• James Armstrong

Chloe Hutchison eyes council seat in Hudson’s District 3


PHOTO COURTESY DAN BOUGUER

Involving the community in planning town development is an important component of Chloe Hutchison’s bid for a town council seat.

Chloe Hutchison is on the campaign trail in a bid to replace incumbent Councillor Nicole Durand for the Hudson District 3 seat in the upcoming municipal election. In a recent interview, Hutchison outlined the points of her platform.

Citizen dissatisfaction

“The most important thing is participation in the political process,” she said in a recent interview. “The response I’m getting is that residents feel disconnected from the political process,” she concluded following a her recent door-to-door campaign in District 3.

“They are saying, ‘You all sound great at campaign time, but if you are not working with a team of people just as motivated as you are, then things will remain the same’,” recounted Hutchison.

One of her goals, should she be elected, is to engage the residents in her district in the political process.

“It’s really important for people to begin to feel the importance of voting,” she said. She said a possible solution is holding district town hall meetings on a regular basis to give residents a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns.

“It gives people another option to the monthly town council meeting.”

Sandy Beach and Pine Lake

From Hutchison’s point of view, Hudson may have options regarding the Pine Beach Development Project also referred to as Sandy Beach.

“Why are we densifying a wetland?” she asked. “We need to be working to save the environment, reducing sprawl and maximizing infrastructure.”

She said the proposed development plan that was socially acceptable in 2001 no longer meets community expectations in 2017.

“There are more environmental rules and regulations in place now than in 2001 and these can be used in the town’s favour. We need to create responsible development strategies,” she said adding that until she sees all the information concerning the project she cannot make any promises. Similarly, Hutchison prefers to wait and find out the full picture before making any promises regarding the Pine Lake dam.

Background

As a registered architect, Hutchison has been involved in the development of integrated architectural projects including the development of residences for senior citizens. Currently, she is involved in the revitalization and development project for Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal. Hutchison has served as a volunteer member of the Hudson Town Planning and Advisory Committee (TPAC) from 2014 to 2015 and has attended town council meetings on a regular basis for the past four years.

“I’m used to being a project manager and I’m used to getting results,” she said, adding, “Problem solving is what I do all day.”

Strategic Plan

Hutchison said the current strategic plan needs to be revisited and reworked.

“We need to get people out of their cars and walking the trails through the forests.” She said the Viviry River plays an important role as a natural corridor of green space and fresh water running through the town and sees a need for more public access to the water and the importance of enhancing public spaces with urban forestry and connections to existing natural corridors.

Town centre development

Hutchison’s goal is to bring citizens, business owners, and developers together to create a revitalization plan for the downtown core. “The central core of the town is essentially fragmented and de-structured,” she said, describing how current zoning by-laws have contributed to the situation.

“It’s a super-size me Hudson,” she added in reference to development along Main Road. “We need to rework the zoning by-laws.

“I really want more heritage buildings. We need to return to re-integrating new construction with our quaint little, homes and churches,” she said. “This region is really interested in putting heritage back on the map. It’s not complicated; we just have to do it.”

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