Letter to the editor 2, Nov. 29, 2018

Development moratorium

Dear Editor,

We should praise the five new councillors of Saint-Lazare for implementing a moratorium on residential development, which will hopefully create a responsible and sustainable development plan for the future. Between 2013 and 2017 the previous administration approved residential developments at Cité des papillons, Cité des Champs, Place du Parc, Place Moïse Therrien, Domaine des Forestier, Place Verde, and Project du Fief. The moratorium on residential developments might slow development, but most importantly it will allow the councillors to properly review all applicable studies, as there is an urgent need to respect and protect the environment, water, green corridors, forests and the wetlands of Saint-Lazare.

The present practice for biodiversity studies is that the developer commissions the study, which is in itself a ‘conflict of interests,’ as the developer does not want anything to be found which might restrict the development of that property. The developer is looking for a smooth uncomplicated approval from the town. When a developer commissions any study, the ‘Intellectual Properties’ belong to the developer, and although a copy is given to the town, the town does not make that study public, as it infringes on the developers intellectual properties’ rights. Therefore, it is essential that all future environmental studies for residential developments are commissioned by the town of Saint-Lazare.

The town of Saint- Lazare has commissioned biodiversity studies in the past so they know the procedures and the costs could simply be added to the developers up-front ‘application fees.’ Studies related to residential development should be reviewed by a local environmental/conservation group, consisting of councillors and citizens with knowledge of these issues, and with the study made available to the public.

The credibility of any environmental, biodiversity, hydrological or conservation study must be unquestionable. If not, the study should be repeated by another environmental company. The priority of any environmental study must be in the interests of preservation and conservation for the benefit of residents and future generations. Show your support for a responsible and sustainable development plan for the future by signing bit.ly/PetitionStLazare.

Alan Nicol

Saint-Lazare

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