17% of woodlots in Quebec City affected by real estate projects

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17 % of wooded areas in Quebec City affected by real estate projects

The Marchand administration had asked for a portrait of urban woodlands in order to better reconcile development with environmental protection.

A woodlot must have an area slightly smaller than an American football field to be listed by the City of Quebec.

Quebec City unveils the results of its study on the state of its urban woodlands. Among the 600 woodlots listed on the territory of the city, 50 will be affected by a real estate project.

Indeed, 17% of the wooded area within the urbanization perimeter is currently affected by a development project (562 hectares out of 3,249 hectares, spread over 50 woodlots), indicates the City.

These 562 hectares are divided into 30 real estate projects, i.e. 5 industrial projects and 25 residential projects. This is a development site still under study.

It is on these projects that the City has real power to ;approval, a discretionary power of approval, specified Guillaume Neveu, project director for the City.

“It's not 562 hectares of lost land, it's 562 hectares affected. »

— Guillaume Neveu, Project Director for the City

Guillaume Neveu, project director for the City.

For each of these projects, three reconciliation scenarios are possible: full, partial or zero conservation.

Various analysis criteria are taken into account to guide the level of reconciliation, such as the presence of waterways or wetlands, the presence of protected wildlife or plant habitats, the steep slopes, the ecological quality of the woodlands, the zoning in force and the needs for housing and industrial spaces, specifies the City.

If the City deems that the wooded area should be kept entirely, it will ask the developer to build on the non-wooded part of the land.

Most projects will be partially kept, according to Guillaume Neveu. Zero protection would be much rarer, he said.

The wooded areas affected by the tramway project are included in this inventory. However, they are not counted among those who will be affected since the project office has already announced compensation measures.

“As part of the tramway project, the City has decided to set up its own compensation mechanisms. »

— Guillaume Neveu, Project Director for the City

In the Chaudière sector, where there will be a tram operating center. A wooded area of ​​3.62 hectares (ha), or 36,247 square meters (m2), will be razed to build the tramway garage. Two lots totaling an area of ​​4.5 ha (45,000 m2) will be kept in the Chaudière sector.

The tram operation and maintenance center will be built on Mendel Street, near Le Gendre pole and the IKEA store.

The fate of the wooded Joinville, which is strongly criticized by citizens, is also not included in the thirty or so projects affected.

In this case, the owner of the land was fully entitled to raze part of the wooded area, replies Marie-Josée Asselin.

Councilor Marie-Josée Asselin (file photo)

A cross-party committee responsible for the issue was made up of several elected officials.

The exercise, which lasted a year, first made it possible to find a definition of what a wooded area is. We started from afar, we started from a concept of woodland that was poorly defined […]. We had to identify what the urban woodlands were, mentioned Marie-Josée Asselin, councilor for the Loretteville-Les Châtels district and responsible for sustainable development and the environment on the executive council.

Definition: A woodlot is a natural space covered with trees, geographically delimited, located inside the urbanization perimeter and having a minimum area of 0.5 hectares.

A woodlot must be a little smaller than an American football field to be listed.

The Comité des boisés concludes that 14% of the surface area of ​​the urbanization perimeter (excluding watercourses) is made up of wooded areas (3,249 hectares out of 23,689 hectares). This area represents a total of 600 woodlots.

A wooded area of ​​Quebec.

Among them, 146 woodlands are inaccessible and disconnected from urban networks, including roads, sidewalks or trails.

288 are physically accessible but are on private land.

another 166 woodlots are located in municipal parks. These wooded areas are accessible within a 10-minute walk for 59% of the population.

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