Proposed Pointe-Claire Village zoning changes attract controversy

Click to play video 'Pointe-Claire residents opposed to changes to the 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. Tim Sargent reports. – Jan 22, 2020

Some big changes are in the works for the commercial jewel of Pointe-Claire.

City council wants to increase the height of buildings along Lakeshore Road to three stories from two.

The ground floors would be reserved for commercial businesses while the upper floors could be used for residential units.

The mayor insists its the best way to help the village evolve while preserving the historic charm of the area.

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

John Belvedere says attracting new residents will encourage people to shop locally and help hedge against the competition of online shopping and large retail stores.

“People do not want to take their cars if they don’t have to. They want to be living close to businesses. So that’s how villages survive,” the mayor told Global News.

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Click to play video 'Could Pointe-Claire soon look different?' Could Pointe-Claire soon look different?
Could Pointe-Claire soon look different? – Dec 6, 2019

Some business owners agree and welcome the idea of new residential development in the village, as long as it’s not excessive.

“We already have people in the Village who are our customers, so the more the merrier,” Kerri MacFarlane-Hobé, manager at Lingerie DEBra told Global News.

“Any small business, it’s good to have more clients.”

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

It’s a position shared by others.

“I like to keep it the same way that it is. We have the church and everything,” Dr. Stephanie Le Dao, owner of Dent Blanche Dental Clinic, told Global News.

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The Pointe-Claire Village is considered a destination area for many people — both for locals and those from out of town.

Lakeshore Road is lined with independent shops, bistros and other unique stores. And the area is only a couple blocks from the shores of Lac Saint-Louis, adding to its charm.

Some residents fear that the historical value will be ruined if the mayor allows condominiums to be built.

“It’s going to create all kinds of problems of traffic and congestion and construction which can be very harmful for businesses there,” Andrew Noël Swidzinski of the Pointe-Claire Heritage Preservation Society told Global News Tuesday night.

Nothing is a done deal yet, though. More public consultations are required before any final plan is approved.