Densification fears spur Ste. Anne conference
Biologist warns against further development in northern section of town
9 May 2012 The Chronicle (Montreal) Francois Lemieux
On the invitation of Ste. Anne de Bellevue councillor Paola Hawa, biologist and consultant on sustainable development Patrick Asch held a conference on the implications of the Plan Particulier d’urbanisme (PPU) tabled by the city and about the future of the natural environment in the northern sector of Ste Anne de Bellevue on April 18.
Chronicle photo Rob Amyot Biologist and consultant on sustainable development Patrick Asch held a conference on the implications of the PMAD and about the future of the natural environment in the northern sector of Ste. Anne de Bellevue on April 18 at Parc Aumais.About 30 concerned citizens showed up at the meeting held at Williamson Chalet in Parc Aumais two weeks ago and they were worried about the implications of the city’s new PPU which threatens to bring the population up by 4,000 people in the northern sector of the city while the current population stands at around 1,500, according to Hawa.
Having been involved in the development of the Plan Métropolitain d’aménagement et de Développement (PMAD), Asch mentioned that while there are parameters set by the PMAD for the development of transportation planning and environmental protection, he said that there is no obligation set by the PMAD to develop specific natural environments in Ste. Anne de Bellevue as is planned in the PPU. Asch said there are social, ecological and even economic benefits to having natural environments protected in a town like Ste. Anne de Bellevue.
“On average, adjacent to a protected and enhanced natural environment, there is a landvalue increase of up to 32 per cent. Most studies conducted on this go on to say this. When we protect green spaces and make developments in the periphery to a higher density, it minimizes the required infrastructure such as road maintenance, sewer maintenance, maintenance and other infrastructure so there is also an economy of scale associated with it,” he said.
“So there are economic benefits that are associated with that. We live in an environment where we tend to think as a municipality that the only thing we can do is increase the number of buildings, units, for property taxes. But this is not the case, studies show the opposite. Worse on top of that, if we protect these spaces and the landscape is so they are highlighted, the enhancement can be used to create attractive leisure recreation for our community and make more people want live there,” he added.
The April 18 conference was to present the PMAD and its consequences, real or perceived, on the territory of St. Anne de Bellevue. Two councillors from Beaconsfield and one of Senneville were also present.
Hawa plans to hold further meetings citizens before the May 28 public consultation, required by law before the city goes ahead with its PPU development plan for the northern sector of the city. Hawa hopes people from both the northern and southern sectors of Ste. Anne de Bellevue can get mobilized to stop the development project.
“It is very clear in the plan that there are condos, townhouses and that there is a plan for a full development, an increase in population of 4,000. This is significant. When you currently have 1,500 people and there you add in 4.000, let’s just say that it’s a big change. The public consultation required by law will be held May 28. Once the public consultation, once they have fulfilled this legal responsibility, after that they are free to do what they want. People need to mobilize on this issue. It is not too late,” she said.