Pointe-Claire approves Walton strip mall demolition but nixes townhouse development
The City of Pointe-Claire has approved a plan to demolish the Walton strip mall but stopped short of giving the green light to a contentious housing development that would replace it.
While the demolition is authorized, the mall can only be torn down once there is an approved plan for the space.
“At the end of the day, it’s a big change for the area,” said Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere.
“Can something definitely fit in there better? Possibly. That’s something that will have to be decided.”
The proposed project would have turned the strip mall into 24 townhouses on Walton Avenue in the Northview sector, an area known for its single-family homes.
The developers behind the residential project now have two options: they have 30 days to appeal the decision or six months to present a new project. If they choose to appeal but the townhouse project is once again rejected, they can still propose a new idea.
A group of residents asked the city last month to stop the project, saying the townhouses wouldn’t fit in with the area. They argue the residential project would lead to a lack of green space and businesses in the neighbourhood.
“It’s going to disrupt the look of our area,” Genny Gomes-Farrugia told Global News. “We have a special heritage, a special character in this area — it’s the old area of Pointe-Claire and the veterans’ area.”
Before the second demolition committee meeting on Thursday night, resident Patrick St-Louis said he was willing to buy the land at a higher price in order to prevent the housing development from moving forward.
“Right now, it looks ugly,” said St-Louis. “But the citizens need to have commerce that are close at hand like a depanneur and other proximity services.”
“That’s really what’s being killed with this project right now.”
Residents opposed to the housing development say they want the Walton land to retain its commercial zoning so they have access to nearby stores.
If a residential project is approved, they are asking for developers to only build single-family homes and keep the green space.
— with files from Global’s Elysia Bryan-Baynes, Gloria Henriquez and Rachel Lau
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