June 15, 2018 11:54 am
Updated: June 15, 2018 1:10 pm

Pointe-Claire residents furious at Walton mall housing development project meeting

The strip mall where the proposed 24 townhouses would be built is located on Walton avenue. Wednesday June 6, 2018.

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Dozens of residents spoke out at a demolition committee meeting in Pointe-Claire on Thursday to oppose a housing development project that would replace the Walton mall.

An overflow room was opened to accommodate all the residents who showed up.

Gerald Sztuka, son of former councillor Edward Sztuka, attended the meeting with a family whom he says bought a store within the last few years.

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READ MORE: Pointe-Claire proposed housing development in lieu of Walton mall upsets residents

“In 2011, 2010, 2012, when this was proposed, I believe in my heart that the planning department could have put a sign saying, ‘We are eventually going to turn this into a residential area,'” he said.

“These poor people bought a store and the city is going to say, ‘We didn’t force them to buy a store.’ We know that. … Couldn’t there have been a sign put on that building?”

“They would have read it and said, ‘I’m not going to buy this store. What future is there here for us?’ They would have gone somewhere else. Now, they’ve lost everything.”

Sztuka is demanding better transparency from the municipal government and proposed a small area for commercial businesses to continue their work.

The project would turn the strip mall into 24 townhouses at 110 Walton Ave., known for its single-family homes.

WATCH BELOW: Pointe-Claire mayor peppered with questions over the Pioneer

Naomi Lane, coordinator of the planning advisory committee in Pointe-Claire, pointed out there were two options for the Walton mall site: townhouses or single-family detached homes.

“Both options were permitted and the zoning bylaw was modified to permit both of those options,” she said.

READ MORE: Condo project at former Green Hornet bar site draws Pointe-Claire residents’ ire

Resident Genny Gomes-Farrugia argued the housing project should be smaller to allow for a green space, “as well as some necessities for some of the seniors in the area.”

“I would like to see somebody come and develop the project and give it some residential, some commercial, and some green space as well,” she told Global News.

“We’re losing the green space and the Walton park that’s there.”

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire mayor responds to residents about future of the Pioneer

People living nearby insist they are concerned the new buildings won’t fit with the area’s style and would create too much traffic.

A second demolition committee meeting is scheduled for July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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