Coptic church expansion plans divide Pointe-Claire neighbourhood
A plan by a Coptic church in Pointe-Claire to renovate an abandoned school and turn it into a church hall has residents of the southeastern corner of the city divided.
The St. Peter and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church is planning on razing the school building and put in a hall that includes underground parking, a reception hall and a gymnasium. Some residents have reservations.
“My concern is that they will use it, rent it out, use it for social events,” said Anna Merulla, who lives near the church.
She and others worry that the expansion will cause issues with traffic and noise.
Church representatives told Global News that the plans are scaled down from another project that the city council refused in 2014.
The new plans do not involve expanding the use of the church’s property beyond its current membership, said Mayor John Belvedere.
“They’ve made it clear to us, and they’re willing to put it in writing, that it would only be for their members, the 400 people,” he said.
Belvedere said signatures are already being gathered that could trigger a referendum on the issue. Currently, Pointe-Claire City Council is determining whether to change the zoning of the plot. They are expected to render a decision later this month.
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