Invitation fr 10 avril

Mémoire au sujet du Plan de gestion Finale

Invitation Eng 10 avril

Memorandum about the Management Plan Final


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  1. While the focus of the Friends of North Hatley is presently on the flood plain, I would like to add to the point made much earlier about the
    building heights of the planned development and their relationship to fire protection equipment. 

    Recently, a fire in the construction of stick built 5-story apartments in Raleigh, NC, required the use of 5 ladder trucks, each of which costs $1.2 million (U.S.) which enable firefighters and their equipment to reach a height of 100 feet in the air, allowing them to aim water from above.

    Should a fire break out either during construction or after completion of the planned development, does the North Hatley Fire Department have any such ladder trucks?  Does it have housing for such equipment?

    Marita Gilliam
    4175 Chemin Magog
    North Hatley, QC

  2. North Hatley condo project called a saviour and a disaster

    René Bruemmer, Montreal GazetteRENÉ BRUEMMER, MONTREAL GAZETTE
    More from René Bruemmer, Montreal Gazette
    Published on: April 18, 2017 | Last Updated: April 18, 2017 6:00 AM EDT
    A couple stands on a boardwalk next to the Massawippi Lake in North Hatley, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006.
    A couple stands on a boardwalk next to the Massawippi Lake in North Hatley, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES
    In the picturesque Eastern Townships village of North Hatley, population 632, town council is promoting a 210-unit condominium complex it says is crucial to ensure the survival of a municipality with a heavy debt load and a shrinking population. They fear services like the post office and the anglophone elementary school, which is down to 62 students, are at risk of closing unless they can attract more residents.

    They are being met with concerted opposition by residents who argue that sticking a multi-storey housing project in the centre of a heritage town that could increase the population by 50 per cent will destroy the very essence that makes the village what it is.

    Critics add that the housing project is slated to be built in what was until recently defined as a flood zone, putting the project and the town itself at risk.

    “The town has given an agreement in principle (to the developer) to build 210 units in buildings four to five storeys in height in the middle of a village that is characterized by historic buildings that are two to three storeys high,” said Michael Grayson, a resident since 2003. “We have been fighting this even before the agreement. We feel it goes totally against the character of the town.”

    Developer Richard Laliberté started buying up property in 2012 in an area then designated as a flood zone, acquiring more than two acres of land, Grayson said. Laliberté submitted a proposal to build more than 200 residential units. The town granted an agreement in principle in 2014.

    The following year, North Hatley had a new map of the flood zone area drawn up by a Sherbrooke consulting firm, which downgraded the risk of flooding indicated in previous maps. The local regional municipality of Memphrémagog approved the new map in 2015, despite allegations of inaccuracies brought forth by residents, who noted the area suffered heavy flooding in 1994.

    Last Thursday, residents came to a public consultation held by the regional municipality for one of the final steps in the approval process of the condo project, a management plan for the North Hatley flood zone. Residents argued the plan was premature because it was based on inaccurate information regarding flood risks, particularly as it pertains to the rerouting of the Kezar stream. The development could cut off what once served as an overflow channel for Lake Massawippi, putting the project and the community at risk, Grayson said.

    North Hatley Mayor Michael Page said the flooding issues have been addressed by the town and experts from Quebec’s environment ministry. Local opponents are using unfounded flooding threats to halt a development project they don’t agree with, he said. And while he said he understands their fears, the town has little choice.

    “We are an aging community and the more we are at risk of losing services, like the post office or the school, the harder it is for people to stay here year-round,” Page said.

    North Hatley has been forced to upgrade its road and sewage system, as well as put in a costly water purification plant recently to protect Lake Massawippi. The town has $9 million in debt, no industrial base, and only 430 households to pay taxes.

    Brining in an extra 200 residences would go a long way to help paying down debt and ensuring schools and post offices stay open, Page said. Aging homeowners looking to downsize could move into condos, giving young families a place to buy.

    Although a 50-per-cent population boom sounds drastic, he said, it means the town would go from roughly 630 residents to about 900, meaning it would still be small. Page says town planners will ensure the condominium complex is not an eyesore and will not deter from the charm that brings thousands of tourists during the summer months.

    “We will still remain a small town, but with a more dynamic core and more people involved in the towns,” Page said. “To me, adding 200 to 300 people would be an awesome help.”

    In a town that is only three kilometres square, there is little other land available to support a housing project that will significantly boost the population. Five provincial government ministries are studying the proposal to ensure it will be a positive, he said.

    “I feel that the people who work in those ministries are all experts in their fields — I don’t understand how they could all be wrong and getting it all ass-backwards. That’s what (residents who oppose the project) are saying. They’ll say anything because they don’t want to see any change, obviously.”

    For residents like Grayson, however, it is the lack of impact studies, be they fiscal or environmental or on traffic, that is troubling. He supports more modest growth to bolster the town’s population, as well as discussing the possibility of merging with other municipalities or sharing services with them to offset costs.

    “To put all your eggs in one basket and say building these condos will save this town is a very dangerous way to try and correct things,” he said. “Because it might bring worse problems.”

  3. Mayor of North Hatley, Michael Page, confirmed and signed with project in flood zones.

    Building homes in a flood zone is a risky choice as … (Specter Media, René Marquis)

    Project in flood zones: the mayor of North Hatley persists and signs.

    (Magog) Building homes in the flood zone is a risky choice, as demonstrated by major floods observed throughout Quebec these days. However, the mayor of North Hatley, Michael Page, confirmed and signed.


    He continues to believe that the project of his administration to allow the construction of 200 housing units in the village, in a flood area, remains justified.

    “What is happening in the rest of Quebec and among us are two different things, says the outset Mr. Page. There are three to four feet of water in some areas right now. This is unfortunate for the affected people. By cons, during that time, it is completely dry at home. ”

    To prove that the context in North Hatley is truly different, the village mayor suggests that flooding in the municipality, in recent decades, have never been catastrophic.

    “Even in 1994, one year which refer citizens opposed to our project, the situation was not so serious. In any case, it had done less damage than some claim that year, “says Michael Page.

    In addition, Mr. Page noted that a floodplain management plan to be adopted before any building permit is issued. The withdrawal pipes that constrain the flow of Kezar Creek in the center of the village is part of the measures proposed to reduce the risk of flooding at this point.

    “You have to look at each case to understand what elements to consider. It leads the process begun with rigor and it is thought that, in the end, the best decision is made. ”

    “I would be very reluctant to give the green light to the project of North Hatley.”

    Fierce opponent to the project of the municipality, the citizen Michael Grayson says be “arrested by the floods” that currently make headlines in Quebec.

    “Given what is happening in different places in the area, I would be very hesitant to give the green light to the project of North Hatley, if I was a minister of the provincial government. It may come back to haunt them one day or another, “Mr. Grayson.

    This opposition also suggests that the Government of Quebec will likely become more sensitive to the issue of building in flood zones once the current floods are completed. “We think it will be cautious with regard to the case of North Hatley. It is not known if the answer is negative at the end. By cons, it is hoped that we will not allow construction in the zone with a rating 0-20 years. ”

    In closing, Michael Grayson recalls that, in all likelihood, the risk of flooding will increase everywhere in Quebec, because of climate change. “It’s also something to consider.”

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