The Town of Rosemère held a virtual information evening on March 24 to present the exhaustive process that led to the tabling of the preliminary draft of the Urban Plan in January 2021, which came about as a result of some 15 public consultation activities. Thus, more than 300 citizens were able to discuss their vision of Rosemère’s future with Town representatives, including experts in land use planning and citizen participation from the firm Provencher-Roy, who have assisted the municipal administration since the beginning of this vast project in 2018.
“We intend to tell you about the process that led to this outcome. Our goal is to put our cards on the table in a transparent way so that you can understand the reasons that led Council to table this preliminary draft of the Urban Plan in January 2021. We want to explain the path that supports it, the fifteen or so public consultations that have taken place since 2018 and the urban planning vision that resulted, in June 2020,” stated Mayor Eric Westram at the outset.
This information evening had two components. First, there were presentations on the important citizen participation in the preliminary draft of the Urban Plan development process, legal concepts and the regulatory framework, as well as the value of expropriating the former golf course and the fiscal impacts that would result. However, most of the evening was devoted to the citizens, who were given a long question period during which they were able to express their opinions and share their concerns about the impacts of the preliminary draft of the Urban Plan on their living environment in a respectful and constructive manner.
Social Acceptability at the Heart of the Process
The issue of the former golf course was certainly the subject of the greatest number of citizen interventions. The Mayor of Rosemère reassured residents that Council is firmly committed to consulting them before any regulatory changes are made: “As long as I am Mayor, nothing, absolutely nothing, will be done without social acceptability. And nothing will be done in haste. The land is not for sale and does not belong to the Town of Rosemère, so I hope that the owner has clearly understood the questions raised by residents this evening, because any project will be subject to social acceptability.“
On this subject, Mayor Westram thanked the citizens for their contribution and showed himself to be a unifying force, specifying that the visions are in agreement: ‘I have heard you this evening and Council agrees that there is no rush on this matter. The preliminary draft of the Urban Plan is, moreover, clear on this point: the Town will prioritize redevelopment before any new development.“
There are still major steps to be taken before the preliminary draft of the Urban Plan is adopted. A call for tenders is under way to hire a firm which will conduct a study to characterize the ecological value of the former golf course, including analyses during each of the four seasons, to obtain a better understanding of the situation. The study will be released as soon as it is completed. The Town must also ensure with the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) and the MRC Thérèse-De Blainville that the proposed vision is consistent with the development schemas of both supra-local organizations, and that any necessary adjustments are made. Then, a public consultation will be held to validate the adoption of the preliminary draft of the Urban Plan. Finally, a consultation with the whole population will take place on the day a golf development project respecting all the criteria of the future Urban Plan is presented to the Council.
At the same time, the Town of Rosemère will be participating in the Quebec government’s Great National Conversation on Urban and Regional Planning. “You can be assured that we will contribute to the debate. Council has been supporting the efforts of the Union des municipalités du Québec in this regard since last fall and we will continue to be active in order to obtain more tools for our municipal administrations,” concluded Mayor Westram.
The Town is inviting its citizens to consult its various communication resources in order to follow the developments of the various dossiers. The documents presented during the evening, the video recording of the session and frequently asked questions will be posted online shortly.
To view the full recording of the meeting, including all presentations and the question period:
To view the presentations separately:
- 1. Citizens involvement: https://vimeo.com/533628057
- 2. Legal concepts and regulatory framework: https://vimeo.com/531873557
- 3. Value at expropriation of the former golf course: https://vimeo.com/531873800
- 4. Fiscal impacts: https://vimeo.com/531874033