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