Today an indication
personal land welcomes guests on the entrance to the positioning, on the finish of rue Bourbonnière. Access is now prohibited. The land, with its majestic bushes and hilly course, is shabby. Its neoclassical fashion pavilion, deserted.
Golf is now not fashionable. Like many different 18 holes in the Montreal space, the one in Rosemère was bought for actual property improvement. In 2018, the Vachon group and promoter Patrick Varin bought their palms on its 60 hectares for $ 18 million.
Since then, the residents of the town of 14,000 inhabitants have mobilized to preserve and restore this immense island of freshness in the northern crown of Montreal, or a minimum of 88% of the land that's zoned
leisure. The remaining portion, situated alongside Route 117, has been zoned residential and business since 2015.
But the City of Rosemère sees issues otherwise: it talks extra about reworking half of the territory right into a park, and letting the builders construct on the remaining.
On July 7, Mayor Eric Westram handed a movement to vary the use of the land. A gesture undertaken
in catimini throughout the summer season holidays, and who
opens the door to actual property improvement, denounce residents of the Rosemère Vert group.
The non-profit group final month offered a petition to the mayor with 1,600 handwritten signatures demanding an finish to those proceedings. Another petition, on-line this time, had collected greater than 9,000 signatures.
We are asking that the town weigh on pause, cease its efforts to vary assignments and […] make a purchase order supply to the promoter to protect the park. But there is no such thing as a political will, deplores Patrick Bonin, citizen of Rosemère whom we met on the entrance of the positioning with six different members of the group.
political will, remind the residents, exists elsewhere in Quebec, resembling Candiac or Terrebonne, the place mayors have proven themselves in favor of the acquisition and conservation of their golf course.
The Municipality can be removed from the target of the Metropolitan Community of Montreal (CMM) which goals to guard 17% of the territory by 2031, provides Mr. Bonin, who can be spokesperson for Greenpeace.
Currently, we're at 8% in Rosemère and the one option to obtain our goal is by conserving this park, he stated.
Citizens finally consider that it's attainable to
construct the town on the town – for instance, on vacant heaps close to the commuter practice station – with out tackling the
Rosemère air conditioner.
A battle that will probably be transposed in the polls
With its mature bushes, rich neighborhoods and small retailers, Rosemère seems to be like a rustic village. A inexperienced haven of peace, situated simply 30 kilometers from Montreal.
It is just not for nothing that the present administration proposed the slogan
Rosemère, proud, inexperienced and affluent.
But areas appropriate for housing improvement are scarce, believes Mayor Eric Westram. And in response to him, the golf course is an attention-grabbing dwelling setting, particularly for the growing old inhabitants. No query, he stated, of inserting the elders
in towers with asphalt and streets round in extra densely populated neighborhoods.
Stressing that he has undertaken three years of public consultations, the mayor speaks for his half of
compromise by proposing to protect half of the golf course.
We should handle an financial and environmental stability and all the problems that revolve round it […] A minimal of 30 hectares is the equal of Jarry Park in Montreal: 30 hectares reforested, renaturalized, accessible to the inhabitants 12 months a 12 months, says the mayor, who's operating for a second time period.
The challenge of golf has develop into so essential that it has prompted residents to create a political get together this summer season, the Collectif d'avenir Rosemère. Citizens who say they're drained of
lack of transparency of the administration in place and cautious of these public consultations which they contemplate determined in advance.
During a survey, the mayor requested the inhabitants in specific in the event that they have been in favor of conservation
a minimal of 50% of the golf course, not all of it. The identical mayor, they are saying, who promised in 2017 to guard as a lot of the land as attainable.
This main query served as a display screen for the mayor, who brandished his ballot by saying: “you agree”, deplores the candidate for mayor Pierre-André Geoffrion, an osteopath and native dealer.
Collectif d'avenir Rosemère is dedicated to preserving 88% of the park – its portion
leisure – and to seek the advice of the inhabitants particularly on the difficulty.
Real property improvement is out of the query, they are saying. Montrealers didn't flee the town throughout the pandemic
to go to the suburbs and discover asphalt, say get together members.
Many golf programs in comparable conditions
The points surrounding the closure of golf programs and the event of the land they occupied have an effect on dozens of municipalities in Quebec.
Since 2010, twelve golf programs have closed in the Montreal area. The latter had 65 lively golf programs in March 2020, in response to information compiled by the CMM transmitted to Radio-Canada.
The growing old of the inhabitants, the declining recognition of sport, in Quebec as elsewhere in North America, golf is dropping floor. Courses are generally bought at low costs to actual property builders, who then foyer to vary the zoning into
residential and skyrocket their worth, as is the case in Rosemère. *
If we should not have the participation of the cities, we is not going to succeed, believes biologist Catherine Vallée, from the Coalition of Golf Courses in Transition, who deplores
a race for land earnings from some administrations.
Created eight months in the past, the Coalition brings collectively a dozen golf programs in the larger Montreal space, and three others in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. All golf programs bought to actual property builders or whose negotiations are superior.
Preserving golf programs in a pure setting, she remembers, contributes to the battle towards warmth islands and to the rise of biodiversity:
30% to 40% of our battles towards local weather change will probably be gained by nature. We cannot simply change our vehicles, says Catherine Vallée.
The Coalition, in addition to the cities, is asking immediately that Quebec modernize its Expropriation Act in order to encourage the redemption of these lands at their market worth by the municipalities. An out of date regulation, says Catherine Vallée, which too typically favors builders to the detriment of inexperienced areas, that are more and more uncommon.
In Rosemère, for instance, the City says it ought to pay compensation of $ 126 million to expropriate golf promoters. That's seven instances the acquisition value.
The residents are subsequently asking the mayor for time in order to acquire assist from the Government of Quebec to purchase again the land.
There isn't any press, believes Patrick Bonin, of Rosemère vert. Nothing that justifies the hasty calls for of the mayor.
*Contacted by Radio-Canada, the promoters of the previous Rosemère golf course didn't wish to touch upon the topic.