Legal battle begins for lake shore trail
The elected officials voted for the lifting of the oppositions. The owners (including the CEO of Nestlé and the artist Shania Twain) could go to the Federal Court.
By Stephanie Arboit
March 25, 2021
A first step had been taken at the end of 2019, with the investigation of the first third (approximately 700 m) of the path along the shores of the lake, expected in La Tour-de-Peilz since the 2010 vote. elected officials voted without discussion the credit of 120,000 francs. to remove 23 opposition, thus bringing the project in a 2 E phase, the legal battle.
This sum includes lawyers' fees, because "it is certain that the opponents will go to the Federal Court (TF)", hammered in recent years the trustee (PLR) Alain Grangier. Which has spared no efforts to finally make this project happen, meeting many times since 2018 with the owners concerned. For this "tenacity", he had been widely praised by the left.
Among the opponents are the CEO of Nestlé, Mark Schneider, the singer Shania Twain, but also the La Becque artist residency and the former head of Urbanism of La Tour-de-Peilz, retired since 2017.
In 2012, the latter was targeted (as well as two municipal authorities at the time) by a letter from the Rives du Lac association and municipal councilors, who considered that an alleged "collusion between private and public interests" immobilized the project. So much so that in September 2013, the Council of State had ordered the City "to act without stopping".
But the Boélands will still have to be patient: according to the current head of Town Planning, the procedure could last three years in the event of recourse to the TF. And it is not in the end guaranteed "that justice will decide in favor of the realization of the road", specifies the report of the commission which studied the question.
On the other hand, the notice underlines, in bold, that the trail will not be open to everyone: “People with reduced mobility, in wheelchairs, with a walker or stroller will not be able to use it. " “Like a mountain path,” explains Alain Grangier.
Engineer fees to raise walls
In addition to the 70,000 fr. legal fees, the notice of lifting of oppositions also includes 20,000 fr. civil engineer fees.
Explanation: the trail could have been done on properties where the State has rights of way. Alain Grangier pleaded to pass on the contrary on the riprap of the lake: "Otherwise it would have been necessary in some places to create stairs of nearly 3 m to climb on the land concerned and go down to the edge of the lake." Her solution came through thanks to the support of Jacqueline de Quattro, then State Councilor.
Therefore, the route, below certain properties, "represents the most respectful solution for the private sphere", argues the notice. Nevertheless, “on a case-by-case basis”, walls could be raised.
This is the reason for the civil engineering costs for the City, explains Alain Grangier. Take an example: "In front of the artist residences of La Becque, if the wall is raised, it will also be necessary to raise the terrace behind." History that passers-by cannot enter private homes or have a direct view in their gardens, but that residents continue to enjoy the panorama of the lake.
The notice also provides for 20,000 fr. for environmental studies, because several oppositions mention damage to biotopes. "I discovered the presence of the viperine snake in the area," says Alain Grangier, yet a fine connoisseur of the port and its surroundings. We will therefore put up explanatory signs, so that no one panics when they see one. "