Riel Place Developer Responds to Allegations


Fw 1 Ste  Agathe Development Plan Meets Public Criticism Pic
The Riel Place Condominium in Ste. Agathe Brenda Sawatzky

Last month, in an article entitled “Ste. Agathe Development Plan Meets Public Criticism,” we reported on a dispute involving condo residents in Ste. Agathe, a new developer working on a development plan for an adjacent parcel of land, and the RM council. In that article, local residents made several claims about the original developer of the Riel Place Condominium, Martin Ritchot.

Ritchot was not given an opportunity by The Citizen to respond to a number of key allegations shared by Ste. Agathe residents pertaining to the Riel Place Condominium. Ritchot firmly contends that the information from those residents contains factual inaccuracies which need to be corrected.

Ritchot points out that the developer of the Riel Place Condominium wasn’t him personally, but rather the Riel Place Corporation. While he is the principal owner of that corporation, he says it is not correct to refer to him as the developer.

He also refutes any claims that the drainage issues on the condo property, as well as those affecting the residents to the north, are in any way the responsibility of the Riel Place Corporation. The faulty drain and the seven-foot reeds, Ritchot says, are both connected to a ditch that lies within a municipal easement and is the RM’s responsibility to maintain.

To his knowledge, the only incident where water collected on the developed property occurred this past spring. He states that it occurred as a result of a snow removal contractor, hired by the condo board, who ploughed the excess snow into drainage swales and that this could have been easily avoided. Therefore, it was an operational matter, not a drainage issue.

As to promises that were made of a mirror-image 16-unit condo building, Ritchot says nothing could be further from the truth. He states that he did not meet any of the purchasers and made no such assurances to any of the owners at the time of purchase.

Since that time, he says, the Riel Place Corporation has had numerous conversations with the condo board regarding their concerns. He adds that they entered into an agreement in February 2017 that settled all outstanding issues.

Finally, in deference to the timing of the separation of the two adjoining lots, Ritchot indicates that the property subdivision occurred prior to the commencement of the existing building, not afterward.

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