Opposition in Hudson to a zoning by-law amendment
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
John Pichovich voiced Wyman Memorial United Church’s objections to a restrictive zoning by-law during a public consultation meeting on Tuesday, June 20.
An amendment to a Hudson zoning by-law that would prohibit anything other than an assisted-living seniors’ residence met with some opposition at a public consultation meeting held Tuesday, June 19. John Pichovich, a member of the Council of Wyman Memorial United Church proposed the zoning by-law amendment be dropped in favour of commercial zoning.
Pichovich made it clear he was speaking on behalf of the church council and not the organization of the Villa Wyman project, a separately run entity from the church. He read a letter expressing the reasons why the church wants the amendment dropped and then deposited the letter with Councillors Deborah Woodhead, Nicole Durand, and Ron Goldenberg.
“Let me be very clear that the hope and dream of the congregation is to see an assisted seniors’ residence constructed upon Lot 5 970 081 west of the church which is located on the corner of Selkirk Street and Main Road. Failing that, the congregation would look at development options that would also fit the proposed by-law, such as unassisted apartments or condominiums for seniors,” Pichovich read. The letter states that if the Villa Wyman project does not receive approval from the Societé d’habitation du Québec, the very restrictive zoning would hamper other possibilities of sale or development.
Town council was prompted to make the restrictive amendment because of concerns raised by residents at a previous public consultation meeting that commercial zoning would permit an unsuitable commercial establishment for that particular lot.
Council then adopted, by resolution, the first draft of the zoning by-law at the June 5 meeting that rezoned the land belonging to Wyman as commercial. The property was originally zoned as public and that designation did not permit the construction of the Villa Wyman project.
Setting a precedent
Resident Daren Legault said it didn’t seem fair to be so restrictive. “You are taking away valuable options for the owners,” he said. He described it as spot zoning within an existing zone and that it sets a dangerous precedent. “People will want the same limitations for other lots,” he said.
Registry for referendum
The zoning By-Law No. 692.1-2017 in question is subject to approval by way of referendum. “In order to have a registry there has to be a petition from 12 people (in the respective zone) saying that they disagree with this by-law. If we receive the petition with 12 names there will be a registry,” said Woodhead. “A registry is a more complex process because it involves all of the contiguous lots,” she added noting that there is a mathematical equation for determining the number of signatures required on the registry.
What happens next?
When asked how the consultation meeting would affect the by-law amendment, the councillors said everything would be considered in a caucus meeting and presented at the next town council meeting Tuesday, July 4.