• Stephanie O’Hanley

Hudson citizens launch online petition to protest proposed by-law change


PHOTO COURTESY EVA McCARTNEY

The Como Gardens Bog is an area residents are seeking to protect as environmentally sensitive

by launching an online petition at change.org.

Hudson resident Eva McCartney is so upset by proposed changes to Hudson’s subdivision by-laws she teamed up with other concerned Hudson citizens to launch an online petition on change.org. The online petition asks town council to cancel its proposed modification of By-law 527 concerning subdivision, which would apply town-wide.

“This is one of three by-laws that will probably be adopted at the next council meeting,” McCartney said. “Only this one is subject to a register.” She said the petition’s organizers hoped that by, “showing as a town that there were enough people concerned that if they (town council) were to take it to a register people would come and sign and that would force them to either withdraw the by-law or take it to a referendum.” At press time on February 25, the petition had amassed 313 signatures in a little over a week. The petition says the town’s infrastructure is insufficient, “…to deal with increased demands on water pressure, septic fields, roads and municipal services that densification would bring.”

The citizens want to protect environmentally sensitive areas of Hudson including bogs, wetlands and green spaces and say rezoning to smaller lots, “…would be contrary to the community look and feel and would cause an increase in noise, light pollution and reduced green space.” Modifying the by-law raises ethical issues since it provides developers with the opportunity to change lot sizes in developments that are already under way, the petition says. Passing the by-law modification would provide an opportunity for developers to build a strip-housing development adjacent to the Palliative Care Centre, whose location, the citizens note, was chosen specifically for its proximity to nature. Development could potentially cause irreparable damage to the Como Gardens Bog by building along its frontage, the petition says.

“We’re talking about areas that are zoned residential, we’re not talking about raping the environment here,” said Mayor Ed Prévost. “Before we do it town-wide we are clearly going to have public consultations to explain everything because it’s not driven by us per se,” Prévost said. “It’s coming from the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) and they are in negotiations with the Municipalité régionale du comté de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) and all of that goes under the Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement (PMAD), it’s all going to come into force sometime in June, July of this year,” he said. “I understand there’s a need for growth but I think if this one wide-sweeping by-law is passed, it takes out the need for managing it,” said McCartney. “I don’t see the need for rushing

this through and I don’t see the need for doing this on a town-wide basis.”

Prévost said council wants to, “… grow Hudson to some extent because we need the tax base to provide services because we’re broke. “There are tree-huggers all over the world and I respect that and at the same time we’ve got to be able to compromise somewhere,” he said. “If you want to continue like this without any change, then you might as well take the keys and send them to Quebec City and say ‘close up the town.’”

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