This very pertinent comment was posted on the Gazette website. And where is Mr.Kelley? When will he take a position!
Submitted by Concerned SAB Resident on Thu, 07/19/2012 – 09:51.
The timing of this land sale is, to say the very least, suspicious, given the recent turmoil and massive discontent that the population of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue has expressed over the PPU (development and zoning plan) that was proposed last May 28th. The plan has become a political hot potato and nightmare for the St. Anne town council, seriously threatening the mayors chances, and those of the councillors who support it, of re-election next year. It is likely to be heavily reworked given the wide-spread criticism and considerable media attention it has garnered over recent weeks.
From a zoning perspective, that the vendor is selling the land “As Is” and “Without Warranty” and not setting a base price for it, nor offering any financing options, is very telling in that any buyer who has any intent to develop it for whatever reason may end up with a plot of land they can do nothing with and no recourse after the sale. This very much would appear to be a “dump and cash-out” strategy, as the likelihood is, that given the current charged situation, a final PPU could result in heavy zoning restrictions that could make it a questionable investment for anyone with development intent.
From a political perspective, with this land being part of a critical and delicate ecological habitat, its sale by a government agency raises serious doubts about the committment and credibility of the Quebec Goverment towards environmental protection and conservation, and is likely to become a rallying charge and local issue for the riding’s political candidates come the next provincical election. So far Geoff Kelley hasn’t shown much interest or care over this debate, but that may change if an election is called and he suddenly needs to – which he well might have to as he has a seriously credible challenger who will seek to make it an issue for him.
So, given that the vendor appears to be looking to “cash out,” offers no guarantees or financing options, that the zoning of the area is under serious review and continuing scrutiny, and that the proposed development of the area in question has raised the ire of a normally quiet and apolitical population, any prospective buyer better be prepared for a long uphill struggle on several fronts – and no developper wants to be part of a public controversy. Just not good for business.