The judiciary has just dealt a blow to the Plante government and its desire to convert the Anjou golf course into a park, giving the first green light to 12 on-site industrial and commercial development projects.
Posted at 1:04 am. Updated at 09:00
The Supreme Court ruled that city officials must review those permit applications, which the metropolis has resisted for months.
The company that owns the vast land “has a vested right to continue processing its permit applications,” Judge Gabrielle Brochu said in a decision last weekend. Metropolitan Golf of Anjou Inc. is part of the DiLillo family, which is engaged in the construction and real estate industries.
On February 24, 2022, the Plante government took the first step in converting the golf course from “Industry” to “Park”, fulfilling an electoral obligation. Since that date, all construction work on the golf course has been “frozen”.
However, two days earlier, on February 22, 2022, the property owners overtook the city and submitted twelve building permit applications to the district, according to the court decision. The decision does not specify the nature of the planned buildings, except that they are “commercial and industrial buildings”.
“The permit applications that have been filed are complete and compliant,” Judge Brochu said, dismissing an argument by city attorneys that some documents were missing at the time of filing. Montreal must therefore continue to review the permits. However, Metropolitan Golf of Anjou does not enjoy vested rights to the permits themselves, the judge said.
The Plante administration does not rule out an appeal against the decision.
Our legal teams are reviewing the case and possible remedial actions. Our administration is committed to doing what is necessary to protect the last green spaces in East Montreal.
Excerpt from a written statement from Valérie Plante’s office
Members of the DiLillo family declined to comment on the matter. “Since the appeal period has not yet expired, we must refrain from commenting on the decision that has been made,” said the communications manager of her law firm, Nadine Ishac.
A Protection “improvised”
Anjou Golf Course, which lies between the Metropolitan Highway and Henri Bourassa Boulevard, has long been the focus of a dispute between advocates of its protection and advocates of its development. Mayor Valérie Plante belongs to the first camp, District Mayor Luis Miranda to the second.
This is a potentially contaminated former industrial site whose owners have decided to green it and convert it into a golf course.
In 2020, the DiLillo family reduced the course from 18 to 9 holes to develop part of it. Notably, a Costco warehouse has occupied the former green space, as well as a grocer and a company that makes wooden pallets.
The 12 new construction projects would represent a second phase of development.
Back in February 2022, District Mayor Luis Miranda warned that protecting the golf course was coming too late and was being “improvised.”
“The site was under development,” he said at the time. “At least two buildings and five other projects are in the works in the sanctuary,” he said.
But the Plante administration doesn’t see it that way.
“It is our duty as a responsible administration to take the right steps for the future of our population,” Valérie Plante’s cabinet said in writing. “The courses of the Club de Golf Métropolitain Anjou represent unique places and the last traces of green in this sector. »
The story so far
• 2018: Montreal’s Regional Environmental Council (CRE) proposes that the city change the zoning of the Golf d’Anjou to prevent its development into an industrial sector.
• 2020: The golf course will be reduced from 18 to 9 holes in order to develop part of it. Among other things, a Costco warehouse will be built on the old green space.
• 2021: Projet Montréal commits to converting the remaining portion of the golf course into a park.