Legacy Fund for the Environment – A Mini Quiz!
The owner of wetlands or natural areas is guaranteed the right to build on these properties. True or false? False - A municipality has the authority to change the zoning if the municipality deems that the land should be used for other purposes. This is the essence of what biologist and environmental lawyer Jean-Francois Girard said in a talk given at Beaconsfield city hall Annex in 2012.
“Using a changing of the zoning at the municipal level to prevent real estate development on private wetlands or wooded areas cannot be considered disguised expropriation in a court of law according to many rulings he has researched.”
“Municipalities have all the powers necessary for the protection of natural areas on their territory and to protect quality of life,” and that “it is possible to protect wetlands and wooded areas without fearing to be challenged in court for disguised expropriation”.
"The only thing needed is the will to do it."
- As reported by François Lemieux, The Chronicle, January 25, 2012
The mayor of Beaconsfield agrees. True or false?
True - As Beaconsfield mayor, Georges Bourelle, said at the time, “Girard reinforces the idea that cities have increasingly more tools to be able to decide the future of their cities."
"In this particular case, it's in regards to lands and zoning and the cities have more and more power and are being seen legislatively and supported by the courts to have those powers to decide the future of their cities.”