• James Armstrong

Hudson Town Council postpones subdividing building lots


JAMES ARMSTRONG

The possibility of smaller building lots in Hudson ground to a halt on Monday evening, February 2 after resident Shannon Gill presented cogent reasons for not rushing to a decision.

Proposed amendments to by-laws the master plan, zoning, and subdivision of lots that were on the agenda for adoption at the regular town council meeting held Monday, February 2, were removed due to confusion regarding whether or not they affected the entire town or only a specific area. Hudson resident Eva McCartney raised the issue regarding By-laws 525, 526 and 527 during the first question period.

At first, Mayor Ed Prévost asked McCartney to hold the question until the second question period but acceded to calls from those in attendance to deal with the question before reaching the point in the agenda where the by-laws were to be adopted.

“At last month’s council meeting these amendments were only for the Mayfair project,” said McCartney, “only last Friday was it clarified that it is town-wide.” McCartney pointed out that it would be a good idea to reintroduce the by-laws properly. Her concern was the lack of clarity about the affect the proposed amendments would have on a town-wide basis.

The mayor agreed, and Councilor Nicole Durand said that By-law 527 amendments would be removed from the agenda and re-introduced at a later date. Resident Shannon Gill raised concerns about the environment, water pressure and traffic in relation to the subdivisions.

“The majority of my neighbors that I have spoken with are absolutely against this,” said Gill, who lives on Mayfair not far from the proposed project.

“My question to council is, ‘have you put enough thought into this?’” She pointed out that the amendment process had started immediately before Christmas and that many of the residents in the project were out of town during that time period.

Gill proposed that, rather than subdividing lots and building semi-detached houses, the developer should change the terms of the covenant for the project and permit the construction of less expensive and smaller single family dwellings instead.

“I think we need to consider public consultation with the people who are directly affected by this,” she said. The mayor replied that Gill’s plea to council was “wellspoken” as it was met with applause from the audience. When the by-law amendments came up for adoption later in the meeting, council decided to remove them.

Resident Jacques Bourgeois raised concerns about the special council meeting held Wednesday, January 7, where By-law 661-2015 amending By-law 656-2014 was passed. The bylaws deal with utility rates and tariff s. Bourgeois was concerned not enough public notice was given announcing the meeting and the details of the bylaw amendment were not transparent.

“Does council have something to hide?” he asked. Councilor Ron Goldenberg responded that council had decided to move quickly because the amending by-law affects the rates for local businesses. Council approved resolutions for financial contributions to the Société Développment Commercial Hudson (SDC Hudson) for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Hudson Village Theater.

The SDC Hudson received $5000 and Village Theater was provided funding of $5000 at the end of February and another of the same amount to be given at the end of June. The mayor appealed to Hudson residents to attend the up-coming presentation of the Hudson strategic plan Saturday, February 21, at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Center from 10 a.m. to noon. He stressed the importance of input from citizens of all ages.

“Please make an effort to participate,” he said. Prévost also invited everyone to attend the first ever Hudson Snow Fest on Saturday February 14. The goal is to break the Guinness World record for the most snowmen built in one hour. According to the mayor, Ottawa currently holds the winning record at 1299 frosty creations.

The event takes place in two locations, Jack Layton Park and the area behind Saint Thomas School, 393 Main Road, starting at 11 a.m. Registration forms and further information are available at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Center or by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (450) 458-6699.

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