Interim victory in Vaudreuil-Dorion
CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Following the December 8 repeal of its earlier resolution on the Havre du Lac campground, the proposed 31-unit mobile-home development is on hiatus pending a legal decision.
What began as a simple concern for trees being cut down has resulted in the revocation of a developer’s permit and what the residents of a quiet tree lined street in Vaudreuil-Dorion are calling a victory. In mid-October, residents around Meloche Street noticed construction crews were cutting down the large Weeping Willows that had long served as a natural wind barrier for the nearby homes. The city received calls from multiple residents, asking if the developer had a permit to cut down these trees.
In response to these calls, the city checked and discovered that developer Diane Levesque, did not have the actual permit in hand and was subsequently fined $500 per tree. This blunder piqued the interest of residents on Meloche Street and several individuals began looking into the Havre du Lac campground project. When the project was approved in October 2013, it was on the basis the campground would operate from April to October and campers would be strongly encouraged to remove trailers immediately at the end of the season.
Residents contend the project’s website told a different story. The site originally indicated the development would include 31 caravan-type houses and that both the house and surrounding lot would be sold to individual owners. Although the site was later amended to specify owners would only be able to access their property from April to October, the scope of the plan raised concerns that the project might not be in compliance with municipal by-laws.
The city took note of residents’ concerns and hired a lawyer to look into the plans to determine whether any by-laws had been violated. The lawyer reportedly concluded the project was in contravention of municipal by-laws. At the December 8 council meeting, the city of VaudreuilDorion announced that they would be repealing their resolution of October 1, 2013.
As of press time, Levesque was unavailable to comment, but is reportedly pursuing her legal options. There was no word from the city regarding whether Levesque will be required to replant the trees she removed and city representatives were unable to provide additional details on the decision as they are still in the midst of legal proceedings. A full transcript of the meeting will be available from the city on Friday, December 12.