• Nick Zacharias

A quiet move forward in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue


The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue council faced a nearly empty hall for the January 20 council meeting but they got straight to work in paving the way for an innovative seniors’ village on the land surrounding the Ste-Anne’s Veterans hospital, and allowing dog owners to slightly expand their families.

It was a reserved evening at the January 20 council meeting in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue with an attendance of just one tenacious resident who braved the cold to appear at the 7:30 p.m. start (and a second who arrived a little later) to ask a few questions about municipal land ownership and disbursements, all of which were answered in short order, wrapping up the question period in less than five minutes.

Highlights of regular business on the evening’s agenda included the awarding of a contract for a real estate agency to oversee the sale of excess lands surrounding the Sainte-Anne Hospital, and a change to the allowable number of dogs per residence. These and all other regular items were unanimously adopted, allowing council to conclude the evening’s business in under half an hour.

Seniors’ village coming to hospital site

The awarding of the contract to brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle Real Estate Services Inc. was a step towards achieving the sale of excess land adjacent to the Sainte-Anne Hospital, recently acquired by the town in a transfer deal to compensate for an annual loss of $3.1 million that happened with the offloading of the hospital from federal to provincial jurisdiction in 2016. The firm will be paid a fee of $68,985 (taxes included) to manage the sale of the land, overseeing the process and eliminating potential influence peddling from property developers with city council and administration.

“It’s a start for developing a seniors’ village on the site,” said Mayor Paola Hawa. The plan for the site is already in place, and it will see the development of a residential village geared towards seniors, with services in close proximity including a medical clinic. The goal is to create a neighbourhood with reduced vehicle traffic, designed with the needs of retired people in mind. With one of the largest senior demographics in the province, “…there is a great need on the West Island for housing and services for seniors,” said Hawa. “This is something innovative and new, and something we can be proud of. It will provide a beautiful place for seniors to live and get the services they need, and even provide some great views.”

More dogs permitted

Another order of business was the adoption of a change in the regulation restricting the number of dogs allowed per residence, changing the limit from two canines to three. The original intent of the by-law was to circumvent the creation of undesired operations such as puppy mills, while still allowing residents to enjoy pet ownership. Said Hawa, “This doesn’t change that. It’s just a minor increase that came at the request of a resident.”

The town also has a strict by-law in place dictating the rules for ownership of larger or aggressive dogs, which got a lot of attention after an incident reported in The Journal on September 14, 2017 where a family pet was mauled and killed by a larger aggressive dog. Asked if the new change had any bearing on those regulations, Hawa said absolutely not. “We were caught off guard then” she said. The town has taken steps to prevent similar incidents by creating a by-law that sets out rules for muzzling potentially dangerous dogs, and also has provisions for euthanizing dogs declared dangerous by a competent authority following an attack.

“We now have the tools in place (to take action) if ever something like that should happen again.”

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