The legal saga between Ray-Mont Logistiques and the City of Montreal continues. The company, which has been operating a container terminal in Hochelaga for six months, is once again going to court to block a municipal by-law that has the effect of “harming or even preventing” its activities.
“While in recent years, the City has relied, unsuccessfully, on its regulations surrounding zoning and uses, today, the City is trying to rely on a modification of its regulations surrounding noise and nuisances in order to harm or even prevent activities, ”writes the Ray-Mont Logistiques group in a request for judicial review consulted by La Presse on Wednesday.
Essentially, the company accuses the City of imposing “unreasonable, discriminatory and abusive” standards that would aim to “prohibit or render impossible” the operation of the container terminal, in a recent change to the Noise and Nuisance By-law of the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve which was adopted at the beginning of May.
Ray-Mont Logistiques deplores in particular the borough’s desire to prohibit “the loading and unloading of containers carried out less than 100 m from land containing an inhabited place”, a directive which “goes against authorized uses on his land.
In its regulations, the borough stipulates that any industrial operator must “demonstrate that no vibration and no emission of odor, dust, noise, vapor or gas are perceptible outside the limits of the land”. For Ray-Mont Logistiques, this standard would be “impossible to respect”, especially since it “goes against the description of the uses in the zoning by-law”.
Loading and unloading maneuvers of containers by any type of vehicle would also now be “prohibited between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.” according to the regulations, which would make container terminal activities “inoperable” for “a large part of the day. “, accuses Ray-Mont Logistiques.
Called to react, the mayor of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and member of the mayor’s party, Pierre Lessard-Blais, argued Wednesday “that it is unacceptable for a company to seek to abolish the regulations that protect the population against noise. , dust and heat islands”. “The safety and well-being of the population must take precedence over the financial interests of a company. Like other companies in the sector, it is time for Ray-Mont Logistiques to assume its responsibilities and respect the neighborhood in which it is moving,” he said.
The company said on Wednesday that it had welcomed “with surprise and disappointment” the adoption “on the sly and without consultation” of the borough’s regulations. “By attempting to prohibit by by-law operations clearly permitted by our zoning, the borough is ignoring the decisions of the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal of Quebec which have confirmed the legality of our activities”, insists-t- She.
This new legal procedure adds to a long saga opposing Ray-Mont Logistiques to the Plante administration for several years.
From the outset, Ms. Plante and her team opposed the implementation of the Ray-Mont Logistiques project, refusing to issue the required permits. But justice had ruled in favor of the company: the land – a former steel mill – could be developed into an industrial project. The administration then indicated that it would respect the judgment.
The group of developer Charles Raymond is already suing the City for a third of a billion dollars because of the delay inflicted on construction. Work on the site finally began in March 2022, and the site has been operating since last November. Ray-Mont Logistiques first acquired the land of the former Canadian Steel foundry, between Hochelaga and Notre-Dame streets, in 2016.