• John Jantak

Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme asks Senneville council about proposed neighbouring development


Senneville Mayor Jane Guest said council will be discussing the proposed development of the L’Anse-à-l’Orme woods in neighbouring Ste. Anne de Bellevue and Pierrefonds-Roxboro.

The L’Anse-à-l’Orme woods took center stage during question period at the Village of Senneville council meeting on Monday October 26, after Mayor Jane Guest was indirectly asked by environmental activist Donald Hobus whether the councillors had discussed the eventual proposed development of the L’Anse-à-l’Orme woods by neighbouring Ste. Anne de Bellevue and the Montreal borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro.

Hobus, a founding member of Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme, said the organization is determined to protect the only major remaining true natural green space left on the West Island and felt the village hasn’t taken any steps to voice their concerns about the possible proposed future development of the land, even though the portion in Senneville will be preserved for agriculture.

“We’re 100 per cent opposed to any and all development of L’Anse-à-l’Orme in Senneville, Ste. Anne de Belleuve and Pierrefonds,” Hobus told council. He said the group was founded after it was announced earlier this year that a large tract of land would be set aside and developed into a sprawling residential project in Pierrefonds West that would comprise up to 8,000 units.

“I would encourage council to take a position on this matter because if the project is adopted without having any public transportation it’ll be a traffic mess,” said Hobus. “Not only will we have lost a large tract of land, but the traffic generated on Highway 40 by the overflow will have an impact not only on this community, but also Ste. Anne and off-island municipalities.”

Hobus added that according to Ste. Anne’s urban plan that was presented in June, the city is also considering building around 400 residential units within the confines of L’Anse-à-l’Orme even though a significant portion has been set aside for agriculture.

“The consultants in Ste. Anne said it will be easy for motorists to get out but what they haven’t discussed is, ‘How do you get downtown after you get out?’ “I know it’s not easy an easy decision for a neighbouring town to get involved with the surrounding municipalities, but I feel at some point this town council along with other councils will have to take a position,” said Hobus after he finished his presentation.

Since Hobus – who is a resident from the North Shore municipality of Rosemere – made a statement to council rather than asking a direct question in line with the council’s question period protocol, a resident followed-up and asked whether the matter was discussed among council members or with representatives from other West Island municipalities.

“We haven’t discussed it as a council but it is a topic that’s often discussed with the members of the Association of Municipal Affairs amongst the different mayors,” said Guest. “We aware of it and it’s of primary concern for Ste. Anne de Bellevue, but it will be discussed among our councillors at some point in the future.”

Hobus made a similar plea to Ste. Anne Mayor Paola Hawa in July when he asked her and council members to consider adopting a resolution that would preserve the entire section of L’Anse au Sable on its territory and not just the agricultural area.

Hawa said at the time that the city is committed to preserving a portion of L’Anse-à-l’Orme but will have to follow the development protocol established by the City of Montreal as outlined its master urban plan. “We’ve more than demonstrated our commitment to preserving our quality of life, air and surroundings. We definitely walk the talk when it comes to preserving green space,” said Hawa.