As more developments reach west of Montreal, environmentalists urge city to protect forested areas
MONTREAL -- A patch of wooded land in Notre-Dame-de-L’Ile-Perrot is the centre of a conflict between environmental advocates and the city's administration.
“This is an exceptional, patrimonial and archaeological valued forest,” said biologist Annie-Claude Delisle.
The green space is currently slated to be the future site of a residential development, one of six on Ile-Perrot. But as Notre-Dame-de-L’Ile-Perrot grows, the environmentalists are urging those in charge to protect its spots of nature.
“It's not just their forest, it's our forest. It's everybody's forest,” said Pincourt Vert secretary Denise Goudreault.
Notre-Dame-de-L’Ile-Perrot Mayor Danie Deschenes said in an e-mail that the land in question is privately owned and the developer has obtained a permit to build on it. City officials also said that buying the wooded areas would cost Ile-Perrot residents more than $700 per year for three decades, a number that opponents dispute. Those against the development said the community has not been properly consulted.
“We're seeing unprecedented development on our little island,” said Pincourt Vert president Sheilagh McNally. “Developers come in, they don't engage with our citizens and we wake up to bulldozers.”
Town official claim the development will generate $500,000 in revenue. But residents said that other than the environmental impact, there's other reasons to worry about consequences.
“The problem is that in order to build these houses, they're going to have to dynamite,” said Mireille Filiatreault. “We're sitting on rock.”