Chelsea council adopts draft master plan
After over two years, Chelsea council finally adopted the municipality’s revised draft master plan.
Council – except for Ward 1 Coun. Enrico Valente, who couldn’t attend – unanimously presented, tabled and adopted seven separate draft bylaws that make up the new master plan during a Zoom meeting on March 28, which about 30 people participated in.
This master plan includes: doubled setbacks for buildings near rivers and wetlands; an urban perimeter for Farm Point; restricted new road construction; more dense residential development to protect greenspace; more types of housing; concentrated commercial development in urban perimeters, and more.
Master plans are the guiding planning documents for municipalities and MRCs. The MRC des Collines adopted its revised master plan in early 2020, which kicked off the municipal master plan revision process for all of its municipalities.
“This is a key policy document for the municipality,” Ward 6 Coun. Kimberly Chan said during the meeting. “There’s not a more important one.”
All councillors said that the plan isn’t perfect, but is ready for the public to review it and provide feedback.
“It’s an exciting time … when we all get a role in shaping our future,” Ward 4 Coun. Cybèle Wilson said during the meeting.
Guénard said that Chelsea wants to conduct three in-person consultations on the master plan in the various community centres around Chelsea in May. The dates have not been set yet, but they will take place in the Hollow Glen and Farm Point community centres and in the Meredith Centre.
“Hopefully the health guidelines will allow for us to hold that,” he told the Low Down. “That’s much better than doing [consultations] virtually.”
The master plan update was a priority for the last council and this one, which was elected in fall 2021.
Ward 5 Coun. Rita Jain said that the current council made “quite a few changes” to the plan in order to slow development, increase environmental protections and preserve Chelsea’s rural village character.
“It seems like we could be working on it for a long time,” she said.
When the Low Down asked about the timeline, Guénard said that some bylaws that make up the master plan could be finalized this summer 2022, with the rest being approved in the fall.
Questions and comments on the plan and draft bylaws should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Please don’t write to staff directly, use the email dedicated for this,” Guénard added.
More information on the master plan and the approval process is available at chelsea. ca/plan.