Chelsea, Quebec developer was told he needs more studies

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by admin on December 16, 2009

The Editor,

The municipality would like to respond to Mr. Butler’s letter to the editor from last week’s Low Down, “A Tale of Two Developments in Chelsea, Quebec”, in order to provide readers with a better understanding of this situation.

When any developer approaches the municipality, we are keen to hear their ideas.  In order for these ideas or a conceptual framework to proceed to the next level, developers must follow a well defined, multi-step process which is in place to safeguard both residents and the developer’s interests. This process includes meeting several criteria (i.e. environmental testing of water/soil, etc.) laid out by the municipality.

In October, 2008, Sean McAdam submitted a conceptual plan for a development west of Hwy 5.  Organic farming, mixed residential and senior housing, opportunity for retail business, green space, trail networks; it all sounded wonderful.  In fact, we anxiously awaited more information in order to see if these very innovative ideas were viable. In order for the municipality to have responded to Mr. McAdam’s proposal, we needed more concrete information.

It has been suggested that the municipality has ignored this file, but in fact, the municipality could not have moved forward until he provided results from studies and other documents. Mr. McAdam’s proposal was incomplete; a conceptual framework was simply not enough, and Mr. McAdam had been told as much.

In November 2008, community members approached the municipality with a grassroots program called Chelsea Vision.  Their intent was to encourage community discussions on the future of the Chelsea centre-village.  This process is now well underway and information is being gathered through various means.  Because Mr. McAdam’s land is part of the area being discussed, the municipality has suggested that he participate in the visioning process and has informed him that he must wait for the outcomes of this process.   It is possible that by doing so, Mr. McAdam’s development may receive approval more quickly as it will be adhering to the visions of the community.

Bruce Devine

Assistant General Manager

Municipality of Chelsea