Map shows Angell Woods area north of Elm Ave. in Beaconsfield.
Beaconsfield is beefing up it parks-fee bylaw.The previous version of the bylaw compelled a developer to either pay 10 per cent of the value of the land to the city to be spent on parks beautification or cede 10 per cent of the land to be maintained as green space. The amended bylaw leaves the 10 per cent cash option intact, but if the developer chooses the second option, the amount of land to be ceded has now been doubled to 20 per cent.Quebec’s adoption of Bill 122 in 2017 paved the way for the bylaw amendment. Bill 122 recognizes municipalities as local governments and allows them broader powers, including the regulating of park contributions.
Mayor Georges Bourelle, seen here during a city council meeting last fall, said the city is using new broader powers to protect green spaces.
John Mahoney /
“The bill gives municipalities more possibilities for taxation,” Mayor Georges Bourelle said. “But not all the possibilities are practical for the smaller municipalities. In Beaconsfield, for example, we don’t have an industrial district or any large commercial properties, but adjusting park contributions is something we could do.”The only remaining, undeveloped green space of significant size within Beaconsfield’s territory is Angell Woods. Pockets of the 105 hectare woods are still privately owned. Beaconsfield director of urban planning Stéphane Quesnel told the West Island Gazette that the bylaw was changed to protect as much of the woods as possible if ever a development plan were to come into play.“The amended bylaw is there, just in case,” Quesnel said. “What we want is to keep Beaconsfield as green as possible and for citizens to have access to the woods for leisure activities.”The ideal scenario, for both Beaconsfield and the Montreal Agglomeration Council (which has handled the Angell Woods file since 2015), is for the entire woods to become a nature park, linked to the l’Anse-à-l’Orme green corridor north of Highway 40 and, by extension, to the l’Anse-à-l’Orme nature park located in western Pierrefonds. The agglomeration has been purchasing privately owned portions of the woods since 2015, the same year that it adopted a land-use and development plan that designated Angell Woods a nature park. That designation did not sit well with some of the private landowners. Nor did the adoption, by a previous Beaconsfield administration, of an interim bylaw which prevented any development of land until a Special Planning Program for the area was adopted. Two major land-owners launched legal action. Ultimately, the court ruled that Beaconsfield had not overstepped its boundaries.In Sept. 2018, the agglomeration purchased 78,500 square-meters of the woods from Seda Holdings — one of the two owners who had taken legal action. With the sale of the Seda land, the link with the l’Anse-à-l’Orme corridor became a reality.But Yale Properties — the other owner who took legal action — still owns 325,160 sq. metres of the woods. It was this land that had been flagged for possible development in firstname.lastname@example.orgRelated