City purchases two stream receptacles

Leave a comment

 

In an attempt to provide City residents with the opportunity to sort their waste on the streets, twostream waste receptacles have been purchased to replace some old, tired and one stream cans that are around the City.
“We are hoping to clean up the streets and direct the right waste into the right bins. We received many requests for street recycling bins, as our residents like to run/walk/bike and then get thirsty and have nowhere to throw their bottles,” said Public Works director Bebe Newman.

City Council authorized the purchase of 120 receptacles, partially paid out of a provincial grant, that were installed at almost all bus stops throughout the City and at several other locations on main streets, at certain parks and public spaces (bordering the street).

“We have had strong and positive reaction from the public,” said Newman.

Council approved  the purchase of an additional 50 receptacles for the City at a recent public council meeting.

Advertisements

Judge rejects developer’s lawsuit against Montreal over Meadowbrook

Leave a comment

Developer accused city of “disguised expropriation”

A Superior Court Judge has rejected a $44-million lawsuit against the city of Montreal over a proposed housing development on the Lachine side of the Meadowbrook Golf Course that failed to materialize.

In a 45-page judgement rendered Wednesday, Judge Pepita G. Capriolo ruled the city had not engaged in a “disguised expropriation,” as land owner Groupe Pacific alleged, nor was the city responsible for $15.5 million in potential profits the developer argued it could have made.

“The large number of difficulties that the developer faced before being able to start the project (negotiations with municipalities next to the site, with the city of Montreal, with Canadian Pacific and the suburban train authority AMT, the Ministry of the Environment, etc.) does not support the conclusion that only the actions of the city kept the developer from realizing the profits it had calculated,” the judge wrote.

Real-estate developer Groupe Pacific charged that the city used high infrastructure costs as an excuse to block construction of its project in order to preserve the golf course as a green space following citizen protests.

Groupe Pacific was demanding $28.5 million for the value of the land, and another $15 million for lost potential profits.

Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific, a subsidiary of Groupe Pacific, bought the land in 2006 for $3 million, and later presented a plan to build a pedestrian-friendly and environmentally responsible, 1600-unit residential complex dubbed Petite Rivière.

The city argued estimates of the infrastructure costs it would have had to shoulder to put in water and sewage pipes and a railway overpass ranged from $60 million to $150 million, costs that it would have taken at least 43 years to recoup in taxes. In 2010 it told Groupe Pacific it would not support development there because of the infrastructure bill, although it did not share its cost estimates with the developer.

“The judge got it right,” said Alan DeSousa, who was the executive committee member responsible for environmental issues for the city of Montreal in 2010. “It shows that cities do have the right and the ability to protect their environments.”

Côte-St-Luc councillor Dida Berku said the lawsuit is “very promising” for their municipality, which is the target of a $32-million lawsuit by Groupe Pacific that dates back to 2001.

In her judgment, Capriolo ruled Groupe Pacific had failed to prove the city had acted in bad faith, and noted that the city had not appropriated the land, which an evaluator has valued at $6.5 million. Under the city’s new land development management plan, Groupe Pacific is still free to operate it as a golf course or for other recreational purposes, she wrote. Groupe Pacific has the right to appeal the decision.

rbruemmer@postmedia.com

twitter.com/renebruemmer

Meadowbrook judgment ‘bodes well for CSL’

Leave a comment

The Superior Court judgment favouring Montreal against the developer of the Meadowbrook Golf Course, Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific, bodes well for Côte St. Luc in its own legal case with the developer, say Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Councillor Dida Berku and mayoral candidate Robert Libman.

Groupe Pacific had sued Montreal for $44 million over the borough of Lachine’s refusal to allow residential building on its part of the site, which the borough attributed to high infrastructure costs. The other part of the site is in Côte St. Luc.

According to media reports, Judge Pepita G. Capriolo rejected Groupe Pacific’s contention that Montreal engaged in a disguised expropriation, and that the city was responsible for the developer losing $15.5 million in profits. Also according to reports, the judge ruled that many other factors prevented the development on the Lachine side.

