Letter to the editor 1, Nov. 22, 2018

Town Council of Saint-Lazare makes the right move

Dear Editor,

I want to applaud the town council of Saint-Lazare for taking a bold step by passing a resolution that enforces a moratorium on development in the West End. The town council now has created the time to thoroughly assess the environmental conditions here in Saint-Lazare.

With diligent consideration, the council has the opportunity to implement regulations and by-laws that will protect the community’s natural resources as well as its distinctive character. The resolution includes the goal of addressing the existing conservation plan (Plan Directeur de Conservation) that was created for the entire territory of Saint-Lazare in 2014, but never implemented. Even though the mayor voted against this resolution, he publicly committed to ensuring this plan finally be integrated into the town’s by-laws.

We are blessed to live in a beautiful area – one that has had the benefit of the original developers’ vision, who set a precedent by creating a community that values its trees and green spaces. As the economy is improving, the region is booming and expecting a proliferation of new services including a large new hospital. Our town has become the target of developers who see opportunities to make their mark. Development is inevitable as the pressure of an increasing population (target of 3300 new residents by 2026) comes to bear on our town.

With the moratorium, the council has the opportunity to mitigate the impact of development on the green spaces, wetlands, and wildlife corridors. That includes assessing the recharge area for the water supply so that it will not be affected negatively by development. This recharge area is predominately in the west end and supplies 100 per cent of the water used by all Saint-Lazare residents.

In addition, the west end is the site of the largest contiguous green space in the town, including a forest corridor running north-south. This corridor has been identified by the regional authorities as worthy of protection to maintain the bio-diversity and integrity of the larger ecosystem here in south-western Quebec.

It is up to the town to enact such protection through its by-laws. I encourage residents of Saint-Lazare to let their councillors know how they feel about this initiative.

We have launched a petition with that goal in mind. Please go to http://bit.ly/ PetitionStLazare and sign to show your support. (Saint-Lazare residents only please).

This resolution is fundamentally about promoting sustainable and intelligent development in our town.

Corry Terfloth Walker

Saint-Lazare

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