Residents of Saint-Laurent are circulating a petition to keep a cheap grocer in their borough but zoning restrictions are making that complicated.
Sami Fruits owner Taleb Al-Asmar says when he and his father opened their store on Jules-Poitras, an industrial street of Saint-Laurent, they knew the zoning rules but were told they wouldn’t cause problems.
“A city official met with my father and said go ahead open, we’ll change the zoning later,” Al-Asmar told CJAD.
The bylaw says businesses in industrial areas can use 15 percent of their building for retail sales.
“When they installed themselves on the territory they knew full well what the rules were, all were saying is in fairness please follow the rules,” Alan Desousa, the borough mayor said.
“I hope somebody at Sami Fruits realizes this is not the Wild West, other companies are good corporate citizens and respect the rules. I would hope their lawyers will say; hey guys get with it,” he continued.
But Taleb Al-Asmar says 2500 residents have signed a petition to keep them there, because they want produce at an affordable price.
“Health Canada even wrote a letter that I should be there because that area needs a fruits and vegetables place in walking distance because a lot of them are under the poverty line.”
Al-Asmar says his company also has a shuttle service that picks up elderly people in the area so they can shop at their location.