Ile d’Orléans: an illegal campsite resists at the tip of Argentenay

The Boy Scouts’ attempt to secure rights to this 36.8-acre property turns against them. After an initial failure last year, the review requested by the Commission comes to the same conclusion: the current use of the land is illegal.

The observed usage contradicts this [à la loi] which prohibits the use of land in an agricultural zone for purposes other than agriculture, reads a notice of non-compliance released on June 13. The Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ) warns of this. further checks are carried out […] to ensure compliance with the law.

Camping La Pointe is located in the heart of the forest at the tip of Argentenay.

Photo: Radio Canada

Salty fines

According to the Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities Protection Act, any violation of zoning is punishable by a fine. dollars pour le premier hectare de superficie en infraction et d’au plus 15000dollars pour chaque hectare ou fraction d’hectare additionnel”,”text”:”d’au moins 5000dollars pour le premier hectare de superficie en infraction et d’au plus 15000dollars pour chaque hectare ou fraction d’hectare additionnel”}}”>a minimum of $5,000 for the first hectare of injured area and a maximum of $15,000 for each additional hectare or fraction of an hectare.

In this case, the Boy Scouts of the District of Québec would be violating section 26 of the legal text on almost twenty hectares by carrying out commercial activities there. The organization currently rents out its site to the company Quatre natures, which manages Camping de la Pointe, an outdoor destination open to the public.

Attached by email that CPTAQ has not indicated when it will carry out the checks mentioned in its notice and whether fines will be imposed. An infringement file has been opened and is being processed by our investigative departmenthowever, the organization said.

What the law says

rule 26 : Except in the cases and conditions established by law […]no one may make a subdivision in a given agricultural area without the permission of the Commission.

Insufficient Evidence

Hoping to obtain an acquired rights clause allowing activities other than farming to be carried out, the District of Quebec Scouts claim that camping operations predated the enactment of the Act’s provisions and the creation of the committee in 1978.

You cannot claim an exceptionbut he answers CPTAQ.

After conducting its checks, the Commission only recognizes acquired rights over one hectare. Our research leads us to the conclusion that the rights you claim […] cannot be recognizedshe says of the additional territory claimed by the scouts.

At the time when the provisions of the law came into force, there was actually a commercial use of a campsite on the property in question. However, it has not been demonstrated that the full and effective use of the entire lot would have continued uninterrupted to date. »

A quote from Extract from the CPTAQ decision

The only ones commercial and residential law given to belong to boy scouts the residence, the swimming pool and the sanitary building, located at the entrance of the campsite. Sites developed on the rest of the country outside the recognized zone, as well as any other activity of commercial or holiday purposes are not permitted. Camping La Pointe has a hundred pitches.

The CPTAQ recognizes acquired rights in only one of the twenty acres at the Pointe campground. The sparse space, including a swimming pool and building, is contained within that acre, but there are few campsites there.

Photo: Radio Canada

At the moment, the Scouts du District de Québec intend to keep the campground managed by Quatre Natures operational this summer.

The organization declined to comment further this week and said it was consulting its legal advisers for further action. That’s what its president, Raphael Pelletier, says Young people Scouts and their access to the Pointe d’Argentenay area will be at the forefront of considerations for upcoming actions.

Yohann Moucheboeuf, owner of Quatre Natures and manager of Campsite Pointe, at least hopes it stays open for the summer season and can honor his reservations. He now leaves the dispute to the Boy Scouts’ lawyers CPTAQ.

From Huttopia to Quatre natures

To legalize camping, the scouts used a first way, the declaration of acquired rights.

According to the CPTAQyou still have the option to use another management channel. In addition, continue to exercise these non-agricultural uses [de l’hectare reconnu]an application for approval must be submitted to the Commission.

An application for a derogation for purposes other than agricultural use has previously been unsuccessfully attempted by the Île-d’Orléans MRC.

Four years ago, the commune of Saint-François-de-l’Île-d’Orléans and the MRCin association with the Boy Scouts, hoped to attract a major player in the resort business to boost the economy of the east of the island.

Most notably, the French multinational Huttopia had taken steps to open a holiday village at the tip of Argentenay.

The French multinational Huttopia wanted to settle at the head of Argentenay, but withdrew its project. This type of housing can be found at its location in Sutton, Quebec.

Photo: Huttopia

With the help of a former leader of the SepakHuttopia planned, among other things, to develop 130 camping units, including 95 luxury ready-to-camp facilities, a terrace, bar service and restaurant.

Facing long delays in obtaining the necessary permits and an outcry from citizens, the multinational pulled its project in late 2019 after six years of acquisition. That MRC however, had kept his request for exemption open CPTAQstill hoping to find a business partner.

The application was definitively rejected in January 2020, the commission denied any exploitation of recreational tourism at the tip of Argentenay. That MRC then withdrew, closing the file for the Commission and thereby preventing the preliminary opinion from becoming official case law in a final version.

As part of the process of MRC, the Commission had asked the Quebec District Scouts to provide a Statement of Acquired Rights, which had not been done. However, these rights were asserted to support the requested exemption from the applicable zoning.

It was not possible to obtain the comments of the prefect of the MRC of Île d’Orléans, Lina Labbé, also mayor of Saint-François. The latter favored the development of leisure tourism at the tip of Argentenay.

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