Real estate development on the lands of the sisters of Good Shepherd does not pass. The Notre-Dame-des-Laurentides neighborhood council rejected Wednesday the Custeau Group project, which its members support, is located in the Saint-Charles River watershed.
This is an irritant, but also an additional potential argument for residents of the George-Muir sector opposed to the residential and commercial project that succeeded the controversial Nodeo, who died in the bud in 2013.
In an interview at his home in Carré Aristote on Thursday, Denis Béland, president of the Notre-Dame-des-Laurentides neighborhood council, has a map produced by the Association for the Protection of the Environment of Lac Saint- Charles and the Northern Marshes (APEL). A small bomb he revealed the day before at the meeting of the Neighborhood Council attended by some twenty citizens. “It shows that the land is in the watershed of the Saint-Charles River,” he notes.
Sherbrooke’s developer Investissement Donerail presented last fall this 230-unit project on 130 residential lots bordered by the Laurentian Expressway, George-Muir Street and Henri-Bourassa Boulevard.
In the eyes of citizens, the possibility that the area is located in the Saint-Charles River watershed is paradoxical at a time when the administration has made the protection of water sources its battleground. The Quebec City Metropolitan Community (CMQ), chaired by Mayor Régis Labeaume, is multiplying regulations and guidelines to restrict development in these sensitive areas, as it did with the recent control bylaw affecting Crown municipalities North.
For the opposing citizens, it is imperative to slow down or at the very least postpone the project to validate the whole. “You have to be very clear,” said Mr. Béland. In Quebec City, maps are analyzed and answers will be provided shortly.
In an interview, Denis Béland also deplores the fact that the Custeau Group project destroys a peat bog and that the project encroaches on wetlands.
But the developer explained to the Sun in November that it will compensate widely by preserving 1.2 million square feet. This area, which represents 44% of the land, would be ceded to the City of Québec. The layout also includes a ten-meter strip with the existing constructions. This project is far from the one promoter Sébastien Leboeuf planned until 2013 with Nodélo, imposing eco-neighborhood of more than 1600 condos. The draft had been rejected as a whole, forcing the opening of the registers for holding a referendum. The ballot will not finally have taken place since the City of Quebec had halted the zoning change after an unfavorable study concerning the preservation of wetlands.
Another version of 300 units, this time presented by the City of Quebec was also rejected by the citizens.
Nearly four years later, Mr. Béland acknowledges the improvements between the previous versions and those of Custeau. “Yes, the project is more presentable. The developer is a good seller, “he says. The company has met citizens, has well presented its concept, he continues.
But the potential threat to the environment, the inconvenience of traffic and noise are too many to make the project acceptable. But time is running out. “It is a last act,” illustrates Denis Béland, according to whom the only remedy will eventually be another referendum process. Before it was abolished by Bill 122. But will the mobilization be sufficient? Difficult to say, admits the president of the district council of Notre-Dame-des-Laurentides. “We get tired,” he says after years of worrying about the fate of the vast wood a stone’s throw from his home. “But at least we will have tried to get to the bottom of things. We will have exhausted the whole argument. ”
The municipal councilor in the area where the Custeau Group’s real estate project is located ensures that he will have all the answers to the citizens at a public consultation on Tuesday at 7pm. “We will check all items that have been made in Wednesday’s district Council,” said the Sun chosen in the electoral district of the Mounts, Patrick Voyer. The map revealed by the president of the neighborhood council, Denis Béland, is currently under analysis, he added. “Everything that people have said, we’ll check it out.” The advisor does not hide his commitment to the commercial and residential development project of 230 housing units. “It corresponds to what one wants as a city and to the demands of the citizens. We worked with the citizens to achieve this result, we are very happy, “he concluded.