In response to the article which appeared in the Your Local Journal (http://bit.ly/2Y8JX5J) on Thursday June 20th, 2019 regarding the current MAMH (Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation) investigation, I would like to give some precision. The mayor and councillor Richard Chartrand both confirmed the investigation in the article regarding the west end development moratorium. This investigation was apparently launched because of complaints from developers who are unhappy as they are currently unable to start building new housing projects west of Côte St-Charles. That’s basically all we know regarding this investigation as we were told that it’s confidential and council were not allowed to obtain any additional information.

Justified or not, anyone can file a complaint!

I would like to remind everyone, including developers that the moratorium which was voted by a majority council (only the mayor and ex-councilor Pamela Tremblay voted against) was put in place so that council could take the time to review the master conservation plan and ensure that our water and various natural resources are well protected and that all future developments will be done in a planned sustainable manner. It’s important to understand that our water which comes 100% from under the ground has it’s main recharge zone mainly in the west side of Saint-Lazare. This moratorium is not about blocking developers, it’s about environmental protection. This takes time!

The last council adopted a conservation plan in 2014 which was imposed by the MRC but never followed through with the task of integrating the recommendations into our bylaws. Now 5 years later and a different council, we find out that we now need to play catch up!

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to put a pause on development, especially in environmentally sensitive areas. As I said before, once a developer starts cutting trees, destroying and disturbing nature, there’s no going back. It can cause irreparable damage to the environment! We have seen on so many occasions and even more so lately, how homeowners are being affected by badly planned housing projects.

Read (in French): Des citoyens de Mirabel disent avoir acheté une maison en milieu humide sans le savoir
Read (in English): Sainte-Marthe is built on a lake bed. How did that happen?

Let’s also not overlook the incredible financial costs to towns when they have to compensate homeowners for damage to their homes due to bad decisions.

Town council has a mandate to represent and make decisions based on the best interests of its residents. It needs to be clear that we don’t represent developers, we represent residents! Residents have voiced their opinion loud and clear when last December, council was presented with a petition which had accumulated over 3000 signatures in support of the moratorium and asking us to do our homework and protect our valuable resources. A lot more signatures could have been accumulated one resident told me, but they were pressed for time and faced with horrible winter weather conditions.

There has been a lot of unnecessary distractions lately which have been played out in the media and social media. Anonymous source of information, faceless critics, factless statements, and one sided newspaper articles, all published with the intent to negatively influence your opinion of this council. None of these tactics will get you the truth unless you go to the real source. I encourage each one of you to get in touch with you own district councillor and have a discussion about your concerns, your vision for Saint-Lazare and share your ideas.

If you don’t know who your councillor is, click on this map to find out: bit.ly/DistrictMapsStLazare

Genevieve Lachance District 1
[email protected]

Pierre Casavant District 2
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Benoit Tremblay District 3
[email protected]

Michel Poitras District 4
[email protected]

Richard Chartrand District 5
[email protected]

Brian Trainor District 6
[email protected]