the City believes that it has any legal authority or power to require Holcim to cease use of the causeway and, if so, identify specifically what this authority is. If the City does not have such authority, can Holcim still choose to use the causeway for truck transport even after the City develops the permanent, alternative “access route from 9G to the port”? 5. Page 90 of the of the September 2011 draft LWRP states: “Should the State designate the South Bay as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife habitat, a “habitat impairment test” will be required for any activity that is subject to consistency review under federal and State laws, or under applicable local laws implementing the city’s approved local waterfront revitalization program. The proposed activity is subject to consistency review with the habitat protection policy if the proposed action affects the designated habitat.” Please identify for us tonight specifically what activities will trigger the use of a “habitat impairment test” because they are subject to such consistency review under applicable law. Please explain in detail what the “habitat impairment test” entails.
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