• John Jantak

Environmental committee to consider scope of upcoming studies in du Fief sector


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance said the environmental committee is aware of the challenges and will begin to formulate an action plan when it meets for its first monthly working group meeting at the end of January.

Saint-Lazare council is still trying to determine the scale and scope of its upcoming environmental studies now that an indefinite partial development moratorium is in place that affects the West End sector including a proposed housing development in du Fief that is now on hold.

Environmentalist Corry Terfloth raised the issue during question period at the Tuesday evening council meeting on January 15 trying to get specifics on what the studies will entail and who will be involved.

“We’ve already started discussing it,” said Mayor Robert Grimaudo. “There are going to have to be some environmental assessments done which we’ve already budgeted for 2019.”

Environmental committee meeting

“The environmental committee will be definitely working on it. So will the town’s administrators, the urbanism department and others,” said Grimaudo. “It’s our first council meeting of the year. If you’re asking how far ahead we are in the process, not very far. It’s all in the works. There are facets of the conservation plan we will have to be eventually put into our regulations.”

District 1 Councillor Geneviève Lachance said the environmental committee is aware of the challenges and will begin to formulate an action plan when it convenes for its first monthly working group meeting at the end of January.

Sustainable development plan

“The committee already received the mandate to begin looking at and confirming our sustainable development plan. We’re already determining which pieces of land we want to do studies on this year. And today we actually discussed the need to have a clear plan for the moratorium, where we’re going and how we’re going to implement it,” said Lachance.

While the town still hasn’t determined how it will proceed, Lachance said the committee has to determine which studies need to be done in the spring. “This is the first part and we have to move fast on that,” she said.

Limited time frame

Terfloth stressed there’s a limited time frame to arrange and conduct environmental studies, especially since the committee meets once a month. “You have to identify what you will do still. People have to be assigned their tasks so there’s a process involved,” said Terfloth.

“We’re very much aware of that but there isn’t a set time on the moratorium. But yes, it is important to move along as quickly as possible. As soon as we have more information, we’ll be happy to share it with you,” said Grimaudo.

“I don’t think it will be as fast a process as we would like it to be because a lot of it is seasonal. Nothing works fast when it comes to these issues,” said Lachance.

Indefinite partial moratorium

The partial moratorium on housing development for an indefinite period was adopted by council last November and affects only a specific sector that includes the proposed du Fief development in the West End.

Mayor Grimaudo and District 2 Councillor Pamela Tremblay both voted against the resolution. They were concerned about the lack of a time frame regarding its duration and the need to consider a town-wide moratorium.

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