After four years of struggle following floods, Pierrefonds man cleared to rebuild

For Andre Lavigne, it’s been a tough four years.

“Four years of hell, basically,” he said. Lavigne lives on Gouin Boulevard in Pierrefonds, one of the hardest hit regions on the island of Montreal by the floods of 2017.

As Lavigne relocated to a recreational vehicle parked in his front yard to sort his situation out, he watched in frustration as a changing regime of regulations and standards coupled with red tape to put off efforts to rebuild his home.

“I’ve designed five houses to build here. They keep changing the rules, changing the laws,” he said. His land straddles the 20-year flood zone, meaning he can only build on the half of it closest to the street – and he has another problem: up until just recently he said his land was classified as falling within a special intervention zone (ZIS).

“That’s what put a stop to the rebuilding. Under the decree I can build in the 20-year zone, which is this, but the ZIS was the problem,” he said.

But recently he said he received some good news: a letter saying that his property no longer fell under the ZIS, and that he would be allowed to rebuild within a time window between March and June.

Neither the borough mayor nor a provincial government spokesperson returned comment requests made by CTV News.

Lavigne is now focussed on getting permits from the borough of Pierrefonds so he can rebuild.

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