• Carmen Marie Fabio

Beaconsfield to study housing needs of evolving population


The Town of Beaconsfield's expanse of single family homes may not meet the needs of an aging population - one of the topics the newly formed Advisory Committee on Land-Use Planning and Development is studying.

Following the inaugural February 1 meeting of its newly formed Advisory Committee on Land-Use Planning and Development, the 10-member group, headed by District 3 Councillor Wade Staddon, discussed housing issues that face the town’s aging population.

“We had 31 applications for this group,” said Staddon of the committee that consists of Beaconsfield residents and the director of Table de Quartier Sud de l'Ouest de l'Île (TQSOI). “That’s amazing.”

Staddon said that Beaconsfield is over 90 per cent single-family homes and once the children have grown, the empty nesters have no housing options if they can no longer maintain their home but want to stay in the community. “There are no seniors’ facilities and there’s no variety in the housing stock that would encourage young people to start out. There are no condos and relatively few townhouses.” Staddon said the resulting constraints on the community are the focus of the advisory committee.

“(Previous) attempts to increase density selectively in particular areas that would be suitable for it tend to get pushed away,” said Staddon.

The implementation of the Plan Métropolitain d’aménagement et de Développement (PMAD), as well as provincial regulations to encourage density within towns’ respective transportation corridors were also a deciding factor in forming the committee to take a closer look at the density issue.

“Is (increasing density) what we want to do, if so where, what kind, and what parameters?” Staddon said. “That’s basically what the committee is going to look at.

Members of the committee are Bob Benedetti, Carmen Boisvert , Elizabeth (Libby) Broady , Gabrielle Cloutier, Al Gardner, Marie-Hélène Gauthier, Maryse Lafontaine, Scott Pelletier, Sam Watts, and Alena Ziuleva.

A communique issued by the Town of Beaconsfield February 3 said, “Public hearings and information sessions are scheduled in the coming months to ensure adequate response to the housing needs of future generations in Beaconsfield and promote eco-responsible development of the municipality.”

Information session on land use and development will be held March 7, hearing will be held April 4 at the Herb Linder Annex, 303 Beaconsfield Blvd. April 11 will be the hearings and deposit of briefs on land use and development and the committee’s findings will be presented June 7.

“The intent in June is to produce one or more recommendations to city council to consider for land use and development policy.”