Letter to the editor 4, Feb. 25, 2021
Last week’s ‘Letters to the Editor’ and Saint-Lazare February council meeting have many people accusing the present administration of restricting building on private roads. Fact: No building permits have been issued on private roads since 1986. The ‘then-mayor and council’ arbitrarily decided to classify Oakridge and Sandmere as ‘private.’ There was no explanation as to why, no consultation with residents or landowners, but every administration since then has maintained this policy. Oakridge and Sandmere came into existence in 1969 and 1972 respectively, so the original landowners had 17 years or 14 years respectively in which to build before the 1986 ‘private road’ permit issuance restriction. I was one of (10) people who built on one of these roads before 1986, in the days of minimal restrictions and limited bylaws effecting where and what people built, but many of the original landowners did nothing. Buying land and doing nothing with it for 10, 20 or even 50 years, in the hope that it would increase in value is ‘speculation.’ Did these people expect Saint-Lazare to one day just remove the building restrictions? During such long periods of time, municipal priorities change, populations increased significantly, so more restrictive by-laws were imposed. Any person who purchased land after 1986 should have been aware that building permits were not being issued on private roads, or the real estate agent should have known this and conveyed it to the potential buyer. This situation may not be fair or acceptable, or even maybe discriminatory, but not all property speculations return a profit, even after 50 plus years, because local conditions and by-laws change.