Controversial bylaw could bring more development to Pointe-Claire’s Lakeshore Drive

Could Pointe-Claire soon look different?
The future of Pointe-Claire Village is at the centre of a heated debate. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

If the city has its way, the Pointe-Claire village could soon look a lot different.

Pointe-Claire city council proposed a controversial new motion which would see changes to the historic areas building code.

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The motion would modify the zoning to allow an increase in the number of floors and height of buildings on the waterfront main drag.

“That is going to be the end of this village as we know it,” Heart of Pointe-Claire member Stephane Licari said.

Licari and residents who live in the area say this opens the door to more condo developments like the highly contested Pioneer bar project.

“This is the city red carpeting the turf and the field and the bylaws so promoters can make money out of our village,” Licari said.

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The Pointe-Claire Historical Society worries these proposed changes will drastically change the aesthetic of the historical village.

“If this were to go through, it would fundamentally (change) this neighborhood and create traffic and construction,” Pointe-Claire Historical Society vice president, Andrew Swidzinski said.

Swidzinski would like to see the the character to the village be preserved, keeping the by-law as is allowing no more than two storey buildings with the exception of the three storey Pionneer building.

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City official say the move is part of the village revitalization project which was launched in 2016.

While there are fears of losing the historical aspect of the village but he city says.

“This revitalization must take into account the village’s history and sustainable development so that it can benefit current and future generations,” a statement read.

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Swidzinski says the Historical Society has learned there are four potential condo development projects in the works, including the Pioneer while the area is under a development freeze .

“This first development freeze that has ever been held above plus 40 degrees, because clearly they have been negotiating three other properties,” Swidzinski said.

Licari is worried this bylaw will cause the village to see the same fate as the Pioneer bar, which is set to be demolished after a Quebec superior court ruling.

“This is the worst nightmare, this is the Pioneer on steroids,” said.

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The bylaw is up for debate; public consultations will be held on Jan. 21.