A draft authorization concerning a lot located along rue des Tamias, in the Pointe-du-Lac sector, where we want to be able to build a swimming pool, is the kind of exemption that would have been approved without making waves by the city council. However, the fact that the project involves reducing the protection strip of the wetland present on the land has raised questions.
This is because the project in question provides for the construction of a swimming pool which would encroach on the protective strip of the peat bog located next to it.
The City of Trois-Rivières is one of the cities in Quebec to have adopted a resolution aimed at increasing the protection strip for wetlands during specific projects. About a year ago, elected officials agreed to reduce the protection strip from 3 meters to 10 meters in order to better protect wetlands.
Councilors Mariannick Mercure and Claude Ferron criticized the favorable recommendation for the project issued by the Planning Advisory Committee.
“We have given ourselves clear guidelines on this issue [des bandes de protection] in February 2019. We unanimously voted on regulations to protect wetlands. It is important to respect the protective strip of 10 meters. Wetlands are ecosystems that provide a service to the entire population. If we start playing in this environment, we risk destroying it or altering it in the long term, ”says Claude Ferron, councilor for the Rivières district.
“The peat bog in this sector has a high ecological value,” also pleads Mariannick Mercure, councilor for the Forges district. Scientists tell us that we must protect wetlands and their surroundings. The protective strip is in direct relation to the humid environment. If it is degraded, it has an impact on the wetland it protects. (…) The environment division has indicated that the protection strip must be respected. ”
Several elected members of the Planning Advisory Committee (CCU), including Luc Tremblay, Michel Cormier, Daniel Cournoyer and Valérie Renaud-Martin, stressed that the committee had received a favorable recommendation for the project from the directors of the public service. The CCU members then evaluated the proposal and considered that the owner intended to build a swimming pool in the reserve area and not the wetland, which was considered reasonable by the committee.
“The environment division was also consulted on the matter. We were told that considering the specific features of the site, the reduction of the protection strip was possible under certain conditions ”, adds Valérie Renaud-Martin, councilor of the Carrefours district and vice-president of the CCU.
Ms. Renaud-Martin cites in particular the clear delimitation of the protection zone, as well as the inspection during and after the work. All drainage works should also be avoided.
The resolution was put to a vote. The opposition of Mariannick Mercure, Claude Ferron, Pierre-Luc Fortin, Dany Carpentier, Denis Roy and Pierre Montreuil was not sufficient to overturn the resolution, so that the project was approved eight to six.