Charter File

Arrondissement de Saint-Laurent

Citizens are complaining about the operations of a nearby gardening center.

• Excessive noise due to heavy machinery and fork lift operation.

• Dust mainly emanating from soil heaps and other products sold in bulk.

• Noise, vibration and dust when large garden stones are loaded and during sifting operations.

• Activities outside of normal business hours.

Our enquiry confirms several issues. In our view, mitigating measures could be implemented in order to reduce nuisances for the nearby residents. We discuss with the Borough who confirms its willingness to intervene with the business, in accordance with the regulation that provides for nuisance, cleanliness, storage and standard business hours of operation.

There follows numerous exchanges and meetings between the Borough and the business owners with a view to adopt an action plan. The OdM closely monitors the status of the case and keeps communications open between the citizens and the Borough. The business agrees to bring changes to its operations. Among the numerous measures taken, we cite the following:

• Establishing a boundary around a sensitive zone near the neighbouring dwellings: operations and traffic therein are reduced to a minimum.

• Adopting a plan to ward off traffic from the neighbouring dwellings.

• Relocating the heaps of large garden stones away from the dwellings and ceasing this type of operation once all the stones are sold.

• Covering the heaps of soil and other products sold in bulk in order to reduce the dust.

• Ceasing the sifting operation when all products on site are sifted.

• Replacing some of the noisy equipment.

• Providing guidelines to suppliers ensuring that business hours are complied with and that noise is reduced during unloading operations.

• Providing guidelines to employees to enforce the action plan.

The Borough keeps a very close eye on the implementation in the action plan and notifies us of its progress. It also meets with the impacted citizens. During this meeting to which our office is invited, the citizens submit their observations, comments and suggestions.

Follow-ups and visits take place in 2015 and 2016: in light of the citizens’ comments regarding the noted improvements and the issues that are still at stake, the action plan is adjusted.

The citizens confirm significant improvements during the summer of 2016: some issues were fully resolved, others were greatly mitigated. Compliance with the action plan is not always perfect but the situation has significantly improved. In this context, the Borough deems that a strict follow-up is no longer required and that starting in 2017, it will only intervene on an ad-hoc basis, as required.

In light of the citizens’ comments and subsequent information, we therefore close this file.

We wish to point out the constructive cooperation from both the Borough and the targeted business: the sound interventions of the former and the openness of the latter to change its operations have helped improve the quality of life of the area’s citizens, which we hope will be in a sustainable way.

We apologize but this Website is available in French only.