 In the case of Côte St. Luc, the city was originally sued by the developer in 2000, when the city changed the zoning of its part of the golf course site from residential to recreational and commercial. The original lawsuit lay dormant for years, until Groupe Pacific changed its lawsuit to claim $32 million — $19 million of which was to force the city to basically buy the part of the land in its territory — a land swap: and $13 million for loss of profits.

As we reported in 2015, “the Quebec Superior Court did not allow the company to pursue the $19 million claim.”

Late in 2015, Groupe Pacific wanted to amend its lawsuit, to claim another $20 million. The developer wanted the Quebec Court of Appeal to state its opinion on the merits of such a re-amendment to the Quebec Superior Court. But the Court of Appeal ruled that it cannot decide on this in advance and that the Superior Court would have to decide if Groupe Pacific can reamend its claim. That is where the case with Côte St. Luc stands at this point.

Brownstein was pleased with last week’s judgement.

“The judgment in favour of Montreal is very promising for Côte St. Luc, because it essentially affirms what we have been arguing for years,” the Mayor said. “While there is still a case pending since [2000] against Côte St. Luc, this related decision validates many of our arguments.”

Berku, who has been defending the right of the city to maintain Meadowbrook for recreational use, said the decision is a “great victory for the right of cities to determine the best land use in the public interest. Montreal had the right to refuse to invest hundreds of millions in infrastructure, especially because all details of the project were not finalized.”

The councilllor added that the judge “decided that golf is a reasonable use, especially in light of the new urban plan adopted by the Montreal agglomeration in 2015, which designated all of Meadowbrook as green space for recreational use.

Libman, during a press conference Friday, was also very pleased. The zoning change from residential to recreational took place when he was Mayor of Côte St. Luc.

“It’s certainly very positive for Côte St. Luc — we were all waiting to see what the judgment would be on the Lachine side,” the mayoral candidate said. “I was going to be examined by the lawyers over the next few months. Now that there’s a precedent defeating the lawsuit against Lachine (Montreal), it certainly looks as though the lawsuit against Côte St. Luc for about $20 million will be dismissed, which is great news for our taxpayers and residents.”

Groupe Pacific has the option to appeal the latest judgment.

N

In my opinion:
Fantastic news for Cote Saint-Luc. I have always been an enthusiastic and outspoken opponent of developing Meadowbrook. Just check out the very many posts on my blog for the history on this file. As City Councillor I will continue to fight to preserve this invaluable greenspace for future generations. I would be thrilled to have this space acquired by the Montreal Agglomeration to be shared by all across the West End as a regional park.

City to plant 200 trees

Leave a comment

A 200 year old Bur Oak at the corner of Wavell and Melling. It is possibly the oldest of its kind on the island.

Public Works is trying to meet our annual tree planting goal of 200 trees a year, contributing to the reforestation of our community (and the canopy that had been previously compromised by the Ash Borer Disease).

To date during 2017, we have planted approximately 70 trees.

Last week City Council approved a contract that will enable us to plant up to 100 more trees throughout the City, specifically at the front lawns of residents. Residents have received official letters that the trees will be planted and were encouraged to choose the variety available. Although these residents
have been waiting for their trees for a couple of years, they were happy to know that we would be planting this fall.

This work will be done by the contractor, Les Terrassements Multi-Paysages Inc. for $56,000. while the City employees will be planting other trees in public spaces.

CSL helping neighbours in need

2 Comments

CSL Public Works crews feed the wood chipper in NDG to help out in the major cleanup

 

In response to last week’s major storm that devastated parts of the Cote des Neiges –  NDG borough, toppling 100 year old trees and causing major havoc in several parks, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director Bebe Newman reached out to her colleagues in NDG and offered assistance to their Public Works department in the disaster clean up.
NDG was very grateful for the collaborative efforts and CSL sent its tree cutting crew earlier this week in the spirit of being a good neighbour.
A 2-man Arboriculture team was sent to NDG to work on the clean up of the damaged and fallen trees. Our team went out with a wood chipper and handled 25 areas of NDG between Cavendish and Sherbrooke in the western part of the borough.

The mess was all over NDG. CSL Public Works crews assisted at 25 such locations in a single day this week.

