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Densification battle heating up in Pointe-Claire, temporary development freeze still in place

Click to play video: 'Pointe-Claire at odds with developers over densification' Pointe-Claire at odds with developers over densification
WATCH: Pressure is increasing on Pointe-Claire to loosen up a bylaw preventing higher density development. The city will soon be served with a REM suburban train station and some feel it should do its part to stop sprawl. As Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports, one Pointe-Claire councillor says the mayor can’t go on just saying no – Jun 28, 2022

There has been a lot of noise lately in the city of Pointe-Claire.

The city has become a haven for new developments, but a few months ago, city council put a stop to some major projects with a bylaw, in order to consult with the public and revise its urban plan.

Pointe-Claire’s mayor says he’s not against densification, he just wants to slow things down.

“We can densify, but let’s densify smartly and let’s do it in a way where the citizens don’t get upset,” said Tim Thomas. “We can have duplexes, triplexes, semi-detached homes. There are beautiful ways to densify without ruining the city with these 20, 25-storey daggers.”

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire residents share views on Cadillac Fairview parking lot development at town hall

Back in February, Pointe Claire city council adopted an interim control bylaw.

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Click to play video: 'Developer objects to Pointe-Claire, Que. development freeze' Developer objects to Pointe-Claire, Que. development freeze
Developer objects to Pointe-Claire, Que. development freeze – Feb 17, 2022

It places a temporary freeze on development in key areas of the city including the Pointe-Claire and Valois villages, the plaza and a phase in the Greenwich sector.

In May, the council added Cadillac Fairvew’s parking lot project, next to the REM station, to the bylaw.

READ MORE: Development freeze reimposed at Fairview shopping centre

The city said unanimously approved the freeze, but now, city councilor Brent Cowan says it’s time for the city to make its next move.

Cowan says public consultations are scheduled for the fall, but work has to be done before that to prepare for it.

“There is some sporadic activity coming out of the administration that we’re being made aware of from here and there, but it all seems to be rather random and improvised,” he said. “And that’s pretty scary when you’re halting everything across the whole city.”

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

McGill University urban planning professor David Wachsmuth says the city is within its rights to implement this bylaw, but also believes densification in Pointe-Claire is inevitable.

Click to play video: 'A vision for Pointe-Claire' A vision for Pointe-Claire
A vision for Pointe-Claire – Oct 6, 2021

He stresses that with the arrival of new public transit comes the need for more housing.

“Rents are at an all-time high, housing prices are at all-time highs on the island here and that is a direct consequence of this type of decision-making which says ‘we don’t want to see an apartment building go up in our neighbourhood,'” he said. “You multiply that by every single neighbourhood and you just don’t have enough apartments being built.”

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