Disturbing megaproject at Owl’s Head

The development of a real estate megaproject of 495 luxury housing units on the flanks of the iconic Mount Owl’s Head, on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, is creating more and more concern among environmentalists and local residents.

Owl’s Head on the Lake, a $ 250 million project, is supported by several big names from Quebec Inc., including Montreal real estate mogul Vincent Chiara and David Bensadoun, CEO of Aldo.

Among its promoters, we also find Michael Zakuta, a businessman active in real estate who has already been in the news in connection with the illegal cutting of a hundred trees in Estrie in the 2010s.



courtesy


Screenshot, courtesy Yannick Beaupertuis

Owl’s Head sur le lac received $ 31.6 million in assistance from Quebec, of which $ 25.6 million was non-reimbursable.

The show J.E, presented by our Bureau of Investigation this evening, at 7 p.m., on TVA, lifts the veil on the impact of this residential complex, as well as other projects in an area highly prized by the wealthy of Quebec. The pandemic had the effect of exploding real estate values ​​near Lake Memphremagog.

In May, the president of the organization Memphrémagog Conservation inc. (MCI), Robert Benoit, made a public outing to denounce what he described as “carnage”: the construction of a road in Mount Owl’s Head to allow the construction of luxury properties at altitude.

“When I got there [au printemps passé], I thought I was dreaming. It was 300-foot walls that were being blown up. It didn’t make any sense. You have to see it to believe it, ”he denounces.



Biologist Marie-Josée Auclair and Jean Gaudet, a citizen, last spring on a construction site for the Owl's Head project on the lake.

Photo courtesy, Robert Benoit

Biologist Marie-Josée Auclair and Jean Gaudet, a citizen, last spring on a construction site for the Owl’s Head project on the lake.

A survey conducted by the Owl’s Head Owners Association obtained by our Bureau of Inquiry reveals that more than half of the area’s residents are concerned about the new development.

In an interview, Yannick Beaupertuis, one of the brokers responsible for the Owl’s Head project, however praised a project of “ soft resort “Supposed to be” in harmony with nature and the people “.

“We took the orientation of environmental awareness,” he said.

The CAQ member for Orford, Gilles Bélanger, was involved in the project from the start by chairing the company that bought the ski resort, while being a shareholder. In an interview he gave us, however, he assured that he left the ship in June 2018.



Louise Gratton and Jean Gaudet, an Estrian couple concerned about the construction of a wide road on Mount Owl's Head.

Photo courtesy, Robert Benoit

Louise Gratton and Jean Gaudet, an Estrian couple concerned about the construction of a wide road on Mount Owl’s Head.

“I withdrew along the way because we did not have quite the same vision,” he explained, suggesting that he disapproved of certain decisions on access to water and construction in altitude in the mountain.

He described the current project as a “playground” for wealthy business people.

“Is it going to be accessible to the public? Not sure, ”he predicted.

Not to be missed, all the details on the show J.E broadcast on TVA, Friday evening at 9 p.m.

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