ZBA Greenlights Union St. Hotel | Columbia County
HUDSON — The Zoning Board of Appeals has approved plans to convert the former Terry-Gillette mansion at 601 Union St. into a 30-room boutique hotel, cafe and lounge.
In March, five board members present at the meeting voted unanimously to grant a zoning waiver to Montecito Venture Partners, an investment group focused on real estate development and hospitality.
A zoning use variance gives the owner legal permission to use land in a way that could violate existing zoning conditions wherever the property in question exists.
The Hudson area, including 601 Union Street, is considered a residential area. But because the hotel has its own on-site parking and received few complaints from neighbors, the Zoning Board gave it the green light.
The vote was reconfirmed and commemorated at a meeting on Wednesday.
The Terry-Gillette Mansion building was built as a home between 1850 and 1865. It was sold to the Hudson Elks Lodge around 1935. It has had fraternal and commercial uses for the past 86 years and is an excellent example of the Italian style of architecture.
“I think overall it’s good for Hudson,” Zoning Board of Appeals chairwoman Lisa Kenneally said. “Tourists don’t have a place to stay on weekends. The company is very community friendly, they were open to ideas and didn’t want to change Hudson. »
Lance Helfert, principal of California-based Montecito Venture Partners, said he fell in love with the town of Hudson on his first visit. “We only like to put hotels in places we like to visit,” Helfert said. The company owns Casa Cody, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, California, Silver Lake Church in Los Angeles, California, and Hotel Willa in Taos, New Mexico.
The building is on 4.1 acres which continues to the rear of the property. There is a single family home to the west, a municipal parking lot to the east, a row of townhouses, and the Emmanuel Lutheran Church across the street.
“601 Union should make a good hotel with ample parking already on site and only one residential neighbor,” Common Council Chairman Thomas DePietro said.
The only residential neighbor, Judah Catalan, owner of 555 Union St., initially questioned a hotel being so close to his home. The previous owner, Eleanor Ambrose, provided a written easement that would allow the neighbor to use a property for a garden.
“These people honored what she couldn’t. We are the residents who will be most affected by the hotel,” Catalan said at a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting in March. He also said he was in favor of the proposal.
“I welcome the decision although I support the Industrial Development Agency’s decision to be more responsive to PILOT hotel applications – not a moratorium despite the newspaper’s recent editorial,” DePietro said.