Meet­ings all month in North Hat­ley over $60 mil­lion project

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier North hat­ley

Three im­por­tant meet­ings will take place in North Hat­ley this month, all con­cern­ing the $60 mil­lion dol­lar down­town devel­op­ment project pro­posed by de­vel­oper Richard Lal­ib­erté. The project is to build a mul­ti­floor build­ing, pos­si­bly as high as five sto­ries, in­clud­ing apart­ments for se­niors and con­do­mini­ums, on land near the mu­nic­i­pal park­ing lot. The town has ap­plied to the provin­cial govern­ment to have the land de-zoned as a flood zone but has not yet re­ceived an an­swer.

The first meet­ing will take place this Thurs­day and has been or­ga­nized by the re­cently formed Ac­tion North Hat­ley, a group of North Hat­ley res­i­dents who are op­posed to a project of this size. “We’re not against devel­op­ment on the site but against this kind of high den­sity devel­op­ment. A lot of res­i­dents are aware there is some kind of project but they have no idea of the mag­ni­tude and the look of it. Now many res­i­dents are wor­ried or up­set and they would like to be more in­volved in the de­ci­sion mak­ing,” com­mented Michael Grayson, one of the found­ing mem­bers of Ac­tion North Hat­ley in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, mem­bers of Ac­tion North Hat­ley will dis­cuss en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues re­lated to the size of the project, the vis­ual im­pact on the town, the in­creased traf­fic in the town, etc. “In March of this year an agree­ment in prin­ci­ple was given to the pro­moter. The main rea­son for this meet­ing is to make peo­ple aware of what’s go­ing on,” added Mr. Grayson. The meet­ing takes place this Thurs­day, Au­gust 7th at 7:00 pm, in the North Hat­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at 3125 Capel­ton Road.

The town is hold­ing two of its own meet­ings about the devel­op­ment project this month, in­for­ma­tional con­sul­ta­tions that have been or­ga­nized by the pro­moter. “We urged Mr. Lal­ib­erté to hold the meet­ings in the summer while the summer res­i­dents were here, and told him there was a need to re­as­sure the pop­u­la­tion about what the project will be like,” ex­plained North Hat­ley mayor Michael Page. “We have been work­ing hard to pre­pare for these two con­sul­ta­tions. We’re hold­ing two of them in case some peo­ple can’t go to the first one.” The con­sul­ta­tions have been or­ga­nized with an “open door” con­cept. The Town Hall will be open all day on Sun­day, Au­gust 24th, and Satur­day, Au­gust 30th, and peo­ple will be wel­come to come and go as they please, con­sult all the posters re­lated to the project, and speak one on one with Mr. Lal­ib­erté if they have ad­di­tional ques­tions. “My­self and a few of the coun­cilors will be in and out through­out the con­sul­ta­tions to an­swer ques­tions too,” said Mr. Page.

“I’m not op­posed to any­one form­ing a com­mit­tee and I think it’s only nat­u­ral that res­i­dents have con­cerns. But I feel it’s bad tim­ing for their meet­ing, too early. They should have waited to see if our meet­ings would an­swer all the ques­tions,” added the mayor.

When asked if he had come across much re­sis­tance to the project among res­i­dents, Mr. Page an­swered: “No. Hon­estly, every­one agrees that some­thing should be done there; it’s an area that needs to be fixed up. If peo­ple have con­cerns they can also write to the Town Hall on the web­site and we will an­swer them.”

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