Between March 19, 2012, and May 15, 2012: Québec Inc. 9059-4979 (Richard Laliberté, major shareholder) acquires lots 4 029 061(Ladouceur’s), 4 029 066 (Dion’s), 4 029 070 (Hardware store), 4 029 074 (Finding’s), located partially or completely in the flood zone in the center of North Hatley, for a total amount of $1,017,000.
May 7, 2012: Payment to Services EXP for the PPU (Programme particulier d’urbanisme [Special Planning Program]) and management of the flood zone ($5,012.91).
August 6, 2012: The Town Council of North Hatley allots $2,000 to partially fund a competition, involving professors and students from McGill University and Université de Montréal, to produce suggestions for the development of the center of the village (the flood plain, over to the marina). Following this, certain students in Urban Planning at McGill are given a mandate by the Economic Development Committee, a committee set up by the Town Council, to prepare a master plan for the entire village. Proposals are for two- and three-storey townhouses.
September 7, 2012: Production of a map of the flood zone by Services EXP. This map is somewhat different from the one contained in its study dated June 3, 2013, in particular in relation to the 0/20 portion of the flood zone.
October 5, 2012: Québec Inc. 9059-4979 (Richard Laliberté) acquires the Emily LeBaron Park from the Village Improvement Society (a non-profit organization). The sale ($81,200) is carried out by the board of the organization, without consulting its members. The Park constitutes the most valuable asset of the organization.
December 3, 2012: With a view to the development of the flood zone in the heart of the village, the Town Council of North Hatley mandates Services EXP to do an impact study of the flood zone and Christian de Passillé (Ecce Terra) to make a topographical survey of the zone.
March 25/28, 2013: Initial presentation by Richard Laliberté of his project to the Town Council, and to the Economic Development Committee.
April 2, 2013: Payment to Ecce Terra Arpenteurs Géomètres by the Town Council of North Hatley for a topographical map of the areas bordering on, and of the flood zones of, Lake Massawippi and of the Massawippi river ($12,630.01).
April 2, 2013 and May 6, 2013: Payments to Services EXP (totalling $14,655.01) for the study of the flood zone.
April 3, 2013: Following the presentation by Mr. Laliberté to the Economic Development Committee on March 28, the proposal is presented to Committee on the Environment, a committee set up by the Town Council, which decides to prepare a detailed evaluation of the Laliberté project.
June 3, 2013: The study by Services EXP, including a map redefining the limits of the flood zone in the heart of the village, is completed. It will be tabled at the August 5, 2013, meeting of the Town Council of North Hatley.
July 2, 2013: The Town Council of North Hatley agrees to a private sale to Mr. Laliberté of the land on which the municipal garage is situated; Mr. Laliberté asks the Town Manager to obtain an evaluation of the fair value of the land.
July 29, 2013: Michael Grayson and Paule Obermeir present the evaluation by the Advisory Committee on the Environment of the Laliberté project to the working meeting of the Town Council.
August 5, 2013: The study of the flood zone by Services EXP is tabled at the Town Council meeting.
August 5, 2013: Payment to Services EXP for the study of flood zone ($3502.45).
August 5, 2013: The Town Council of North Hatley adopts a by-law excluding lots in zones C2 and C3 (the zones in which the lots acquired by Mr. Laliberté are located) from the application of the fees for parks (if lots are subdivided, 10% of the value of the original lot must normally be paid as fees for parks).
August 21, 2013: A smaller version of the Laliberté project – reduction of the number of units from 300 to 230 (150 senior apartments, 80 condominiums) – is presented to the Advisory Committee on the Environment. This follows presentations in the week of August 12 to the Economic Development Committee and at the end of July/beginning of August to the Town Council.
August 28, 2013: Meeting on the Laliberté project organized by the Town Council of North Hatley. Numerous citizens of North Hatley attend the meeting, but the plans of the project are not presented and little information about the project is provided.
October 1, 2013: The Town Council of North Hatley accepts the offer of $75,000 from Mr. Laliberté to acquire the land on which the municipal garage is located, conditional on the presentation of the overall plans of the project, or of a physical or virtual model of the buildings that are planned. The sale has not yet been finalized.
October 23, 2013: Richard Laliberté acquires in his own name lot 4 090 460 (Mrs LeBaron’s), for the amount of $1,000,000.
November 11, 2013: Results of the municipal elections: the present mayor and councillors are elected. One councillor resigns in May 2014 and the seat is filled in October 2014. Another councillor resigns in May 2015; the seat has not yet been filled.
