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Posted on: January 7, 2021

Council Meeting Highlights from January 5, 2021

Council Highlights

HUDSON, OH (January 6, 2021) – At the January 5, 2021 City Council meeting, Council discussed possible options for the Owen Brown Street Railroad Underpass and options for helping Hudson businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting began early, with Council going into executive session to discuss current vacancies on the City's boards, commissions, and committees. Here are highlights from that meeting.

Public Hearing

Council held a public hearing to consider a proposed Zoning Map Amendment that would revise two parcels of land on Hudson Drive from the current District 8 Industrial/Business Park to the proposed Hike Bike (HB) Senior Housing Overlay Zoning District 8. As part of the Zoning change, there is a recommendation for amending the text of the purpose statement of the Hike Bike (HB) Senior Housing Overlay Zoning District 8 in the Land Development Code. The proposed changes were forwarded to City Council from Planning Commission.

The property owner wishes to develop a residential development for senior housing on those parcels, indicating that while zoned industrial, the land is not suitable for industrial use. Several citizens, although indicating they were not completely against the project, expressed concerns about the look and feel of the development next to the current residential properties and the location of the entrance/exit to the proposed development.

Council asked questions about spot zoning and about how the zoning amendment would affect other nearby properties. Council also asked for more information about Planning Commission’s rationale for approving the zoning amendment and for other similar situations in Hudson where the overlay has been stretched this far or done in a patchwork manner. The item will be discussed at a future workshop. Additionally, Council expressed concerns about possible unintended consequences that would arise from this change. It will be discussed further at a future workshop.

Public Comments

One resident expressed a desire for a sidewalk extension in her Atterbury Blvd. neighborhood and her concerns for pedestrian safety at the Owen Brown railroad underpass. Another resident asked for residents to be able to provide input on where the City’s tax dollars are to be spent.

A third resident was concerned about citizens’ freedoms and rights being taken away with the protocols for the COVID-19 pandemic, such as wearing masks and shutting down businesses. 

Correspondence and Council Comments

  • N. 91 Turn-Lane Project construction issues. Council was concerned with the construction on the 91 North Turn Lane project that is impairing sight lines when coming in and out of Herrick Park. These concerns included the concrete pipes obstructing vision, making it hard to see Herrick Park and make the turn; the condition of temporary patches on the roadway; and the current schedule for the project. Staff will follow up and correct the issues with the contractor and indicated the project is on schedule for completion this year.
  • Bus stops and shelters. Council expressed a resident’s concern about the lack of bus stops in Hudson and asked if it could be discussed at a future workshop.
  • Norfolk Southern Railroad deliveries to Little Tikes in the middle of the night. Horns are the issue. Staff is reaching out to the railroad.
  • Sledding hill at Hudson Springs Park. This weekend there was an incident at Hudson Springs Park where child slid into the water while sledding. Sledding was temporarily prohibited while the City created signs to use the sledding hill at Your Own Risk. It is opening back up with the signs today.
  • Speeding and passing of school buses particularly on Victoria Parkway and Hudson Street. Chief Tabak will be evaluating and looking at target enforcement in school areas.

Report of Manager

The City will be putting out communications on the change in online billing for Hudson utility customers. During the switch over, the company used for billing did not adequately notify those individuals who have their payments automatically deduction. A help desk has been established to help residents switch over to the new system. The information will be on the City’s website.  

As a brief history, in January 2020, the Hudson replaced its outdated billing system with new software. A new customer portal through Invoice Cloud was introduced in November of 2020, allowing customers the 24/7 convenience of viewing their up-to-date balances, making online payments through the portal, and signing up for paperless billing all in one spot. You can find this new portal at www.hudson.oh.us/PayMyBill.  

Any fees are “pass thru” fees to the company providing the service. The City does not receive these fees. 

To avoid any fees, you can sign up through Hudson’s Auto Bill Pay at no cost. You can also mail your payment, drop it off in the drop box at City Hall, or make an electronic payment through your personal bank. For more information visit the Utilities section of the Hudson website at www.hudson.oh.us/Utilities.

If you have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to the City of Hudson Utility Billing staff at 330-342-1710.

Discussion Items

  • Owen Brown Street Railroad Underpass. The underpass width is only 15 feet compared to a normal 27-foot road. That creates issues with cars trying to pass through at the same time. In the budget for 2021 is the design and construction of a one lane underpass with the addition of a raised sidewalk on the north side. Traffic would be controlled by stop signs. Various options were researched, and staff indicated that the underpass has been put in the Adaptive Signals program an alternate. The area could benefit with signals that allowed one car at a time through. Also discussed was the possibility of stopping traffic in both directions when pedestrians are walking under the bridge. The one lane with a sidewalk and stop signs was discussed as a good first start and after seeing how that goes, signals or other changes could be made.
  • Small Business Relief Program. Staff has been working on suggestions for helping merchants downtown, including adding two fire pits on the corner of Park Lane and First Street, infrared heaters, arched lighting over First Street, WiFi for the downtown, piped in music, and the addition of public restrooms. Staff also is working with First & Main management to determine who would pay for what if Council wished to move forward with any of these items. Staff will come back to Council with costs and more details in the near future.
  • Council asked staff to bring information about the Small Business Utility Relief Program at next workshop.

Board/Commission Appointments

Council appointed the following individuals to Boards/Commissions. 

  • Emily Lopick was appointed to the Hudson Community TV Advisory Committee.
  • Jack Brookhart (partial term), Michelle Ciancio, Karen Farkas, Karen Heater, and Jack McCabe were appointed to the Environmental Awareness Committee.

Consent Agenda Items Approved at the Meeting

No consent agenda items were on the agenda for this meeting.

To view the meeting in its entirety, visit Council Minutes, Agendas, Videos.

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