Local residents gathered near Sandy beach in Hudson, QC, Sunday afternoon to protest redeveloping the greenspace into a residential area with condos and townhouses.
The plan to redevelop Sandy Beach into a residential area has been a topic of discussion for over 2 decades. The plans have evolved over the years but the core idea to build townhouses and condos has remained the same. But, now more than ever, residents fear it will soon become a reality.
“Now with the booming real estate and the values around Quebec, this is obviously a very charged and intense construction plan that is overwhelming for the area.” said one resident.
Others say it’s just not the place to build anything.
“The wildlife is shrinking, the world is shrinking. The green space is the last place we need to get rid of,” said Mawuli Campbell, who came to the protest from Rigaud.
About one hundred people showed up to the site to show their support for The Sandy Beach Wetland Protection Group, which organized the protest.
Mark Gray, one of the group members, says the idea is to keep residents aware and up to date with the latest developments.
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“That this is happening and that we can do something about it,” said Gray. “It’s no doubt it’s an uphill climb. The town has an infrastructure agreement already with the owner or with the developer.”
The group is pushing to have the town purchase the land to ensure the beach is better protected, but Gray says everyone needs to be on the same page.
“To get our councilors to represent us, demonstrate to them that this is what we want,” he said. “We want them to protect this area and to put in this application because just citizens can’t put in the applications, the town has to do it.”
Hudson Mayor Jaime Nicholls did not attend the protest but wrote in an email to Global News he wishes the group well in its discussions.
“Council understands the love for the woods behind Sandy Beach,” he said. “We wish the group well in its discussions with Nicanco Holdings and remain at their disposal to hear of a detailed, feasible proposal for the future of this landscape. Council, in accord with the Eco2Urb report, are looking for ways to protect the biodiversity of the entire Viviry Valley watershed from top to bottom.”
For now, the plan is for 214 townhouses and condos, some of which are located 50 meters from the beach. But there is no set date for construction.
Global News reached out to the developer but did not hear back before publication.