Cheerleading team in St. Leonard forced to close by zoning regulations
With Julian McKenzie
Be wary of making complaints.
After parents with children in a popular cheerleading club started complaining about new parking restrictions, a Montreal borough is ordering the cheerleaders to find a new place to practice.
Spirix has been operating out of a building on Grande Prarie Blvd. and last year parents objected when a 'no stopping' sign was placed in front.
Janie Lapierre, who helped found the Spirix cheerleading team two decades ago, said many parents found that made it harder for them to drop off their children at practice.
"It started with all that. Then the parents made complaints about the situation," said Lapierre.
The borough of St. Leonard investigated and discovered that Spirix was violating zoning regulations that allowed anything like a gymnasium to operate in the area.
"Upon inspection, the borough discovered that Spirix was not in compliance with Articles 3.1.2 and 3.1.4 of the Construction Regulation (1884), namely that the company did not possess a certificate of authorization for use and display, and that the commercial use exercised (gym) was prohibited in this sector," said the borough in a statement.
After five years in the same location, and coaching players to national championships, Spirix was ordered to move.
Lapierre was given until the end of August to find a new location but has not been able to find anything suitable.
"I fell on my knees and I said I have no more option. I don't know what to do," said Lapierre.
As a result Spirix is shutting down next week, much to the dismay of cheerleaders.
"We were all gathered to learn about our team. It was like our team reveal,' said Anne-Frederic Grimm
"And then they told us well, you know guys, you made the team, but we have to close down. So it's not that great of a news," said Grimm.
Lapierre is planning on meeting with the borough again at the end of the week but she is not hopeful.
"It's too late. I mean, I'm losing my business. This gym is going to close. And for what?" said Lapierre.
"I've been coaching for 19 years. I've had this club for 15 years. And it's gone just like that."