WINNIPEG, Manitoba — A Grand Marais cottage owner says he feels “violated” after discovering the RM of St. Clements had cleared part of his property without permission to make way for an RV park, the Winnipeg Sun reported.
Bob Lamoureux and his wife Darlene went out to their cottage last Saturday to find 30,000 square feet of their land cleared. “It’s basically clear cut. They left all the wood chips laying on the ground,” Lamoureux told the Sun.
The couple bought the cottage in the community, about 85 km northeast of Winnipeg near Grand Beach Provincial Park, about a decade ago. They also own 36 acres of land behind it. Due to confusion over where the property lines are, the municipality cleared the trees and bush, believing the land was theirs, the Sun reported.
“I feel violated. We had plans to subdivide that land,” Lamoureux told the Winnipeg Sun, adding the RV park clearing cut right through about seven possible cottage lots. “If they go ahead with an RV park, they’re going to devalue our property.”
D.J. Sigmundson, St. Clements’ chief administrator, said the municipality has been working on a project for several months to attract tourists. The plan includes a visitor centre, heritage space and retail shops. It also includes an RV park, and Sigmundson confirmed they began clearing about two weeks ago.
The RM is investigating whether the Lamoureux’ private property was violated.
“If we did inadvertently go on to his land … certainly we’ll make this right by him, re-plant trees if we need to,” Sigmundson said.
Because the land is filled with brush, Sigmundson said property lines are not so easy to decipher.
“Property lines aren’t like the City of Winnipeg,” he said. “If it’s a mistake that we made, we’ll certainly do the right thing.”
Work has been halted until property lines are confirmed.
“We’re taking it very seriously and trying to make it right,” Sigmundson said.