Charlevoix | The latest project in Quebec Blue Lagoon Amwaj

(Quebec) The announcement of “geoLAGON,” a vast subdivision of 600 condominiums around a massive heated swimming pool, has made waves in Charlevoix and worries many elected officials.

Posted at 7:00 am

Gabriel Byland

Gabriel Byland

Even at least one mayor decided to take a public stand against this project. She hopes an outing will spark a discussion about the future of this popular tourist spot.

“This is the first time in my political career that I have opposed a project. This is the first time. But here, it has not happened,” said the former Governor and current Mayor of Saint Urban, Claudette Simard, in an interview.

The current governor of MRC de Charlevoix says he is “a little surprised by the way it was announced”. Pierre Tremblay, mayor of Les Éboulements, wants to keep some reserves, because he is conservative. But according to him, this project raises “questions” and is worthy of discussion among local elected officials.

The June 7 announcement surprised many Charlevoise followers. On that day, the geoLAGON promoter announced his intention to build 300 double chalets in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François. These 600 units are in part for short-term Airbnb rentals.

The investor promises to build a “lake” on the land, bounded by Route 138 and a high voltage line from Hydro-Québec, at the Main Street axis. This shallow, above-ground pool will be heated year-round to 38°C using a mix of clean energy, but will still be connected to the electricity grid. The technology is about to be patented, again according to its promoter.

Photo provided by GEOLAGON

The division will not be in the heart of the village, but rather north of Route 138.

“We want to prove that we can create a village of 2,000 people, completely independent of the energy of the sun and the earth,” explains Louis Massicot, who has similar projects in the Laurentians (in Sainte-Adèle), in Estrie and Lanaudière.

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On the day of the announcement, the municipality said it welcomed the project “with enthusiasm,” with council members “delighted”.

“There is concern”

However, the project was also not received by all citizens.

“There is anxiety among the residents, not just in Petite-Rivieres, but even in Baie-Saint-Paul,” said Michael Bilott, mayor of Baie-Saint-Paul.

I am not the mayor of Petite-Rivière, but like everyone else this raises my concern about the environment, but also about the preservation of Charlevoix’s character. We are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We have concerns.

Michel Bilott, Mayor of Bay St Paul

He believes that this project should be discussed in the MRC’s Council of Mayors. The question is simple: “What do we want Charlevois to look like in the future?” asks Mr. Pilot.

The mayor of Saint-Urban said she was “shocked” by the press release from Petit-Riviere Saint-François.

“We have worked with Petite-Rivière for many years to implement incredible large-scale projects for the municipality,” says Claudette Simard, referring specifically to the resort of Le Massif or the opening of Club Med.

And there, this project arrived, the MRC was not informed, not even consulted, and he regrets the elected official. Regulations might allow them to do such a project, but it seems to me that we should have discussed it together. »

“We don’t need that”

She wonders if this project is “essential”. “We don’t need to. What we need in our area is to welcome newcomers, to have workers, housing…that’s what I think. I speak with my heart. Above my abilities. I am really frustrated.”

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Adding these 300 double chalets is no small feat for the municipality of 810 residents. Just before the last municipal elections, the municipality estimated that 300 homes were built on its territory in … 12 years. Here, the promoter hopes to erect 600 units within a few years.

  • In the end, the investor wants to install 300 ready-made double chalets in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François.

    Photo provided by GEOLAGON

    In the end, the investor wants to install 300 ready-made double chalets in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François.

  • In the end, the investor wants to install 300 ready-made double chalets in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François.

    Photo provided by GEOLAGON

    In the end, the investor wants to install 300 ready-made double chalets in Petite-Rivière-Saint-François.

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The mayor of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François wants to reassure opponents: his support for the project is conditional on obtaining all necessary permits from the developer and complying with the development plan.

” But [le promoteur] Publicity and promotion began to sell its land. There, people realized that we had given the final approval, as Jean-Guy Bouchard explained. But this is not the case. He has to go through all the steps, and he does. »

The promoter indicated on his site that since Tuesday he has sold nearly 60% of the 150 double rental chalets in the first phase of the project.

The Quebec Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MELCC) is currently unable to determine whether a “geoLAGON”, which must have an area of ​​120,000 square feet, will need a permit. A MELCC spokesperson notes that “MELCC has not received any license application and has not been directly informed of these projects.”

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