July 6, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Charlevoix | The Quebec Blue Lagoon project is creating waves

Charlevoix |  The Quebec Blue Lagoon project is creating waves

(Quebec) The announcement of the “Geologon” project, a vast subdivision of 600 housing units around a massive heated swimming pool, is creating waves in Charlevoix‌ and causing concern among many elected officials.

Posted at 7:00 p.m.

Gabriel Beland

Gabriel Beland
Press

At least one mayor has decided to stand publicly against the project. She hopes her vacation will lead to a discussion about the future of this popular tourist destination.

“This is the first time in my political life that I have come out against a project. This is the first time. But that is not happening here. In my opinion, this is unacceptable, “said Claudette Simard, former Saint-Urban prefect and current mayor.

The current prefect of MRC de Charlevoix said he was “a little surprised at the way it was announced”. Pierre Tremble, mayor of Les Abolitions, wants to keep some reserve so he is perfect. But according to him, the project raises “questions” and deserves to be discussed among local elected officials.

The June 7 announcement surprised many Charlevians. That day, Geologon’s promoter announced plans to eventually build 300 double chalets in Petit-Rivier-Saint-Franకోois. These 600 units are intended for Airbnb type short term lease.

The promoter promised to build a “lake” on the ground, bordering Route 138 and the high-voltage line from Hydro-Quebec on the Principal Street axis. On this floor, the shallow pool should be heated to 38 ° C throughout the year using a clean energy mixture, but still connected to the power grid. According to the promoter, the technology is going to be patented.

Image provided by Geologon

The subdivision is not in the heart of the village, but north of Route 138.

“We want to prove that we can create a village of 2,000 people with complete autonomy from the power of the sun and the earth,” Louis Massicott, who owns similar projects in Laurentians (Saint-Adele), explained in an interview. , In Estrie and Lanaudière.

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On the day of the announcement, the municipality said it welcomed the project “with enthusiasm” and councilors were “delighted”.

“Concerned”

However, this project did not reach all citizens.

“There is concern among the population, not only in Petit-Riviere, but also in By-Saint-Paul,” said Michael Pilot, mayor of By-Saint-Paul.

I’m not the mayor of Petit-Rivier, but like everyone else, it raises concerns about the environment and about preserving the role of Charlevoix. We are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We have concerns.

Michael Pilot, By-Saint-Paul Mayor

He hopes the project will be discussed at the MRC’s Council of Mayors. The question is very simple: “How do we want Charlevoix to look in the future?” Asks Mr. Pilot.

The mayor of Saint-Urbain said he was “stuck” with a press release from Petite-Rivière-Saint-François.

“We have been working with Petit-Riviera for many years to manage incredible large-scale projects for the municipality,” said Claudette Simard, referring specifically to the Le Massif Resort or Club Med opening.

“And there, the project comes, the MRC is not even informed, not contacted, the elected official is blamed. Terms may allow for such a project to be done, but it seems to me that we should discuss it together. ⁇

“We don’t need that”

She wonders if this project is “necessary”. “It simply came to our notice then. All we needed in our area was to welcome new people, workers, homes … well I think. I speak with my heart. Beyond me. I was really disappointed. ⁇

The addition of these 300 double chalets is not uncommon for a municipality with approximately 810 residents. Prior to the last municipal election, the municipality estimated that 300 houses would be built on its territory in 12 years. Here, the promoter expects to set up 600 units in a few years.

The mayor of Petit-Rivier-Saint-Franois wants to reassure rivals: his support for the project is conditional on obtaining all necessary approvals from the promoter and complying with the development plan.

“But [le promoteur] Its advertising, launched a promotion to sell its land. There, people understood that we had given final approval, explained Jean-Guy Bouchard. However this is not the case. He has to cross all the steps and he does. ⁇

On its site, the promoter indicated that nearly 60% of the 150 double rental chalets had already been sold in the first phase of the project from Tuesday.

The Quebec Ministry of Environment and Fight Against Climate Change (MELCC) could not say whether permission was needed for the “geologon”, which currently covers 120,000 square feet. “MELCC has not received any request for authorization and has not been informed directly about these projects,” a spokesman said.