Most important point you need to accept: There will be significant new development in Hudson. If you can’t accept that, I can’t help you and won’t argue with you, because you’re one of the Ostriches I referred to in another blog post, and you just haven’t been paying attention as our expenses have tripled, our population hasn’t changed and our infrastructure crumbles while we defer debt repayment.
We’re so far past the point of being able to just cut expenses to not develop that the only thing we really need to discuss is how we develop to build a better Hudson if we can save Hudson. And we’re horribly out of sync with the MRC and MMC densification mandates, we never liked those alphabet soup overseers much did we?
Pine Beach is water under the dam, it’s going to happen.We have non-negotiated ourselves against a cliff edge against far superior forces holding more cards. The developer will get it approved by a this Council or the next, because there’s too much at stake and we’re holding no aces and have no chips left. Wasting breath arguing or trying to change it will lead nowhere, Council should seek reasonable accommodations and make it happen quickly.
We have a planning department. Sue me, but the facts say we big spend piles of money annually to plan, yet we don’t yet have a plan. That’s not a planning department problem, our planners are good enough to get raises, so let’s call it a leadership and community visions problem through successive Councils and DGs. We’re years behind on drafting, submitting and getting a PMAD plan approved by the MRC, we ask for and miss extension after extension. PMAD is important to what Hudson looks like in the future, but we’re not having visible public consultations and discussion so one day we’ll have to rush one through.
We’ve got a desire to build on the Green and Sustainable cachets, but we don’t have a viable plan to get there. We’ve got a casual interest in hobby sized community sustainable farming but without a plan and some funding to make it enhance the revenue or value of Hudson it’ll be a distracting vanity illusion of progress leading nowhere.
I think we’re reacting rather than acting, being blown by the winds of many mouths, and I know we need to change the way we’re doing things to ever get results.
We need to stop waiting for the right solution to find us and get out and find the right partners to build what we want our future to look like. Start at the end we want to get to and work backwards:
As a community, let’s quickly spend some significant effort shopping for, finding and understanding some great development projects in other places that are best case examples of sustainability, accessibility, community building and quality of life. We have some great passionate citizens who understand planning and sustainability, if not the financial constraints or marketability. Merge some of those ideas with a bit of reality and we could find some winning ideas.
The potential solutions should span the range of downtown Hudson redevelopment to ruralish proximity to sustainable farming. The Scandinavians could be a great inspiration, as would the Dutch and other small communities in Canada. They need to be price competitive within their market, or have valid cost justification when transplanted to our market. We have worldly citizens who might provide insight into places they’ve seen in their travels.
Face it, if we don’t have a plan and can’t agree on what we want, developers and builders won’t waste their time here. So nail that down and once we know what we want, let’s seek some builders and developers interested in building a model small community of the future project as a toe-hold into the Canadian or Quebec market. This excludes 90% of the builders in Canada, but doesn’t preclude some interesting semi-custom modular home builders like Bonneville who might like to push their envelope of sustainability.
Let’s welcome and help any such builder find good land in Hudson, bust our asses to rezone it, and help them to seek Federal and Provincial funding for energy and water efficiency and sustainability.Wind, solar, community geothermal and every other showcase technology could have a place.
It’s really hard to move forwards when you’re doing things backwards. Let’s change how we’re approaching development, understand that we need development and try to do our best to shape that development into something we’d want to live in, a town of the future with a deep rooted past.
Warning, I have the keys to this blog and I’m not afraid to use them. I will aggressively delete any arguments or discussion that simply deny the need for Hudson to develop, no flat earthers needed here today.