Summary of the November 22, 2021 Town Council Meeting
The municipal council meeting was held in public on Monday, November 22, 2021 in the council hall of Sutton Town Hall. It was recorded and broadcast on our YouTube channel. The official minutes (in French only) of the meeting are also available on our website.
- The Mayor thanked the voters who cast their ballots. The turnout was higher than the national average, but only 54.3%, or half of the voters. The mayor hopes that greater citizen participation will improve this rate in the future. He also thanked the former council team and all the candidates in the election.
- The mayor welcomed with satisfaction the election result which gives council a clear mandate; however, the elected officials are humbled by the fact that they are part of a whole composed of three teams: the elected officials, the administration and the population.
- Each member of council introduced herself/himself and delivered a personal message regarding her/his election and her/his mandate.
It should be noted that a press release was issued the day after the meeting to announce the main orientations of the council.
Tabling of a notice of motion
- Bylaw number 73-3-2021 entitled “Bylaw amending bylaw number 73 concerning PIIA (site planning and architectural integration programs) in order to add provisions relating to densification and the realization of an integrated housing project on the entire territory of the Town of Sutton”: the purpose is to extend the provisions of the PIIA to constructions of four dwellings and more, as well as to integrated projects (more than one building on the same lot) on the entire territory, in order to ensure a harmonious integration of real estate projects in their immediate environment. Until the adoption of this new by-law at a future meeting, all new applications covered by this notice of motion will be suspended.
Filing of a Notice of Ordinance:
- A resolution authorizing the issuance of an ordinance against the owner of the two dogs at 170 Harvey Road that are the subject of complaints was adopted. The owner has 15 days from receipt of the resolution to provide comments, after which time the ordinance (modified or not) will be issued and the citizen will be required to comply immediately with all requirements. Please note that an ordinance does not give the Town enforcement authority and the Town will have to go to court if there is non-compliance.
Ongoing legal matters:
- In the interest of transparency, Council informed the public of 3 ongoing legal cases, including a $2.5M lawsuit against the Town and the MRC related to river mobility zones.
- Lynda Graham has been appointed Deputy Mayor for the period of November 22, 2021 to November 2, 2022.
- Town Hall offices will be closed for the holiday season from December 23, 2021 to January 5, 2022.
- Council sitting days will be changed from Mondays to Wednesdays in 2022 (see calendar of regular meetings in 2022)
- The vote on the municipal budget is delayed until January 26, 2022, as allowed by law in the event of an election.
- The treasury will now publish regular dashboards to show the status of financial activities and reserves: see the publication of the Financial Statement as of November 14, 2021
- The board approved the sale of 3 trucks and 1 trailer platform for a total of $116,550.
- A public consultation session on the urban plan and by-laws will be held on December 20, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (details to be announced).
- Councillors Marie-José Auclair and Alan Pavilanis were appointed members of the Planning and Sustainable Development Advisory Committee (PSDAC) for a two-year period.
- The two minor derogation requests pending since the last meeting, on Parmenter Road and Santerre Road, were denied. Council wishes to send a strong signal on the respect of the by-laws in force.
- See details of other urbanism requests in the minutes of the meeting (in French only).
- The council announced as a priority the creation of a working group on drinking water in which three Sutton residents will participate as experts in water management. More information on this task force is forthcoming.
- The composition of the Town’s joint committees will be announced at the next meeting: citizens will be asked to participate according to their interests and skills.
- The Mayor announced the upcoming implementation of a complaint management system.
- The two question periods at Council meetings will now be open to all types of questions, without having to be related to the agenda.
- Mayor Robert Benoît and Councillors Marc-André Blain and Lynda Graham have been appointed to sit on the committee of the MRC-Brome-Missisquoi – Pôle Sutton which will decide on the grant applications to the Brome-Missisquoi 2022 Pact. Councillor Marie-José Auclair was appointed as a replacement.
- Council approved a financial contribution to the Christmas Market for a maximum of $10,000 in case of deficit. On this occasion, the mayor announced that security measures had been reinforced, such as the presence of cadets and firefighters in case of emergency.
- Three petitions were filed (against the proposed development on Santerre Road, against the speed limit on Ingalls Road and against excessive speed on Pleasant and Maple Roads).
PERIOD OF QUESTIONS
- A citizen asked what the situation was with the contract of the firm Stantec. ANSWER: for the moment, Stantec is not involved in the upcoming work of the public consultation session.
- A citizen is concerned about the deterioration of the ditches on Jordan Road. ANSWER: The matter will be studied with the Public Works Department.
- A citizen asked about the status of the CAB and why the Town’s intention to acquire the Olivet Church was not presented to the public. ANSWER: It was never the Town’s intention to acquire the Olivet Church. The grant given to the CAB was only to assist them in their own project to acquire the church.
- A citizen asked why the application of the National Building Code was removed from By-law 117. ANSWER: The responsibility for enforcing the Code should be borne by the citizen and the professionals involved, not the Town.
- A citizen requested that additional areas (including north and south entrances, Mountain Street, Sutton Junction) be included in the Notice of Motion No. 73-3-2021. ANSWER: The Notice of Motion tabled that same day addresses this request.
- A citizen asked when the promised electronic speed signs on Jordan Road would arrive. ANSWER: We are waiting for parts for 4 defective signs and installation posts.
- A citizen was informed that the Sûreté du Québec could not intervene directly after a complaint about dangerous dogs because of Sutton’s particular by-law. ANSWER: Our by-law comes from the MRC and is not different from other municipalities. We will verify this information with the SQ who should be able to intervene at any time.
- A citizen asked if a property whose use is modified for short-term rental purposes must obtain a permit. ANSWER: A permit must indeed be obtained for any change of use that becomes commercial.
- A citizen asked about the order issued at the October 4th meeting against the owner of the 3 dogs on Morgan Road. ANSWER: Noting the non-compliance with the preliminary order, the Town is currently consulting with its attorneys for remedies.
- A citizen would like the Town to create a committee with IHR Telecom to move forward with the deployment of fiber optics in Sutton. ANSWER: Council wishes to take up this file as one of its priorities.
- A citizen deplored the fact that the rehabilitation of Scenic Road did not include safe corridors for bicycles and pedestrians, and speed bumps, given the important and increased traffic on this road. ANSWER: Road safety is a top priority for Council and is also an issue that has been raised at the regional level at the MRC. Solutions will have to be found.
- A citizen asked council about its intentions regarding the John-Sleeth Centre. ANSWER: Council plans to analyze the needs and meet with all groups in order to propose options next spring on the future of the John-Sleeth Centre, the Filtex land and the museum. The public will be asked to give opinion on these options.
- A citizen asked if there would be any changes to the short-term rental legislation. ANSWER: Council intends to deal with all nuisance issues and look at what is being done elsewhere, considering the new provincial regulations on short-term rentals. The problem is also enforcing the regulations.
View the minutes from the November 22, 2021 meeting to see full details of the council’s decisions.