St. Laurent won't change zoning rules for discount grocer


The St. Laurent borough has indicated it will not change zoning restrictions to allow a discount grocer to do business in the industrial sector.

The owner of Sami Fruits, Taleb Al-Asmar, recently petitioned the borough for an exemption from the zoning rules — a request which was formally rejected by the borough's council at Wednesday night's meeting.

The rules state businesses in industrial areas can only use 15 percent of their building for retail sales.

A petition with 3,000 names had gone around urging the borough council to ensure the store stays where it is.

Al-Asmar had told CJAD that when he and his father opened their store on Jules-Poitras Blvd., they knew of the zoning rules in place, but were told they wouldn't have any problems changing them.

He now says it's impossible for it to continue at its current location if it has to limit its retail space, but vows not to close, even if he has to find another location.

Borough mayor Alan Desousa says it has a plan for the redevelopment of a fading industrial sector, and that it's sticking to it by not changing the rules.

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