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Overview - June 23, 2022 Townhall Meeting

published July 13th, 2022

On Thursday, June 23rd we hosted the second in our series of townhall meetings. This time we met at the Centreton Community Centre at what is about the geographic centre of Alnwick/Haldimand Township. As always, the goal of the meeting was to have an open public discussion about our Lakeport Beach project proposal and to hear community feedback on what we are suggesting. We strongly believe that these sorts of discussions are an essential part of the planning process and ultimately lead to a project that is much more reflective of the wants and needs of the existing community. As such, we have committed to a minimum of eight points of public engagement to discuss the project. The June 23rd meeting was the third in that series and the second townhall.

In advance of the meeting we mailed booklets to 2,050 Alnwick/Haldimand households outlining in great detail the proposal for our land. Alongside the booklet, we also mailed an invitation to the June 23rd townhall meeting. Acknowledging that Canada Post’s bulk mail system excludes many households who do not register their addresses publicly*, we also launched an advertising campaign on Facebook in an effort to ensure that our invitations reached the maximum number of people and households. In addition, the event details were posted on our website. In the end, we were pleased that 37 residents registered and 35 attended.

*Note: If you are a resident of Alnwick/Haldimand and you have not received any of our mail outs due to not appearing on Canada Post’s list, we have added a form on our website where you can supply your address. This will allow us to personally mail you invitations and information next time we send anything out.

Townhall Meeting Photo 1

The agenda for the meeting was a little different than previous meetings. We began by introducing the members of our team who are working on the Lakeport Beach project and then gave a brief introduction to the work our firm does and showed examples of our past and current work. That part of the presentation was followed by a detailed explanation of what we are proposing for Lakeport Beach—including illustrations of housing types, explanations and drawings of the various land planning components, an overview of the water and sewer infrastructure solutions and where things stand with the municipal class environmental assessment, and a presentation of the positive economic benefits of the project to the Township, Northumberland County and the province. The slide deck we used for our presentation was posted to the Documents page of our website shortly after the townhall and you can find it here if interested.

After the initial presentation, all attendees were invited to circulate throughout the room to a series of poster panels that were designed to survey participants’ interest in the various project components and where attendees could rank their priorities on planning matters. A full report of these findings can be found on the Documents page of our website. Our team circulated during this time and took the opportunity to chat with attendees and answer any questions they might have.

Townhall Meeting Photo 2

Once attendees’ priorities had been indicated on the panels, the meeting was called back to order and the floor was opened to an extensive question and answer period. We took notes of all questions asked, and have provided written answers so those who were unable to attend can remain informed. That information can be found in our Public Engagement Summary located on the Documents page of our website.

The June 23rd townhall meeting marked the first opportunity we had to host an in-person meeting since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. As with the previous virtual meeting, this townhall was very useful from a planning perspective. It re-affirmed that the various components that we are proposing are of interest to existing residents of Alnwick/Haldimand and underscored the widespread interest in having the Township gain more housing options at a much wider and more affordable range of prices. It also reinforced the need to create opportunities to support local businesses, and showed residents’ concerns about ensuring future tax increases are mitigated.

We will be announcing our next townhall date shortly, and our team is looking forward to continuing this discussion—we hope that you and your neighbours will join us. In the meantime, our team, along with engineering firm WSP, are hosting the second of four Public Information Centres on July 21st, as part of the Environmental Assessment (MCEA) process. You can find more information here.