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How bylaw changes will protect Montreal-area golf courses from development

The Country Club of Montreal, an 18-hole golf course in Saint-Lambert, has been around for over a century.

It’s now also part of a sweeping interim control bylaw by the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) that aims to protect golf courses in and around the greater Montreal area from future development.

“The town of Saint-Lambert owns two golf courses, a nine-hole and an 18-hole,” said Saint-Lambert Mayor Pascale Mongrain. “We’ve been wanting — and the citizens of our town have been asking — for permanent protection of those two big pieces of land.”

The Country Club of Montreal and Golf Saint-Lambert were added to the growing list of courses protected by the interim control bylaw.

They join eight others that are already included in the freeze. Those are Golf Beloeil, the Candiac Golf Club, Dorval Golf, the Mascouche Golf Club, the former Rosemère Golf Club, the Le Boisé Club in Terrebonne, Mascouche Golf, Ste-Rose Golf in Laval, and the Boucherville Golf Club.

But the CMM announced Tuesday an amendment to the temporary bylaw — five of the courses will now be 70 per cent protected, at minimum.

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The other 30 per cent can be purchased by the municipality to develop.

“When I say development, it’s not necessarily housing or apartments, though the needs are huge,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. “It can be also for a development of a park, maybe a school, or other infrastructure.”

Plante added there is nothing stopping the municipalities from buying 100 per cent of the land.

The CMM also reiterated its call to the province for more funding, so that it can provide cities with the money to buy land for conservation.

“Our program funds cities that want to buy a piece of land for conservation, so that money will serve to finance it,” CMM executive director Massimo Iezzoni said.

The interim control bylaw now protects 460 hectares of green space.

Plante said it’s part of the overall goal of protecting 30 per cent of the metropolitan area by 2030.

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