• James Armstrong

Proposed Hudson zoning by-law change raises citizen’s concerns


PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTINE REDFERN

Option B is the area west of Wyman Memorial United Church for the assisted living seniors’ home project now known as Villa Wyman. Option A indicates an alternative location preferred by some neighbouring residents.

Changes to a zoning by-law that will permit the construction of a multi-unit assisted living seniors’ residence on land owned by, and adjacent to, Wyman Memorial United Church has area residents questioning the wisdom of the locale.

Neighbour concerns

“I’m not against the church building an assisted seniors’ residence,” said resident Christine Redfern in an interview Tuesday, May 9. Redfern lives next to the piece of land where the proposed project will be built west of the church. “They could do exactly the same thing on the east side of the church at the corner of Selkirk Street and Main Road,” she added. Redfern said the area already has the recently constructed fire station and a public works building that have had a negative impact on residential property values.

Redfern said she started the conversation about her concerns with the church two years ago with the minister, Reverend Kent Chown. “The architectural plans are not yet available,” she said, adding she would like to see plans developed for both sites.

Benefits of changing site

Redfern said the site change would offer several benefits the area west of the church does not. She said the seniors living there would have easier access to services in the centre of town and events taking place at the church, especially if the project were connected to the church building. In addition, a currently existing parking area on the west side of the church would continue as such and there would not be adjacent residential properties.

Church response

“We are very concerned about our immediate neighbours and those who want to live in the residence,” Rev. Chown told Your Local Journal. He explained that Villa Wyman, a recently created not-for-profit organization, is now taking care of the project. Regarding Redfern’s site change proposal, Chown said that it was highly unlikely because the town has indicated that they want to protect that area as green space on Main Road. Chown also said that architectural sketches were expected by the end of the week. “We hope to have one or two meetings by invitation for our neighbours to show them what we are talking about,” he said. Chown noted that they also received letters from people wanting to live in the project.

By-laws

The draft by-laws in question are 691-2017 and 692-2017 that were read into the minutes of the town council meeting on Monday, May 1, as a Notice of Motion. They amend the Planning Program of the Town of Hudson by expanding area C27 to include the Wyman project. Urban Planning Director Nathalie Lavoie confirmed Wednesday, May 10, that they would allow the construction of a multi-dwelling seniors’ residence. Lavoie noted that the town is providing a public consultation on the by-laws Tuesday May 30, at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre, 394 Main Road, at 7 p.m.

“Citizens will have the opportunity to voice their concerns at that time,” she said. Redfern said she intends to attend and present her proposal.

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