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Ste. Anne’s puts financial reserve on Grilli land saying no to high-density residential development

By John Jantak


Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue council imposed a financial reserve on land own by Grilli to prevent the development firm from going ahead with a high density residential project in the north of the city.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue council unanimously adopted a resolution at its monthly council meeting on June 14 to put a financial reserve on the entire Grilli land located in the northern sector.

“It affects the whole swath of land from Industrial Boulevard in the north all the way to past where the REM (rail line) is eastward,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Journal. “Everything that is green below the Hydro lines that belongs to Grilli now has a financial reserve on it. We basically did that because the owner of the land refuses to play ball with us. We’ve been trying to put in the extension of Morgan Boulevard towards the north for years now and the owner refuses to allow us to do that.”

‘Not in the best interest of the city’

“We’ve also wanted to develop that land as part of our economic development objective and the owner refuses to allow any kind of development. He wants us to change our Programme particulier d’urbanisme (PPU) for his sake which is high-density residential development which is not in the best interest of the city because it means a lot less revenue so we want to respect our PPU,” said Hawa.

“Grilli has basically told us he will keep that land undeveloped until he gets what he wants. But what he wants is not in the best interests of the residents and the future of Ste. Anne’s. We refuse to allow somebody to hold 5,000 people and entire city hostage to satisfy his whim so we’re going to play hardball. We’ve extended our hand a million times and he refuses to listen so we’ll do what we have to do to ensure our residents and the city are safeguarded,” Hawa added.

Morgan Road extension necessary

The extension of Morgan Road is imperative for Ste. Anne’s so it can start to develop the land in the north sector that is zoned industrial. The future development of the industrial zone is an integral part of its own PPU.

“Without the extension of Morgan Boulevard and the infrastructure we cannot develop that area,” said Hawa.

Ensuring the city’s financial health

Hawa says the city can generate three times more in tax revenue if the land is zoned industrial as opposed to residential. “It is not to Ste. Anne’s benefit to do residential development. Any city makes three times the amount when we do industrial versus residential including high-density residential,” she said.

“I want to ensure that whatever we do develop, that land will ensure Ste. Anne’s financial health for the next 20 years at least. This is the scenario we came up with after a lot of preparation working with actuaries and economists. This is the calculation we came up with that we have to go industrial,” she added.

Focus on green technology

Hawa said its industrial development plans don’t envision distribution centres and trucks. “We will provide complementary services to the expertise and the work being done by the McGill agricultural department. We’re looking at green technology and working at things like food safety initiatives, said Hawa.

We’re talking about highly professional, highly educated personnel who will be working in these high-tech industries. I don’t want people to think we’re going to have distribution centres, trucks and all that.”

A request made to Grilli for a comment regarding the financial reserve was not returned by press time.