Following is a summary of the Tuesday, January 11, 2022 City Council Workshop. To watch the full meeting, visit www.hudson.oh.us/WatchMeetings.
- Council entered executive session to interview Cemetery Board applicants and consider the appointment of public officials.
- A resident thanked City staff for going above and beyond for ACME Plaza neighbors in considering the renovation plans for the Plaza at Planning Commission.
- Planning Commission considered and approved the redevelopment of ACME plaza. PC also discussed and approved the expansion of the historic district. In a survey approximately 80%-90% responded favorably to the expansion.
- A liquor permit request was just received by the City but we would need an extension to get the proper process in place. A consensus of Council agreed on asking for an extension.
- Proposed changes to the City Interconnection Policy for Hudson Public Power customers relative to solar power. The policy provides guidelines for installation, types of systems, and sizing limits for privately owned solar power generation systems. In 2014 when the Interconnection Policy was first established, solar power systems and storage were fairly expensive. That landscape has changed over the years, so City staff revisited the policy and is recommending changes.
The recommendations include increasing the size of the unit from 10 kW to 25 kW for residential solar panels connected to the Hudson Public Power system. Additionally, storage batteries will now be allowed, and special construction standards will be removed. Technology allows Summit County to enforce the current electrical codes. Staff will come back to Council with answers to some of their questions. In general, Council appeared in favor of these recommendations.
- Census Update and Hudson Council Ward Distribution. Staff provided an update to City Council on the new 2020 U.S. Census data and population changes to the City Council Wards. In 1994, the original Ward Map was created after merger. In the last 2010 census, there were no changes because Hudson’s population remained the same. In 2020, the population grew, primarily in Ward 2 where Reserve at River Oaks is located. The recommendation is to move 5 census blocks from Ward 2 into Ward 4 and 2 census blocks from Ward 2 into Ward 1. According to the census bureau, the original census blocks cannot be changed based on just irregular shapes. The next step will be to hold a public hearing at a Council Meeting. The date is to be determined.
- Campaign Finance Reform. Council members will consider the need for amendments to Chapter 226 of the City’s Codified Ordinances, as requested by Councilwoman Kowalski. Council discussed increasing the amount of individual donations and/or capping the total amount a candidate can receive and creating a way to enforce it. Currently the limit is $100 per person on campaign spending, but there is no way to enforce it. Overall, Council did not support the recommendations as is. The Council President suggested that if Ms. Kowalski wishes to pursue it, she get together with other Council members and come up with a recommendation.
- Pickleball/Tennis Court Complex. The Park Board presented 4 options for the Complex due to estimates coming in much higher than the budgeted $1.5 million. The estimates came in at up to $2.2 million. The Park Board recommended Option 4 which involves removing the lighting and electrical (which could be added later) and reducing the asphalt surface for the parking lot. To move the project forward, Option 4 will be put out for bid, with further discussions about the alternate bid items based on a project budget that would be decided by City Council.