Letter to the editor, April 9, 2015
Cause for celebration?....
I don’t think so, not yet. What those who attended Hudson’s Council meeting on April 7th did witness was a change in attitude towards the urban planning process, specifically as it relates to zoning and density changes and for this there should be some guarded relief. What was being sought from Council was a clear answer to the question: Does the administration intend to hold a public consultation process, followed by a registration and, if need be, a referendum on the proposed omnibus legislation? In my mind a simple enough question to which the answer should be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
What I heard, after a pause from the mayor, was to the effect, “if that is what the people want.” The important issue is that in this response there was a firm commitment to follow a fully inclusive, democratic process of consultation and registration and, if necessary, a referendum. This development alone is cause for some optimism; however, as members of the electorate we must continue to stay vigilant, to stay involved, to stay informed and to follow every step of the way as the planning of our town moves forward.
As an adjunct to the question last night and in light of the fact that the presentation of the Strategic Plan has been postponed until later this fall, the mayor was asked whether the omnibus legislation and density and zoning changes would be put on hold until after the presentation. The answer was not entirely reassuring.
The mayor indicated that a decision would be made on that following the information meeting to be held April 15 - an open public meeting where, we are led to believe, government representatives will answer any and all questions related to densification and at which, by the mayor’s statement, representatives of developers who have been involved in the development of the zoning changes and densification legislation as presented in the omnibus by-laws, will no longer be in attendance.
What was indicated in the exchange was the fact that the densification issue may be blended into the Strategic Plan – if the blending happens it is, in itself good news since the electorate must have its democratic right, as agreed to by the mayor at the council meeting, to go through the process of consultation, registration and if necessary referendum on components of zoning and densification
as included in the Strategic Plan. Thanks to all who have, in so many ways, played roles and shown support in this initiative.
Progress was made on April 7, however, it is up to all of the electorate of Hudson to continue to be engaged, to keep abreast of developments, to inform ourselves and, if nothing else, attend the April 15 meeting and ask our questions because, “If we wake up and find the world has changed and is going in the wrong direction, we will only have ourselves to blame.”