Not everyone’s a fan of winter car shelters in Rosemère
Rosemère mayor Eric Westram, rear centre, listens to residents’ comments and complaints during the 45-minute open session preceding town council’s regular 7:30 pm meeting on Jan. 13. Photo: Martin C. Barry
Martin C. Barry

Recent modifications to the Town of Rosemère’s regulations stipulating dates when winter car shelters can be put up and taken down motivated two town residents to complain during the Jan. 13 town council meeting that they find the shelters unsightly and might just as soon not see them at all.

Shelter period extended

In a change made in December by Rosemère town council, by-law 801 was amended in order to allow “Tempo” winter car shelters, as well as shelters covering private sidewalks, to be kept up for about a month longer at the end of winter.

Whereas a previous version of the by-law required property owners to take down the shelters by April 1, the amended by-law will now allow them to remain up until May 1. The earliest date each year when the shelters can be put up is Nov. 1.

They disagreed

“The reason we came here is that we don’t agree,” said one of the residents, adding that they were concerned about some winter car shelter owners who don’t maintain their shelters properly and don’t always respect the deadline for removal.

According to Mayor Eric Westram, the town has been extending the deadline for removal for the past three years as the winter-time weather has lingered longer than usual, leaving ice behind and the shelters more difficult to remove.

“I think we postponed the deadline at least twice,” said Westram. Still, the woman’s spouse noted that even if the weather is good by the end of April, some people may still delay taking down their car shelters.

A form of pollution

“It’s a form of visual pollution, especially in certain neighbourhoods,” he said. “And now you’re going to extend it to the end of the month of April, so it’s certain that people are going to go to the end of April. Whereas the old way, you gave them permission on a case-by-case basis.”

The two residents maintained that after checking the rules in nearby municipalities, few except for Rosemère allow winter car shelters to be kept in place to the end of April. The exceptions are Saint-Eustache and the City of Laval.

They suggested Rosemère should change the date to remove the car shelters to April 15, as a compromise between March 31 and April 30.

No change in policy

In an interview with the North Shore News immediately after the council meeting, Mayor Westram said the town will be continuing with the extension to the end of April for at least another year or two in order to assess the impact.

“We’ve adopted this change and it’s with us for a year or two, and then we can look at it again,” he said. “Because obviously if the winters keep on going the way they have the last few years, I think it’s a good change we’ve made.

“People have a hard time removing the plastic on those shelters because remains stuck to it,” he added. “But if things change then we’ll adopt a new ruling when it becomes necessary.”

Marsh boardwalk repairs

In other business during the meeting, the mayor and councillors formally approved a $976,000 loan and expenditure to cover costs related to repairs to be carried out on the lengthy wooden boardwalk that crosses the Tylee Marsh.

As previously reported in the North Shore News, the footbridge was closed last summer after it became apparent the structure was deteriorating and had become potentially dangerous. Also during the meeting, the council approved a more than $3.5 million expenditure for the construction of a new chalet building along the riverbank at Charbonneau Park.

Bill 101 sign compliance

As an interesting aside, the town council’s Planning and Architectural Integration Committee gave its approval for a change to a commercial sign located above the Chaussures Yellow Shoes store at 390 Labelle Blvd.

According to town councillor Marie-Hélène Fortin who oversees the SPAI’s work, Quebec’s Office de Langue Française now requires businesses with English names to add descriptive information in French. As such, the Yellow logo above the Rosemère store must now also include the phrase “Depuis 1916.”