Record turnout for North Hatley meeting
North Hatley residents came out in full force for the first public consultation over a proposed building project in the town’s downtown sector. Although the town’s council had arranged seating for 95 in the Community Hall last Wednesday evening, 147 residents attended the meeting about the project that local developer Richard Laliberté, who also attended, would like to build.
“Not all who attended were from North Hatley. Some were residents from some of the surrounding municipalities. The object of the meeting was to give the citizens a chance to express the issues and the aspects of a project like this that they are afraid of,” said North Hatley General Manager, Leonard Castagner. “It was quite a hot meeting, physically, that is,” joked Mr. Castagner about last Wednesday evening’s warm temperatures. “Actually, the general atmosphere at the meeting was good,” he added.
The project being considered, estimated at roughly $30 million, is the construction of a building that would house condominiums, apartments, a seniors residence and a few commercial services such as a small pharmacy. The land for the project, already purchased by Mr. Laliberté, is situated between the downtown parking lot, Main Street and Capelton Road.
The issues that citizens were most concerned about revolved around population density in the small village, increased traffic, the aesthetics of the building and environmental concerns. “Some citizens were concerned about the water required and the waste water in such a project. But with our new water treatment plant that is being built, I’m confident there will be no water problem,” said Mr. Castagner.
The town’s council is very much behind the project, believing it is just what the town needs. “Ten percent of our population has left in the last ten years, that’s why council is in favour of this project,” said the General Manager. An influx of residents would significantly reduce the tax burden on North Hatley’s citizens. “Everyone is in agreement that the town
is at a low economically and we must do something.”
One citizen at the meeting, Mr. Campbell commented that the town was “dying”. Another resident, Tom Wilcox, expressed the importance of the patrimonial aspect and level of quality of the construction, something that was echoed by other citizens at the meeting. “Our citizens want to make sure that the new construction would emerge well with the existing architecture,” added Mr. Castagner.
Now that a first meeting has been held with the populace, the promoter will begin to study the issues and concerns as he proceeds with the planning. “It will take about six months to do the zoning changes, and about another six months to plan the construction. It will be about fifteen to eighteen months downstream before the shovels would begin to dig.” Another meeting with a more precise project will be held in the fall for residents now that the initial concerns have been heard. “In the end, the citizens will decide if they want this project,” concluded Mr. Castagner.
May 4th, 1943 – September 9th, 2012 In Memory of a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Son, Brother, Family Member and Friend.
Always remembered with love.
The land in North Hatley where local developer Richard Laliberté would like to build a housing and commercial complex.