West Island mayor says city is at an impasse with developer over zoning

Click to play video: 'Mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue says she’s in a zoning conflict over real estate development'
Mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue says she’s in a zoning conflict over real estate development
WATCH: The mayor says the city is locked in a battle with a developer over a coveted green space – Jun 30, 2021

The mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue says her city is in a conflict with a developer over how to build on a parcel of green space north of A40.

Paola Hawa says a section of the open field across the street from the future l’Anse-à-L’Orme REM train station where remnants of an old farmhouse remain is zoned industrial and the mayor wants to keep it that way.

But Hawa claims the owner, Grilli Property Group, wants a zoning change to residential to allow for high-density housing.

“They’ve told us directly they want it rezoned residential,” Hawa told Global News.

Hawa would like an industrial park with research and development offices and green industrial buildings to be built on the property claiming industrial buildings generate three times the revenue for the city compared to residential projects.

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“There is such a thing as having a responsibility toward or residents anyway. And this is in the best interest of our residents,” Hawa said.

Global News made repeated requests to Grilli inviting the company to respond to the mayor’s comments, but no response was received by the publishing deadline.

Hawa told Global News a financial reserve has been placed on the property, meaning the city could expropriate the land, but the mayor is hoping that won’t be necessary.

“It’s unfortunate. You know, it would be much better if we could work in partnership,” Hawa said.

One litigation lawyer told Global News if this case ends up in court, it could become very time-consuming.

“That’s also problematic. Problematic just as much for the developer as it is for the city that wants to see some of its projects realized,” Harry Dikranian, partner at Lapointe Rosenstein told Global News.

In the meantime, construction on the future l’Anse-à-l’Orme train station, directly across the street continues.

Click to play video: 'Montreal making room for massive green space in West Island'
Montreal making room for massive green space in West Island

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