The mayor of Hampstead is taking steps to avoid a referendum on a controversial development.

In a letter sent to Hampstead residents Bill Steinberg urged them to sign a petition in support of the project.

Steinberg described the proposed building as “the most important development in Hampstead’s history.”

“If it is approved it will start the ball rolling on the revitalization of CSL Road,” he said. “If it is rejected, potential developers will vanish and seek better investment opportunities elsewhere.”

The project would see an apartment complex on Cote-St-Luc Rd. demolished to make way for a ten-storey, 90-unit complex. Residents of the current building have protested, saying they worry about finding new homes with comparable rent.

Steinberg has said the developers would help the displaced tenants with "an offer that is significantly more generous than what is required by law."

An initial council vote rejected the development but Steinberg vetoed that decision, saying one councillor was absent. A second vote in early August saw the town council approving the project. 

The mayor told CTV News he wrote the letter on Sept. 11 after seeing flyers and letters with “lies and falsehoods” distributed in the city.

He called on residents to come out in support of the project by signing a petition to avoid a Register, which would be the first step towards a referendum in which Hampstead residents would vote on whether the project will move forward.

“If 1,004 residents complete and sign the enclosed petition there will be no Register and the project will be approved,” he said. “If the signatures are not obtained, there will be a Register, and if 212 residents sign, there will be a referendum. If there is a referendum, the majority of those coming out to vote will decide but a referendum will cost the town $50,000.”

Steinberg said the deadline for the petition is Sept. 30 as a petititon with an absolute majority needs to be filed with the Hampstead town clerk at least 24 hours before a Register can be opened. The Register is eligible to be opened as of Oct. 2.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct factual errors.


Hampstead mayor's letter