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