Saint Bruno | ” I’m going to fight “

A citizen on the verge of expropriation recounts the “nightmare” in which he has been plunged since the City modified its zoning by-law

Posted at 5:00 a.m.

He had a promise to purchase 1.6 million for his house. The City of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville changed the zoning from multi-family to single-family and offered him $550,000. In the absence of an over-the-counter agreement, it will expropriate it.

This story is that of Joël Gagné, percussionist at the National Circus School and father of two young adults aged 25 and 26 raised in Saint-Bruno.

Everything was going well for him. The 56-year-old man had a good plan to ensure his financial security: a two-generation house he lives in with his wife and mother-in-law on a 27,000 square foot lot near downtown Saint-Bruno, in an area allowing multi-housing.

He knew that if he sold, the potential was interesting because of the zoning.

He even offered the City to buy his house, at the end of February, to build social housing or a daycare center on the land. But she let him know, on the 1er March, that she was not interested.

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Aerial view of Joël Gagné’s field

So he contacted promoters. Real Estate Development Lampron made him an offer of 1.6 million after having ascertained with the municipal authorities that the zoning allowed the construction of a four-storey condo building with “25 doors, minimum”, specifies developer Benjamin Lefebvre.

The promise to purchase was signed on March 11.

Changes without notice

The problem is that things did not go as planned.

On April 13, the promoter learned that the City refused to study his condo project because the zoning of his sector was going to change.

A draft by-law modifying the zoning was presented at the March 22 meeting of the municipal council. Then, on May 17, elected officials adopted bylaw changes to limit the height of downtown buildings to two stories and revise residential typologies in certain areas.

Bad luck, one of these changes affects 12 bungalows, including that of Mr. Gagné on avenue de la Rabastalière Est.

But this is not the only surprise that awaited him.

At the May 17 council meeting, a resolution was adopted to acquire his property by mutual agreement or by way of expropriation. Mr. Gagné did not know, because this point was added to the agenda. He learned it by following the session broadcast live until midnight.

It was following the adoption of an amendment to the zoning by-law which explicitly aims to promote “single-family zoning” that the land and the house of Mr. Gagné will be expropriated to allow the construction of a building intended for a daycare center that will not be a single-family residence.

The lot will be sold for $500,000 to the daycare owners and the City will pay the difference if the agreed price is higher. Ultimately, if the parties do not agree, it is the Administrative Tribunal that will set the amount of compensation.

Lack of land

On April 22, the city’s director general, Vincent Tanguay, telephoned Mr. Gagné to offer him $550,000.

“It was not lies when we said that we lacked land in Saint-Bruno for a daycare centre,” explained the mayor, Ludovic Grisé Farand, at the council meeting on May 17. We have said it several times. The proof is that today, we have to expropriate to get there. »

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Ludovic Grisé Farand, Mayor of Saint-Bruno

“It’s a field that is very well placed, he added. It is stuck on the Rabastalière park, next to the paddling pool. The little ones will be able to have fun in the park, it’s really a two-minute walk, not even. »

Mr. Gagné, who has since withdrawn his house from the market, is outraged.

“The City changes my zoning from multi-family to single-family to acquire my land at a lower cost and then changes the zoning to put a daycare center on it,” he says.

“It’s like playing Monopoly and you’re like, ‘Now your hotels are worth the price of a house, and I’m taking advantage of the fact that I just changed the rules to buy you.’ »

“I’m going to fight,” swears Mr. Gagné, who filed a complaint with the Commission municipale du Québec on April 25 and knocked on several doors, in addition to contacting the chamber of commerce and the Association of owners of Saint -Bruno.

“I can’t sleep at night anymore,” he says. It’s my only topic of conversation. I don’t have any others. I am in a nightmare. Legally, the City acted in a legal manner. But ethically and morally, it makes no sense. »

Some dates

February 28
Joël Gagné offers the City of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville to buy his house.

1er March
The City refuses.

March 11
Mr. Gagné receives a promise to purchase of 1.6 million from a real estate developer.

March 22
The City presents a draft by-law modifying the zoning of certain zones.

April 11
Mr. Gagné receives a call from the City, wanting to buy his house.

April 13
The promoter withdrew his promise to purchase following the City’s refusal to study his project.

April 22
The director general of the City of Saint-Bruno offers $550,000 to Mr. Gagné by telephone for his house.

April 25
Mr. Gagné filed a complaint with the Commission municipale du Québec. He would like the multi-family zoning to be maintained.

May 17
The City adopts amendments to the zoning by-law and announces the acquisition by expropriation or by mutual agreement of Mr. Gagné’s land to build a daycare centre.

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Saint Bruno | ” I’m going to fight ”

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