Four hours seems like too long a time for a meeting. But when you’re talking about the future of your community, it seems that four hours is not long enough.
The March 16 community gathering concerning the future of Farm Point was a welcome step towards ensuring that community voices are heard by the municipal council. Thanks to Mayor Green and to Councillors Breault and Poulin for organizing it, and for participating with patience and goodwill.
Faced with several proposals for development, council has wisely decided to establish a plan for development (PPU) rather than make a series of ad hoc decisions. The problem is that the PPU process is more bureaucratic than it is democratic.
Council and their consultants have a clear idea of how the orders of government interact in planning for development; they know how all that works with zoning requirements; and they are aware of what developers want to do. But those of us directly affected by these processes and proposals need some time to absorb the implications.
The mayor and council need to understand that this community meeting was only a part of the consultation process. There was a forest of hands with unanswered questions and unexpressed concerns. We have begun to express our views, but we are not finished – not by a long shot.
We in Farm Point should have the final say on the PPU that will guide the future development of this community. This is a decision for the local community, not the municipal council.
Mayor Green reported that provincial laws do not allow Farm Pointers to decide by a binding referendum on the final proposed plan. However, some form of community consultation is legally required.
Let’s make it meaningful! Why not hold a community (non-binding) plebiscite on the plan?
Farm Point, Quebec