West Island Living: Hudson puts a freeze on building in flood zone
Hudson’s town council is proposing a new bylaw to reduce the risk
of future flood damage by forbidding new construction within the known
100-year flood zone.
Briana Tomkinson, Special to the Montreal Gazette
Published on: December 20, 2017 | Last Updated: December 21, 2017 12:21 PM EST
Last spring, thousands of homes in Quebec were flooded as water rose
to levels not seen since the mid-1970s. Now that the water has receded,
it’s tempting to see the flood as a destructive but rare event. But what
if it’s not?That ‘what if’ has led Hudson’s town council to
propose a precedent-setting bylaw intended to reduce the risk of future
flood damage by forbidding new construction within the known 100-year
Mayor Jamie Nicholls, elected to council Nov. 5, said
the spirit of Hudson bylaw is to use the “precautionary principle” to
manage risk, which recognizes that the town has a duty to take action to
prevent harm, even if the risk isn’t definitively known. He said he
believes the bylaw is expected to take effect early next year and would
be the first of its kind in Quebec.
While he said only a
half-dozen property owners would be directly affected by the bylaw, some
of the affected properties are in areas slated for development. By
preventing new development within the known flood zone, Nicholls said
the town hopes to limit damage caused by future flooding.
not a best practice to build within a floodplain. it has that name for a
reason. It does flood eventually,” Nicholls said. “Whether it happens
next year, two years, five years from now, people still shouldn’t be
building homes in places that are going to flood.”
Although the bylaw isn’t formally in place yet, Nicholls said there
is an immediate freeze on construction within the flood zone while staff
and council work out the details.
Nicholls said the bylaw will
recognize the acquired rights of those who already have homes or other
structures built within the flood zone. A public consultation will be
held in early 2018 to ensure owners of affected properties will have a
chance to ask questions and express any concerns.
Although it is
near the waterfront, Nicholls said a potential development for the area
known to locals as Sandy Beach is not likely to be affected, because of an
existing clause in the infrastructure agreement which stated that the
developer agreed to not build within the 100-year flood zone.
the Canadian government and the province of Quebec have officially
accepted the scientific consensus that climate change is real and will
bring increasingly extreme weather, including a greater risk of fires,
floods, destructive winds, ice storms and more. But it’s the actions
taken by our local governments that will have the biggest impact on how
well we weather the storm.
What does all this have to do with real
estate? Quite a lot, actually. It pays for property owners to pay
attention to what local governments are — and aren’t — doing to mitigate
risks related to climate change. For most of us, our home is our
biggest investment. it’s in everyone’s interest to find out what the
local impacts of climate change are likely to be, and do everything
possible to minimize harm from the risks we know.
Many dangers are unforeseen. Flooding in a flood zone isn’t one of them.
Diane Laflamme is a professional realtor who sells homes primaily but not exclusively in the towns of Hudson, Saint Lazare, Rigaud and Vaudreuil-Dorion just off the western tip of Montreal Island.
Her familiarity with the Montreal market and the above-mentioned communities serves her clients well. Whether working with buyers or sellers, she applies her expertise and market knowledge to satisfy their expectations and conclude the sale. She is a detail-oriented real estate agent who strives to please her clients.
Known for their honesty and integrity, Diane and her husband Paul are full-time realtors who are well known, not only for their work, but for their contributions as volunteers through the years. The Hudson Firemen's Auction, the Hudson Street Fair, Nova, the Hudson Garden Club, the Hudson Yacht Club are only a few of the organizations to benefit from their time and help.
Repeat business from satisfied customers is the cornerstone of their commitment to be the best that they can be. Their aim is to help their clients move on to a better future!