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Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough rejects controversial seniors’ home proposal

Click to play video: 'Plante blasts Beis over controversial development project in Pierrefonds' Plante blasts Beis over controversial development project in Pierrefonds
A political storm is brewing over a new seniors' home that's being planned in Pierrefonds. The project involves building a large residence for the elderly that requires the partial razing of a forest. As Tim Sargeant reports, the plan has Montreal's mayor mayor outraged – Feb 8, 2021

The ink had barely dried on a zoning change request in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough and already the plan was coming under fire.

But during a council meeting on Monday, the borough decided to reject the controversial proposal to build a 349-unit seniors’ home in a forested area near George Springate Park.

The project would have sacrificed a portion of the trees.

Borough Mayor Jim Beis said the council came to a decision after studying the environmental impact and people’s feedback, adding that the administration was simply following the democratic process.

“Just like we do for many, many files in the borough. I don’t know how it works in other boroughs but that’s how we do it here,” Beis said, taking a jab at the Plante administration.

“They want to do politics with this file, they never got in touch with us to discuss.”

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante took to her Twitter account to denounce the idea, writing on Feb. 7, “We’re in 2021, not 1950.”

“It’s about finding the right spot, and in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, there’s a ton of spaces where he can actually build a very good project for seniors,” the mayor said during a Zoom press conference on Monday afternoon.

Read more: Montreal will hold online public consultations over Grand Parc de L’Ouest plans

During council, Beis said he wants to work with the central city in order to protect the land.

“Just to be clear, this is a property that we have tried to have purchased by the city of Montreal on occasion and we will continue to follow that path to ensure that once and for all this property is protected,” Beis said.

Beis said he will also continue to work with developers in order to find an appropriate spot for a much-needed seniors residence, one that respects the borough’s environmental plan.

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