Déry quarry could become rural village
Chelsea could buy land for 'municipal needs'
Chelsea could buy approximately 88 acres of undeveloped land in Farm Point, including the Déry quarry.
At the Aug. 9 Chelsea council meeting in Farm Point, council voted in favour of entering into discussions about a possible municipal purchase of that land.
Chelsea Mayor Pierre Guénard voiced the following possibilities for the land on Chelsea’s urban perimeter: affordable housing developments, a school, and partnerships with community groups. The municipality also expressed interest in protecting the wetlands and forested areas on those Farm Point lots.
Because the municipality is in a discussion phase, Guénard said he would not comment on the cost of the land or potential timelines for the project.
According to Farm Point councillor Rita Jain, if the municipality’s discussions with the property owner go well, she will hold public consultations regarding the development of that land.
“I do plan to meet with Ward 5 residents before any vote on the purchase of the Déry quarry,” said Jain.
“The resolution that we passed at the last council meeting, there was some time pressure to make sure that the quarry didn’t fall into the hands of private developers. So, this is why we were trying to make sure that the Déry quarry falls into the hands of community groups,” she said.
“I think it’s important that we still have partnerships with the community and other groups with the same vision,” she said. “A place where residents would go for various services. Also to maintain some of the beautiful, mature forests, the beautiful wetlands that [we] could turn into a walking park,” she said.
If the municipality buys the land, Jain said she would want to involve community groups and businesses in the planning, including ACRE, Sentier Chelsea, Ski Nordique, and local field hockey groups.
“Farm Point is much more rural than the centre village [in] downtown [Chelsea]. So, I would like to keep that style, look, and feel,” said Jain.
Avid readers may recall that the current owner of the quarry, Déry Laurent, once planned to create a housing development on his 70 acres of land. In 2016 he submitted a rezoning request from extraction to residents that would allow for over 100 homes to be built there with a density of two lots per acre, which is twice the density of what’s currently allowed there.
Now, he confirmed that he is speaking with the municipality about his Farm Point property. But he declined to comment further.