Project on the former site of the Sulpicians' philosophy seminary - The municipal administration is abdicating its responsibilities and turning a blind eye to the flaws in the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan



    MONTREAL, Aug. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the participation of the
President of Les amis de la montagne in the municipal council's question
period on August 25, the organization concludes that our elected officials
have abdicated their responsibilities in ensuring the transparent and rigorous
management of the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District and continue to
turn a blind eye to the hard-hitting conclusions of the Office de consultation
publique de Montréal regarding the faults in the Mount Royal Protection and
Enhancement Plan and the project proposed for the former site of the
Sulpicians' philosophy seminary.
    Les amis de la montagne are astonished to learn from Helen Fotopulos,
member of the executive committee responsible for Mount Royal, that the Ville
de Montréal went ahead with the public consultation on the proposed
residential project for the former seminary property earlier than the
municipal administration would have liked based upon a preliminary favourable
recommendation - a highly unorthodox gesture - issued by the Commission des
biens culturels du Québec on February 12, 2009.
    Moreover, Les amis de la montagne are astounded with Ms. Fotopulos'
judgement that the project proposed for the former seminary property respects
the heritage of the site, as well as the Protection Plan, despite the
projects' many violations of the city's urban plan. The project calls for 325
residential units, the construction of 17 new buildings and 671 parking spaces
on a site with institutional zoning, which violates the city's urban plan in
terms of its use, density, height, volume, number of parking spaces and
construction on the site. The organization also deplores the city's
unwillingness to provide a clear definition of the mountain's "limited
capacity" to receive new construction.
    Les amis de la montagne submitted a letter to the municipal council
during question period, which asks the following question: "Who truly stands
to gain from the $300M development project proposed for the former site of the
Sulpicians' philosophy seminary?" (PDF version available at
<a href="http://www.lemontroyal.qc.ca/sn_uploads/fck/NouvellesetEvenements/LADM_lettreauxelus_25aout09.pdf">http://www.lemontroyal.qc.ca/sn_uploads/fck/NouvellesetEvenements/LADM_lettrea
uxelus_25aout09.pdf</a>).
    While Les amis de la montagne understand that a $300M investment will
provide the city with revenues from property tax, how does the Government of
Quebec stand to benefit by forcing such a project on Montreal? And who is
listening to the citizens of Montreal, who have repeated in survey after
survey and public consultation after public consultation that green spaces on
the mountain must be protected and restrictions imposed upon any new
construction?
    The project proposed for the former site of the philosophy seminary is
unacceptable and must be reviewed in its entirety. The Mount Royal Protection
and Enhancement Plan does not provide sufficiently clear guidelines and the
rules governing development projects on the mountain's periphery, which is
largely comprised of institutional properties, must be clarified. This crucial
exercise should be undertaken before the project on the former seminary
property receives any form of authorisation. Need this matter become an
electoral issue?

    About Les amis de la montagne

    Les amis de la montagne is an independent charitable organization founded
in 1986 that works to protect and enhance Mount Royal through community
involvement and environmental education. For more information on Les amis'
activities, visit www.lemontroyal.qc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Gabrielle Korn, Director of Communications, Les
amis de la montagne, (514) 843-8240 ext. 237, gkorn@lemontroyal.qc.ca

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Les amis de la montagne

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