Hampstead residents encouraged to vote in referendum on controversial housing project

Click to play video: 'Hampstead residents to decide on future condo development project'
Hampstead residents to decide on future condo development project
WATCH: Citizens opposed to a controversial high-rise building project in Hampstead have launched a referendum campaign. Their goal is to explain why they are opposed to the project and why people should vote no. Global's Brittany Henriques explains – Oct 31, 2019

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.

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Hampstead to hold referendum on housing project

READ MORE: Hampstead to hold referendum on housing demolition project

“It really does not reflect the look of Hampstead, that’s number one,” said Steinberg.

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“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.”

Click to play video: 'Hampstead mayor on the defensive over demolition project'
Hampstead mayor on the defensive over demolition project

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.

READ MORE:  Controversial housing demolition in Hampstead to go to referendum

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.

“[Residents can] officially get on the electoral list by bringing a proof of citizenship and a proof of residence.”
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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.”

READ MORE: Tensions boil as residents continue fight against Hampstead demolition project

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.

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