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‘Go back to the drawing board’: Pointe-Claire residents bash proposed changes to Village Code

Pointe-Claire residents opposed to changes to the Village code
WATCH: The city of Pointe-Claire is looking to make some big changes to its village. It wants to change the local code and zoning bylaws to allow for higher buildings. In some cases, the new structures could be three stories high and as Tim Sargeant reports, not everyone is thrilled.

Angry Pointe-Claire residents are asking the mayor to not go through with proposed changes to the Village Code.

“I want the city to go back to the drawing board,” said Pointe-Claire resident Linda De Witt.

The council announced on Tuesday it would limit the height of buildings in the Village to only three storeys, down from an original proposal of up to six storeys.

READ MORE: The Pioneer in Pointe-Claire can be demolished: Quebec Superior Court

But people argue that’s not enough, saying the move would change the Village — an area known for being quaint and historical — for the worse.

“It still doesn’t meet the basic requirement of the people that want the village to stay on ‘village scale’ with two-storey buildings, which is historically how it’s developed,” said Joan Dyer who lives in the Village.

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“I see this Village Code as a Trojan Horse.”

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Residents like Dyer worry that the proposed zoning changes will bring more condo development to the area.

Could Pointe-Claire soon look different?
Could Pointe-Claire soon look different?

Pointe-Claire mayor John Belvedere defended the council’s choice, saying there is a need to add housing and to ensure the vitality of businesses in the area.

“There’s an economic thing behind it, too,” Belevedere said.

“Land is expensive. The more units you can get per building will reduce the overall cost, so rent will be lower. There will be more people sharing the taxes… It’s definitely not only condos.”

Pointe-Claire Village site for archeological dig
Pointe-Claire Village site for archeological dig

The mayor further explained that every building must have a first floor dedicated to commercial use.

Belvedere is confident that the council has heard residents. He says that the amendments to the Village Code are based on the suggestions of those who participated in public consultations last year.

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

But some don’t agree and accuse the council of playing games.

“This smoke-and-mirrors game that we’re playing… ‘we’re going to change this height from here down to here, no,'” Deborah Fairchild told council.

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“Nobody is buying it; we’re not stupid people. You build what you want to build and you’re going to destroy the entire character of the Village.”

The council will discuss people’s suggestions and whether they make amendments to their proposal. They will also decide on a date for another public consultation.