You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone: Is overcrowding necessary in Lac Brome? 

On April 26 we attended a meeting of stakeholders to learn about the multi-family construction project on rue Julien, across from rue Moffatt, in Knowlton. This was part of TBL’s public consultation process to authorize four “derogations” / changes to Zoning By Law 596 designed to increase to 67 the number of apartments to be built on the rue Julien site. The originally approved project for seven, two-story buildings was already a squeeze, given the site is wedged between Knowlton Road, Victoria Street and an extensive wetland to its north. 

We have serious concerns about the consequences of cramming even more families and cars into such a confined area. These derogations propose adding a third floor and reducing the already minimal frontage on most of the buildings. No elevators are planned and there is no outdoor space for children to play. Additional related concerns were raised at the consultation, including poor quality of construction and unsafe underground parking. 

Clearly these proposed zoning changes would not improve the quality of life for its residents. Given the many new housing projects on the horizon, it is a critical time to think about what quality of life means to, and for, all citizens of Knowlton. Why set a precedent by approving an overcrowded living environment? Is it necessary to risk causing the many problems associated with overcrowding? 

Nigel Martin and Heather MacKenzie