After a month-long consultation period, the concerns of Pincourt, Que., residents have been answered surrounding the Rousseau forest.
The city has decided to protect the cherished green space from a future housing development.
Residents who were opposed to the preservation of the forest were asked to voice their opinion in a mail-in vote.
According to Mayor Yvan Cardinal, only 524 people were in favour of the development — far fewer than the 1,084 votes needed to sway the decision.
“Were really happy the city listened. That the council heard the residents,” Pincourt Vert President Shelagh McNally said.
The resident-run group and its members who have been vocal advocates in the fight to save the popular pedestrian woodland for three years are pleased with the verdict.
“I am happy our mayor listened to the people and the science,” said Carole Reed, Pincourt Vert vice president.
McNally claims the green space is the only wetland that remains untouched in Pincourt and deserves protection.
Divided into 46 different lots the land was to be turned into a future housing development.
The city will now begin negotiations to acquire the land back from private developers, at an estimated cost of $4. 3 million.
Advocates say it’s a fair cost that will pay dividends, “to have tranquil space to have a walk, and to have a green space — it’s a small price to pay,” McNally said.
“Some people who are close to the woodland will be taxed more,” city spokesperson Charolette Gagne said.
While residents of the city will see an increase of $36 on the year end tax bill, residents who live near the border of the forest will see additional fees of up $300 a year on their municipal tax bill.
Pincourt Vert members say they will challenge the cities decision making it a fair price for all residents.
“That is our next fight,” Reed said.
“Thirty-six dollars a year is reasonable but there are some who have been thrown under the tax bus,” McNally said.
The city plans to install park benches and pathways in the park once all the negotiations are final.