As they kick off their campaign, the activist group “Vote Hampstead” has been encouraging residents to vote ‘no’ to the demolition of two apartments buildings on Côte-Saint-Luc Road.
Leah Lasry, the group’s campaign manager, said she hopes the upcoming referendum on the issue sees a big turnout.
“We don’t want to miss any votes, we want to make sure everybody knows: November 24, there’s a referendum,” said Lasry.
“We want to make sure our collective voices are heard.”
On Oct. 2, 250 residents signed a city register forcing the referendum. After months of debate, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg said he believes the vote will be in favour of a new apartment complex at the site.
“It really does not reflect the look of Hampstead, that’s number one,” said Steinberg.
“Number two, if people want to move here, young families, singles want to move into Hampstead, the choice is to spend at least $1 million.”
Despite the backlash, the mayor believes most residents want the new development project.
Meanwhile, the opposition said it’s still focused on ensuring people are registered to vote.
Voter registration for the referendum, Lasry said, happens “on Nov. 11 or Nov. 12 at City Hall, between 12:00 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the 11th and 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the 12th.” said Lasry.
The mayor said the new building will bring in $144,000 in tax revenue annually, but residents like Lasry aren’t convinced.
“Talk to me about what you’re doing for the residents of Côte-Saint-Luc Road,” she said. “Talk to me about the things that matter to us as Hampstead residents.”
Steinberg insists this new development will create more affordable housing, even if he doesn’t believe there’s a shortage in his community.
“I’ve driven along virtually, every building has vacancies,” said Steinberg. “So it’s just not true that there’s a housing shortage along Côte-Saint-Luc Road.”
The Town of Hampstead referendum will take place on Nov. 24, 2019.