In wake of flooding, Hudson mayor aims to curb waterfront development
Mayor confident bylaw to restrict new builds on 100-year flood zone will pass
Hudson residents are already preparing for the risk of more flooding and the city is too, with its plan to limit construction on the waterfront.
Hudson's new mayor, Jamie Nicholls, said the regulation is a way of "managing risk."
""Under a regime of climate change, we're told by scientists that this could possibly get worse," he said.
A proposed town bylaw would extend the current restrictions on where developers can build to a 100-year zone, areas that have a one-in-100 chance of flooding every year.
Provincial law doesn't allow for building on 20-year-flood zones, areas that have a one-in-20 chance of flooding every year.
Last spring, Hudson was one of many Quebec cities to suffer from extreme flooding. Montreal declared a state of emergency as people were forced from their homes and others frantically worked to protect their property with sandbags and sump pumps.
Hudson resident Derek Halbert said he had to use a canoe to get from his home to the street during the floods.
"I believe that mayor is going to be doing a good job if he gets this thing passed," Halbert said of the proposed bylaw.
Nicholls is confident it will be passed.
He said developers who wanted to build on an area called Sandy Beach, which is on the 100-year flood zone, have already agreed to move the development elsewhere.
The proposed bylaw would also follow public consultations with residents.
Scott Laws lives on Quarry Point Street, near Sandy Beach, and helped his neighbours sandbag around their properties last spring.
"The prudent approach is to have those natural flood plains like we have back here on Sandy Beach, and preserve those and keep them as natural areas," Laws said.
Hudson still looking to grow
Despite future restrictions on where developers can build, Hudson is open to adding more homes, as long as they're built in a responsible way, the mayor said.
Hudson has a population of 5,100. That number could climb to 7,000 over the next decade.
"Basically, it's been done in other jurisdiction in North America and it's considered best practice in sustainable development. So, it's kind of a no-brainer," Nicholls said.
With files from Navneet Pall