February 3, 2014: The Town Council of North Hatley asks the MRC Memphrémagog to exclude the lots belonging to Mr. Laliberté from certain norms relating to flood zones.
February 5, 2014: Québec Inc. 9059-4979 (Richard Laliberté) acquires lot 4 029 063 (The Mill), for $420,000. The different lots acquired by Mr. Laliberté in the flood zone amount to approximately three-and-a-half acres.
February 5, 2014: Meeting between the members of the Comité consultatif d’urbanisme et de patrimoine (Urban Planning and Heritage Advisory Committee) and developer Mr. Richard Laliberté. Mr. Laliberté presents his proposal for development in the center of the village.
March 3, 2014: Agreement in Principle between the Town Council of North Hatley and developer Richard Laliberté (A translation of the agreement is annexed to this Timeline).
April 2014: Action North Hatley is set up by some twenty founding members, following the Agreement in Principle of March 3. Action North Hatley asks the Town Council of North Hatley for greater transparency and to provide more information about the Laliberté project.
July 7, 2014: Services EXP is mandated to complete a PPU conditional on the approval of the modification (redefinition) of the flood zone by the competent authorities.
July 7, 2014: Services EXP is mandated to evaluate the residual capacity of the existing water and sewer systems.
August 7, 2014: Public meeting organized by Action North Hatley to present information about the Laliberté project and to make known the citizen’s concerns about the project. Some 150 people attend the meeting.
August 24 and 30, 2014: Information days organized by the Town Council to provide Mr. Laliberté with an opportunity to present his project. The planned 150 apartments are no longer planned specifically for seniors. Of the hundred or so answer sheets that are filled out, approximately 50% state that the project is too large.
September 8, 2014: At the meeting of the Town Council of North Hatley, Jane Meagher presents, on behalf of FANHCA (Friends Amis North Hatley Canada), a petition containing more than 292 signatures; the petition asks that the project be limited to 130 units and a maximum height of three storeys. In total, the petition will gather 352 signatures.
October 15, 2014: The map of the flood zone in North Hatley, produced by the MRC Memphrémagog and accompanying proposed regulation 13-14, modifying the MRC’s Schéma d’aménagement [Development Plan], is presented. This map is based on the study by Services EXP (June 2013).
October 16, 2014: A notice is posted on the website of the MRC Memphrémagog announcing that a public consultation on proposed regulation 13-14 will be held in its offices in Magog on January 8, 2015.
November 3, 2014: Payments to Services EXP are authorized by the Town Council of North Hatley for the PPU and the management of the flood zone, as well as for a study of the capacity of the water and sewer systems ($3,707.95). (See July 7, 2014, for the mandate given Services EXP; with regards the PPU the mandate was conditional on the modification (redefinition) of the flood zone being approved by the competent authorities; this approval had not yet been obtained on November 3.)
December 1, 2014: At a meeting of the Town Council of North Hatley, the Town Council confirms the mandate of the MRC Memphrémagog to proceed with coordinating the development of a Plan de gestion (Management Plan) for the flood zone and authorizes Services EXP to complete the preparation of the PPU.
January 8, 2015: Public consultation by the MRC Memphrémagog on proposed regulation 13-14, modifying the Schéma d’aménagement [Development Plan]. Some sixty people are present. Four briefs in opposition are presented:
1. Hugh Gwyn, “Révision de la carte A2-7a Schéma d’aménagement révisé, Municipalité de North Hatley”
2. Michael Grayson, “Mémoire présenté au Comité d’aménagement MRC de Memphrémagog”
3. Nicole Benoît, “Mémoire sur les vulnérabilités environnementales et sociales”
4. Bleu/EverBlue Massawippi, “Mémoire et commentaires sur le projet de règlement 13-14 présenté à la MRC de Memphrémagog et au Village de North Hatley”
January 12, 2015: Payments to Services EXP for the PPU and management of the flood zone ($538.08) and for a study of the capacity of the water and sewer systems ($6,180.20)
January 20, 2015: René Doucet presents to the MRC Memphrémagog a brief in opposition entitled: “Mémoire adressé à la MRC suite à la consultation du 8 janvier 2015”.
February 2, 2015: A sub-committee of the Town Council is formed to determine the steps to be taken in relation to the project and to submit its conclusions and recommendations to the Town Council; the committee is made up of three councillors, with the town manager and the building inspector as resource persons.
