Residential promoter launches lawsuit against Pincourt over Rousseau Forest
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Steve Perry (left), Denise Goudreau and Carole Reed from the Pincourt environmental group Sauvez Rousseau Wetlands, and Charlie MacLeod from the Executive Committee of the Green Coalition, stand at the entrance to Place Pierre-Brunet at Place Rousseau on March 19. They’re optimistic one of the last forested areas in Pincourt will be saved from development despite a recent lawsuit that was launched by the promoter against the town.
Legal action has been taken by a promoter against the Town of Pincourt for stopping a residential development project on a four hectare parcel of land known to locals as Rousseau Forest but formally called Place Pierre-Brunet.
“I can confirm there is a procedure that has been submitted to the court involving a numbered company – 9353-1973 Québec Inc. – that is involved in the residential development project,” Town Manager Michel Perrier told The Journal during a telephone interview on March 18. “We referred it to our lawyer who is looking into it at the present time. This is as much as I can about this matter for the time being.”
Town knew it could face legal action
The town had always considered the possibility the promoter could launch a legal challenge against the town after it decided to postpone the project last spring at the request of several area environmental proponents who said the loss of one of the last remaining forested areas would have negative repercussions on the community.
“When we look at the overall picture, this is basically one of the scenarios we informed council that could potentially happen. It’s not much of a surprise. We did foresee it,” said Perrier who declined further comment since the matter is now before the Quebec Superior Court.
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Environmental study still a go
Despite the lawsuit, the town is still preparing to go ahead with an environmental study it commissioned by engineering firm WSP that will prepare an exclusive report regarding the biodiversity of the forest including its fauna and flora. The study is expected to begin this spring and continue throughout the summer until it wraps up in the fall.
“There hasn’t been anything significant at our recent council meetings that would cause us to stop them from going ahead with it. So far, the study is still ongoing,” said Perrier.
Environmental group disappointed
Resident Carole Reed, spokesperson for Sauvez Rousseau Wetlands – a local environmental group comprised of residents committed to saving what they consider to be one of the last forested areas in Pincourt – said she’s disappointed the developer decided to launch a legal challenge against the town.
“It is unfortunate that the developers have resorted to a lawsuit. There were other mutually beneficial options open to them, and Sauvez Rousseau Wetlands would have explored those options with them,” said Reed in a prepared statement. “We are not opposed to economic development. But sustainable development is meaningless if nothing is sustained but the developers.”
Beaconsfield Angell Woods court ruling
A Quebec Court of Appeal ruling against the Yale Properties Ltd. last week sided with the Town of Beaconsfield and their efforts to preserve Angell Woods against development by changing the zoning of the woods. The promoters in Beaconsfield argued that even if the city was changing the zoning, the developers had an acquired right and could build whatever they wanted.
The court ruled there is no such thing as an acquired right. The court stated the promoter only acquires the right after a construction permit is deposited and has been officially accepted. Before that there is no such thing as an acquired right. The court stated the municipality is within their full right to change the zoning whichever way they want.