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Public consultation announced over controversial l’Anse-à-l’Orme Nature Park development

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WATCH ABOVE: Public consultations are being held to address whether or not L'Anse-à-l'Orme Nature Park, in Montreal’s Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, should be preserved or developed. Global's Navneet Pall reports – Mar 13, 2017

The contested future of the l’Anse-à-l’Orme Nature Park in Pierrefonds is one step closer to being determined after it was announced on Monday that a public consultation has been scheduled for March 26 at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School.

The aim is for Montreal’s Office of Public Consultation (OCPM) to recommend whether the park should be developed or maintained as is.

WATCH: Environmental group releases l’Anse-à-l’Orme Study

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Environmental group releases l’Anse-à-l’Orme Study – Feb 23, 2017

Lisa Mintz is an environmental activist with the group Savons L’-Anse-à-l’Orme who are opposed to the proposed project that could see over 6,000 homes constructed in the park.

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Mintz said the group will present her findings at the public consultation.

“We’ve been expecting it,” she said. “And we have been preparing for it.”

However, Mintz added she believed the city rigged the process in favour of land developers.

“They’ve limited what the OCPM can do and made this hearing specifically about two small wetlands out of the six wetlands.

READ MORE: Environmentalists warn l-Anse-à-l’Orme eco territory threatened by light rail project

Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis disagrees with Mintz’s assertion.

“I think to say from the beginning that’s it’s stacked is not the way to go about it,” Beis said. “I don’t think it’s the right attitude to have.”

The mayor maintained that in order to keep families on the island Montreal, L’Anse-à-l’Orme needs to have development.

“We’ve always believed that this sector, as it was identified way back, that it was developable,” Beis said. “We believe that it can be done responsibly.”

But not everyone on the Pierrefonds-Roxboro council agrees with the mayor.

Coun. Justine McIntyre is opposed to developing the park.

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In her opinion, the zoning bylaws will favour the developers in the end because in 2007, the borough made changes to the status of the agricultural land despite recommendations from the OPCM to hold off on the decision.

“Everything that used to be agricultural land in in Pierrefonds West was dezoned and is now residential and this is why the game is stacked.”

READ MORE: Hundreds protest at Montreal City Hall to save Pierrefonds green space

OPCM President Dominique Ollivier recommended that all sides come and present their views.

“We have to remember that the public consultation office is not working either for the city or the promoter, we are [a] neutral body,” Ollivier said. “So if we have information that people felt have been looked over or hidden, they should bring it forward.”

A decision on what will happen with the park may not be known until 2018.

 

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