Suburban Newspaper, January 28h, 2015

Côte St. Luc filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court last year calling for the dismissal of a 15-year-old $20 million lawsuit brought by the developers of the Meadowbrook Golf Course against the city, Councillor Dida Berku told The Suburban Friday.

The motion to dismiss is expected to be heard in April. The original lawsuit was brought by previous developers when Côte St. Luc rezoned its portion of the golf course from residential to recreational.

The golf course is also in Lachine and part of Montreal West. The news of the dismissal motion comes as the Montreal city council and agglomeration council were expected to approve a land use and development plan this week changing the whole site’s designation from residential to recreational.

Groupe Pacific, the current developers of the golf course land, has already filed a $44 million lawsuit against Montreal, after plans for housing on the Lachine side were twice rejected by the city.

Regarding Côte St. Luc’s motion to dismiss, Berku pointed out that the developers’ lawsuit stayed in limbo for 14 years.

“Côte St. Luc made the call [to file a dismissal motion] last year when we found out about the $44 million lawsuit. We figured, we might as well get it to Superior Court and clear this up.
“The timing of this lawsuit was actually good, because it helps to crystallize the issues. The court will have to decide if it’s reasonable to wait 14 years on a motion to annul a zoning bylaw and on a motion to claim $20 million in damages. Our position is it’s an excessive delay and it should be dismissed.”

Groupe Pacific was not available for comment at press time.

Regarding Montreal’s land use designation change, Berku said that the mayors of Côte St. Luc and Montreal West, and those in Montreal “responsible for the planning and green space portfolios, will be meeting to further our common strategy, to see how to deal with this dossier.

“But what’s most encouraging, and what’s different today than before this decision was made, was the commitment, the undertaking Mayor Coderre made, that we will see this through and work together for a common purpose.
“He made the right and courageous decision, in the best public interest. The green space will serve not only the immediate neighbourhood, but the entire island of Montreal.”

Côte St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather was thrilled with the news of the land use designation.
“Protecting Meadowbrook has been something I and the council members, particularly Dida Berku, have been advocating for decades and was one of my key election promises in 2005 the first time I ran for mayor and a key element of the 2006 Côte St. Luc Strategic Plan,” he said.

Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella said the news is great for his town and the island as a whole.
“Zoning Meadowbrook as green space will help move Montreal closer to its goals of preserving an important percentage of land on the island,” Masella said