Town of Hudson seeks to expand wetlands protection, proposes zoning amendment

Hudson public consultations Monday November 18, 2019.
Hudson public consultations Monday November 18, 2019. Sylvain Trudeau / Global News

The town of Hudson is seeking to better protect its wetlands.

The town is proposing a zoning amendment to expand a construction buffer zone around wetlands from 10 metres to 30 metres.

Global News cameras were not allowed into Monday’s public consultations on the issue.

The receptionist at the Hudson community centre said she had strict instructions to forbid the entrance to reporters and cameras.

READ MORE: Nature Conservancy expands protected Quebec wetland area and bird habitat

Ahead of the meeting, town councillor Jim Duff said this bylaw will affect property values.

Duff says about 200 people — those who live in the vicinity of what is known as Pine Lake — will be the hardest hit.

According to Duff, the line would cross some people’s backyards and in other cases, affect most of their property.

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“Let’s say I want to put a swimming pool in my backyard and my backyard falls within the green zone, that 30-metre zone,” Duff said.

“I have to hire a biologist at my expense to come in and explain and determine whether or not I have the right to use my own property, to put in a swimming pool or a garage or a workshop or a gazebo or a trampoline — any kind of permanent structure at all.”

The city of Montreal buys a portion of Angell Woods
The city of Montreal buys a portion of Angell Woods

Global News made repeated requests for comment from a town representative, but was told that everyone was busy and no one was available.

Resident Liz Morgan said she didn’t know the details of the bylaw, but was nervous about a potential loss of her property’s value.

READ MORE: Quebec’s top court upholds ruling on Angell Woods

“You make a major investment in a property that’s already there, you hope it retains its value,” said Morgan, who lives on Hillcrest street.

“However, I’m all for protecting wetlands and I’m all for protecting sensitive areas.”

Hudson District 2 councillor Austin Ridley-Krinkle, meanwhile, explained the bylaw would contain a grandfather clause.

“Repairs to pools will be allowed. So it’s only any new additions within that green buffer that won’t be permitted,” Rikley-Krindle explained.

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“The citizens of Hudson made it very clear they want to see green spaces and bio-diversity protected, and to do that, we need to protect our wetlands.”

Rikley-Krindle said a more comprehensive bylaw will likely come out in the spring and will take into consideration people’s concerns.