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Dorval issues ban on new high-density housing projects

Click to play video: 'West Island city puts a freeze on future real estate developments' West Island city puts a freeze on future real estate developments
WATCH: Dorval has issued a temporary moratorium all new multi-level residential housing projects. The council is following in the steps of Pointe-Claire. It issued a similar ban last month. But as Global’s Tim Sargeant reports, the measures come at time when demand for residential properties is skyrocketing. – Mar 25, 2022

Dorval is the latest city in the West Island to issue a temporary moratorium on new high-density housing projects.

The mayor wants to draw up a new urban master plan before any new permits are issued.

The interim ban on new development, however, doesn’t apply to single-family homes, duplexes or triplexes. Any permits that have already been issued will be honoured.

Otherwise, all new requests for permits to build multi-level housing units will have to wait.

“We feel that we need to take control of what is going on and not let developers dictate what happens,” Marc Doret, the mayor of Dorval, told Global News.

In addition to the freeze on new housing starts, a temporary ban has also been issued on any kind of development, including commercial and industrial in a triangular area East of the Trudeau Airport, bordered by Côte-de-Liesse Road, Highway 20 and 55th Avenue.

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”A developer couldn’t sneak in quickly, present a plan and get a project going very quickly. We just didn’t want that to happen,” Doret said.

The freeze on new permits comes on the heels of a similar moratorium issued by neighbouring Pointe-Claire last month.

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire in showdown with real estate developer

No new high-density housing projects are permitted in most areas of Pointe-Claire, including the parking lot of the Fairview shopping centre.

The developer of the project, Cadillac Fairview, is suing the city over the ban.

It’s proposing a new residential project and plans to hold an information session on March 30th.

”We want to be able to speak directly with public, share the facts, answer their questions and really be very clear about what we have planned for this project in the parking lot of the shopping centre,” Brian Salpeter, senior vice president, development, at Cadillac Fairview, told Global News.

Read more: Cadillac Fairview unveils plans for Fairview Shopping Centre housing project

The housing freezes in Pointe-Claire and Dorval come at a time when there is a chronic shortage of housing in the West Island.

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Real estate values remain very high as demand for new homes continues to grow but there is short supply.

Erik Charton, a real estate broker and executive vice president at JLL says the temporary ban doesn’t make sense, especially in Pointe-Claire, which doesn’t plan to revise its master urban plan until 2024 at the earliest.

”The idea of stopping development for this kind of purpose makes no sense. There’s not enough homes for younger families that want to come into the housing market,” Charton told Global News.

Meanwhile, Dorval is planning to hold public consultations on a new urban plan next month and revise its future vision for the city within ten to twelve months.

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