HUDSON — The Columbia Filling Station, a new brewery proposed to replace the TJ Auto Service Center, was approved by the city Planning Board on Tuesday.

Emma O’Donnell and her husband Paul O’Donnell, of 735 Columbia St. LLC, proposed to acquire the property at 735-737 Columbia St., to create a bar, restaurant and brewery.

The auto service shop owners, Anthony and Josephine Cusumano, support the couple’s plans.

Planning Board Chairwoman Betsy Gramkow and board members Laura Margolis, Stephen Steim, Clark Wieman, John Cody and Theresa Joyner voted to approve the plan.

Board member Larry Bowne opposed it. Bowne expressed concerns over the proposed parking in front of the building, saying it felt more suburban than urban or pedestrian-friendly.

“It’s a nice little urban spot, potentially, in town, and I think that the parking in front is essentially a suburban act,” Bowne said. “Parking is not required, I don’t understand why we have it. I think it’s a really bad site plan and I really don’t think it’s a good idea.” 

Project architect Kristina Dousharm said they are not changing the asphalt in front of the building.

“The only improvements to the front is a slight reshaping of the planting bed in order for the parking to function properly, and in order to allow proper access into the site and not block the driveway,” she said. “And then furthermore, there is simply not enough room in the back with the positioning of the buildings to safely allow parking.”

“Backbar doesn’t have parking,” Bowne said. “You don’t need parking.”

The application passed under the conditions the couple pay all fees of escrow and there be no amplified music at the venue after 10 p.m., Gramkow said at the meeting.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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