March 3, 2015: Hughes Ménard, town planner for the MRC Memphrémagog, presents a report to the Executive Committee of the MRC. He notes, in relation to the Plan de gestion [Management Plan] for the flood zone in North Hatley: “The municipality will need to adopt a PPU (Programme particulier d’urbanisme). … After which, the PPU will be integrated into the Plan de gestion for the flood zone. Between now and the adoption of the PPU by the municipality, the MRC will work on preparing aspects of the Plan de gestion in relation to the environment, the economy and public safety.” [Translated from the original]
April 13, 2015: The Town Council of North Hatley mandates Services EXP to carry out a study to establish an additional margin of safety taking the effects of climate change into consideration in the determination of the heights to which future buildings in the flood zone will need to be flood proofed ($3,500).
April 13, 2015: The Town Council of North Hatley retains the services of Me Roland Veilleux (for an amount of up to $10,000), given the different regulatory steps which will need to be completed in relation to the management of the flood zone and to any construction projects to be undertaken in it.
April 13, 2015: The Town Council of North Hatley mandates the MRC Memphrémagog to begin work required for the management of the flood zone, in particular to change the course of the Kezar stream.
May 4, 2015: The Town Council of North Hatley decides to abolish parking fees in the municipal parking lot adjacent to where the Laliberté project has been proposed, giving up yearly net revenues of more than $25,000.
June 10, 2015: Members of ANH (Action North Hatley) and FANHCA (Friends Amis North Hatley Canada) meet with lawyers in Montreal and Longueuil to discuss legal options in relation to the development of the center of North Hatley.
Annex: Extract of the minutes of the meeting of the Town Council of North Hatley held March 3, 2014 [Translated from the original]:
2014-03-03.13 AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE – LALIBERTÉ PROJECT
WHEREAS the developer Mr. Richard Laliberté has deposited preliminary sketches of the overall plan annexed to the present document;
WHEREAS the project is located close to the municipal parking lot;
WHEREAS a request was presented on January 22, 2014, by the developer;
WHEREAS the total area of the project is approximately 15,370 m²;
WHEREAS the developer presented a selection of images showing architectural perspectives dated January 22, 2014;
WHEREAS there have been presentations at working meetings between the developer and the CCUP and the Town Council;
WHEREAS following these meetings, the Town Council has shown an interest in this project;
WHEREAS to realize this project it is necessary to modify town bylaws and to obtain the approval of citizens and of the appropriate authorities, if necessary;
ON MOTION DULY MADE BY ALAIN BEAULIEU
IT IS UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED BY THE COUNCILLORS
THAT the present resolution constitutes on the part of the Town Council an expression of interest in the project being realized, subject to the approval required for changes in the different town bylaws;
THAT the Town Council accepts the following principles in a plan particulier d’urbanisme as presented in the sketches, without, however, authorizing encroachment on land belonging to the municipality;
THAT the maximum number of residential units will be 230, without increasing the footprint of the buildings;
THAT the architectural perspectives be observed, other than for building ‘C’, which must be modified according to the proposal by the developer dated February 26, 2014, so as to reduce the impact of the length of the building through the use of materials, colours, slight set backs in the facade so as to give the appearance of several separate buildings;
THAT the maximum footprint of all the buildings be 7,685 m², that is 50% of the total area of the project and that a minimum of 25 % of the area be reserved for green spaces;
THAT the maximum height permitted for the buildings does not exceed 5 storeys;
THAT the maximum living space for a fifth floor be 2,480 m² or 32% of the footprint;
THAT the number of parking spaces on the project site be:
− For the building for autonomous seniors, 0,5 spaces per unit;
− For the commercial premises, 0 spaces per business;
− For the other residential units, 1,2 spaces per unit.
THAT the layout plans be prepared by a surveyor at the developer’s expense showing all the setbacks, encroachments on land belonging to neighbours and to the municipality;
THAT the detailed plans and perspectives be approved by the Town Council and presented by the developer to the citizens of North Hatley for public consultation in the form of an “Open Door Meeting” as provided for under the consultation policy;
THAT commercial use be limited to local businesses and to professional services;
THAT the whole of the project be governed by the stipulations of by-law No. 2008-524 “Agreement relative to municipal work” and to the necessary governmental authorizations;
THAT the project is conditional of the approval by the Town Council of a plan particulier d’urbanisme for the sector as a whole.
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