• John Jantak

Ste. Anne’s sub-division by-law change hampers homeowner’s efforts to sell his property


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Ste. Anne’s homeowner Jacques Paradis is dismayed that a zoning by-law change adopted by the city more than two years ago that prevents large lots from being subdivided is hampering his efforts to sell his house.

A Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue resident’s plans to sell his house have been stymied after he learned the city changed a zoning by-law more than two years ago which forbids homeowners with large lots to subdivide them into smaller parcels of land.

The issue which affects a small group of homeowners who live on Rue Meloche near the intersection of Chemin Ste. Marie was raised during question period at the Monday evening council meeting on August 21.

Real estate agent Andrea Bourke, who represents her client Jacques Paradis and spoke on his behalf at the council session, also cannot subdivide a property that she owns and said other property owners face the same dilemma. A petition that was signed by about 50 individuals calling on council to reconsider their decision has also been delivered to the city, said Bourke.

For Paradis, 79, the issue has adversely affected him and his wife because it resulted in losing an offer that was recently presented when the prospective buyer learned he would not be able to subdivide the land. The subdivision restriction has also impacted the value of his property which has apparently dropped by about $100,000, he told Your Local Journal.

In addition to the property value decrease, Paradis said the couple has paid additional property taxes each year because of the lot size when they purchased the house 37 years ago and now they can’t recoup that expense. The couple listed their house because they want to purchase something smaller that is better suited to their present needs.

Paradis said he’s also stymied by the city’s amended zoning by-law because a new two-storey house is currently being built across the street from his property on a similar sized lot only because the land was subdivided before the by-law change came into effect in 2015.

He doesn’t understand why affected homeowners weren’t directly notified about the change when it came into effect, saying that while the city may have fulfilled their legal requirement by posting the by-law amendment in a newspaper at the time, he only found out about the change after learning about it during the sales process.

“The important point is that we never knew about it. They said that everything was done properly but we were never even consulted about it before they made the change. Now I cannot benefit from the extra value that would have been added to my property,” said Paradis.

Mayor Paola Hawa said the by-law change was made to preserve the character of the street and people have to take responsibility to make sure they know what’s going on in regards to municipal by-laws and any amendments that are made by council.

“When we do a by-law change, it’s in the newspaper, on our electronic board, we publish it in our Info-letter and it’s on our website. What more can we do? We followed the law to a tee. I challenge anybody on any resolution that we’ve passed to show us where we’ve slipped up on applying the law. People have a responsibility to make sure they know what’s going on, especially when you’re a property owner,” said Hawa.

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