Residents of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu are concerned about the future of two golf courses that will represent the last great green spaces in their area. The significant population growth in recent years in the area has created a growing need for new housing and schools. But at what cost?
About fifteen residents of this municipality welcomed the Haut-Richelieu, in Montérégie, whose population approached the symbolic threshold of 100,000 inhabitants last year. duty On Friday near the golf course Les Légendes, where there are many trees rubbing shoulders with fresh grass. The building’s owners, the Maureen family, approached the city last year to propose that a park be built on part of the site, while the rest of the land will become New residential area, which requires a change of zoning. The company did not respond to interview requests from Should Friday.
As for Boisés de la Mairie, another adjacent golf course that has been partly owned by Les Immeubles P. Baillargeon since “beginning of 2010”, Operations Director, Luc Rivard, notes that he “has no expectations” regarding housing development on this site. “Following a public consultation launched by the city, we will work with all parties involved to ensure harmonious development,” Mr. Revard, whose company specializes in promoting real estate projects, added by email. in the side.
The public consultation concerned concerns a potential private planning program (PPU) in connection with the development of the Bergère and Échevins sector, which includes, among other things, a residential area and golf courses in this municipality in Montérégie. Referendum The city launched an online Thursday on the topic of housing, primary and secondary school needs reports in this sector as well as to create a new road link to “cross this sector”.
However, “we don’t want that in a few years, it will be tangible everywhere and we will no longer have access to green spaces,” says Evelyn Beaudry, a teacher in the sector and a member of Mères au front, a group that wants to “protect our children and life” On Earth in the Face of the Climate Emergency,” from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
Like many other residents he met dutyIt fears the prospect of new heat islands that could encroach on the region’s golf courses, which many consider to be the last great green lungs of the metropolitan Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
“We are really worried,” adds DrDr Genevieve Lalumiere, a member of the Quebec Society of Environmental Physicians. The lack of accessible green spaces is already glaring in this sector, which can have an impact on the physical and mental health of many, she asserts, “If I can prescribe my patients to go for a walk in the wooded areas, it is really good for them.” says mI the light. So you think the city should favor Intensification To meet the needs of housing and other infrastructure.
“There are cities that have repositioned themselves in their way of doing things and we are lagging behind” by embracing the logic of urban sprawl, believes Haut-Richelieu’s environmental movement vice president, Maxime Tremblay.
join dutyMayor Andre Bouchard does not say she is aware of any project providing “housing units” on golf courses in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Currently, we are not working on a real estate development project. We are developing a living environment to meet the needs of the community,” notes the mayor, who wishes to “preserve as much green space as possible.”
In mid-July, city councilor Francois Roy, also a realtor, withdrew from Mayor Andre Bouchard’s team because he had not shared her “vision” of the city’s development, particularly on golf courses, where he feared a real estate project would see the light of day. “The boat has already left the port and the golf courses will be developed,” he says in an interview. “You don’t have to be naive.”
When asked about this topic, the mayor continues to emphasize the lack of housing on golf courses, while suggesting that a “balance” must be found between the “needs of citizens” and “the preservation of green spaces”. Last year, 0.8% of rental units in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu were made available, according to the Mortgage and Housing Corporation of Canada.
When you talk to me about condominiums, I tell you I’m not at all aware of it. Some may know more than me. But it remains certain that the need for housing must be met,” emphasizes MI Popcorn.
The survey launched by the city will run at least until August 14, after which the city will analyze its results to detail its position on the development of this sector this fall. Since this is a PPU-based model, approval of the referendum will not be necessary to allow the elected members of the Municipal Council to move forward with their vision of developing the sector, much to the surprise of many residents, but also an expert in municipal governance.
“This is not illegal at all, but it is true that Palestine Polytechnic University deprives residents of the possibility to request approval of the referendum,” notes Daniel Billet, professor of urban planning at the University of Quebec in Montreal. “The process does not look perfect to me.”
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