Thank you to CSL employees Robert Lacroix and Marc Piterelli who worked hard for our neighbours. They commented that they very were glad to help out.
In response, the NDG division chief of parks thanked our team for their collaboration and professionalism and said they would accept and welcome whatever help they could get.
Bravo to CSL Public Works and to Director Bebe Newman for this wonderful gesture of friendship and togetherness. It’s wonderful to reach out and help others in need.

Large swath of CSL without power, trees down, after “micro-burst” sweeps Western Montreal

1 Comment

City crews preparing to remove branches from trees that came down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

The storm earlier today created havoc across many parts of Quebec. Areas hardest hit include the West End. Large trees, some over 200 years old were uprooted in NDG following the worst part of the storm that lasted one or two minutes.

In Cote Saint-Luc, many residents are still without power as midnight approaches. Many trees were knocked down.

I did a late night loop around Cote Saint-Luc to survey the situation and saw several Hydro Quebec crews working to restore power and city staff and volunteers ensuring our safety.
Councillor Steven Erdelyi said, “I was driving through my district and saw teams from Public Works, Public Security, vCOP and EMS out keeping the residents safe.”
“I saw our teams working in conjunction with Hydro, vCOP ensuring that streets were blocked off, crews removing trees and branches, foremen leading HQ to the site of downed lines and speaking to and reassuring residents. I saw Public Security agents putting flares down at key intersections to provide some light and EMS crews supporting the fire department to help frail residents going to their apartments on upper floors,” Erdelyi said.

Trees down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

“A special thank you to John, Thierry, Laurence, Claude and Jordy (all of whom I saw in action tonight) for all your hard work and dedication,” Erdelyi added.
Said Mayor Brownstein, “Thank you all. You are truly amazing and appreciated very much.  You all make us very proud.  I have been receiving compliments for your great work by email from residents all evening.”
CSL has issued an overnight parking tolerance across the city due to ongoing power failures.
The CSL Tennis Club will be closed Wednesday as the power lines are down and some fences have been damaged.

Excessive number of stop signs in Hampstead contribute to pollution: Letter to Suburban Newspaper

1 Comment

The following is a letter to the editor to the Suburban from District 6 resident Leslie Satenstein, my most notable commentor on this blog. Leslie makes the point that municipalities have a responsibility to safeguard the environment through strategic traffic planning (while ensuring pedestrian and motorist safety, no doubt).

I have written extensively about Fleet Road in this blog. Search “Fleet”.

 

  • Suburban Newspaper, Aug 16, 2017
  •  0

For what seems a century, or at least since 1985 when I moved to Cote Saint Luc, I have had the annoyance and been angered at the number of Hampstead stop signs along VanHorne/Fleet.

Bringing a car to a “stop sign” emits brake pad and tire dust, Average acceleration of a vehicle from a stop sign consumes a quarter of a teaspoon of gasoline per vehicle.

Given the stop signs are for each direction, you can be assure that daily, several tens of gallons of spent gasoline are emitted into the air. We know the importance of fresh air. In this short strip of the route to the borders of Cote Saint Luc, Hampstead’s contribution is one of being a major co-polluter. I call Hampstead’s lack of a remedy, shameful.

One could say, “Big deal, Hampstead’s pollution is the cost of living in CSL” and Cote Saint Luc should cover any remedy costs. That is a consideration for cost sharing.

I look at the luxury homes built on either side of the stop signs, and you will note “the owners can’t use the front of the house, and they cannot leave open, a window for fresh air”. For the residents of those homes, use of the front of the house is limited to receive mail and the Suburban, and to provide access to the car garage, nothing more.

In my high-school years, I lived at a similar intersection. The tire-dust that would settle on the front stoop, on the front window ledges was substantial. Daily, if you swiped your hands across a “early morning cleaned” surface, you would find you palm coated with black tire-dust. During periods of bumper-to-bumper traffic, the smell of spent fuel was horrific.

Mayor Steinberg prides himself on technology. When is Hampstead going to invest, as did Town of Mount-Royal, on installing synchronized traffic lights. A vehicle that travels at a fixed speed and does not brake and accelerate emits much much less combined pollution.

I would be very very interested to know the health claims made by the and former residents living in proximity to those intersections. Start from the year 1985.

Hampstead, it’s time to do something.

Leslie Satenstein

Montreal

Older Entries