From The Gazette

Pincourt

Red tape dogs development of former dump

  • The environment ministry has tied up this land for two years ordering repeated studies into whether there is contamination from its previous vocation as a dump.
    The environment ministry has tied up this land for two years ordering repeated studies into whether there is contamination from its previous vocation as a dump.
    Photo credit: Peter McCabe/ The Gazette

Legend has it that in the 1950s, a town official charged people to dump garbage in a spot that he didn’t own.

Now that site is one of the last areas slated for residential development in Pincourt, and its checkered past has caused many delays in construction.

Located in the town’s Pointe-au-Renard sector north of Taillon Park off Second Boulevard, the site is slated for at least 45 single-family homes, and a four- or five-storey senior citizens housing co-operative with 80 apartments.

The area has been an informal dumping ground over the decades, serving briefly as a snow dump by the town as well. But for the last two years, it has mostly been home to engineers, scientists, and the occasional bullfrog. Repeated studies have been ordered by the province’s environmental ministry to determine if the ground is contaminated, and to estimate the impact of development on the area’s wildlife, including bullfrogs.

At its last council meeting, Pincourt ordered $7,000 worth of additional studies to be done in the area, at the request of the province. Town manager Michel Perrier said the town hopes these will be the last studies before the much-delayed construction can begin. He said over the last two years, the town has spent about $100,000 studying the area.

“That’s money we don’t have to put into projects for the benefit of our citizens,” Perrier said. “It’s starting to become a lot of money.

The town has sold a portion of land, where an old wood barn now sits, to developers, but that sale is contingent on a green light from the environmental ministry. There is also a non-profit corporation ready to build the seniors residence.

He said the town is getting anxious, not just because of the amount is has had to spend on the studies, but because it’s worried that potential developers will grow weary of waiting.

At this point, construction on the project can go ahead in the second half of the year, as long as there are no more delays in the process. The town can complete its study by June, and must then wait up to 75 days for a response from the ministry. If there are no further delays, a construction permit for the area could be issued by September.

Zoning changes for the area have already been done by the town.

jmagder@montrealgazette.com
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