Mixed reaction to proposed Beaconsfield development
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
About 75 residents were in attendance at the Beaconsfield public consultation September 26 to discuss changes to zoning by-laws to allow for row house and condominium development.
The overflow of attendees at the September 26 Beaconsfield public consultation resulted in a standing-room only crowd and a question period that delayed the start of the monthly council meeting by almost an hour.
The proposal of an 18-townhouse complex on Beaurepaire Drive near the corner of St. Charles Boulevard and Prairie Drive led residents to raise concerns pertaining to structure height and traffic issues.
“I’d like to request when the city says ‘storeys’ that they’re accurate in the number of metres that they allow,” said an Elgin Crescent resident.
Director of Urban Planning Denis Chabot said today’s real-estate typically incorporates eight to nine-foot ceilings. Roofs made from prefab trusses will also have an effect on the roofline height.
“Has a study been done about putting a traffic light at the exit of the shopping centre?” asked resident Peter Hinrichsen. “That would alleviate a lot of the traffic problems that we envisage with this development.” Director General Patrice Boileau said the traffic committee will take the request under advisement. The development will have four integrated structures – two of four row houses and two of five – with 11 spots reserved for visitor parking.
District 3 Councillor Wade Staddon said studies were done with the originally-proposed 22-unit building that showed only a three per cent increase in area traffic at rush hour. “There are 5000 vehicles going through there every day. We’ll be adding about 100 (cars.) It’s not a significant amount.”
A proposed condominium development on the site of the former Beaconsfield Tennis Club, a property on Elm bordered by Amherst Road and Alton Drive, will offer 154 single dwelling units with 41 on the ground-floor level adaptable to wheelchairs. Underground parking will offer 236 spots and 41 handicapped spots.
The height of the proposed condo project was cause for consternation amongst residents in the surrounding area as the original proposal was for a three-storey development, the developer, Laval-based KF Construction, had requested a zoning change to allow for a four-storey structure.
“Approving four storeys would set a precedent for Beaconsfield,” said resident Lorne Smith. “If it stays limited to three storeys, that’ll mean 25 per cent less traffic. That is a more acceptable figure as was approved in January, 2015.
“This was all trees when I moved in,” said an Amherst Street resident of her home since 1988. “I came home one day and it was all gone. Please,” implored council, “don’t do this.”
Councillor Staddon pointed out a four-storey structure would be no higher than what is currently permitted by the zoning by-law. “In all probability, if the developer is not permitted four storeys, it will be a larger building of three storeys with less green space.”
Resident Sam Watts who was a member of the Land Use Committee said the group unanimously approved the project.
“The recommendation we made was one that made sense for Beaconsfield,” he said, citing in particular the abundant green space.
“I’ve been looking for a place to move into,” said a resident of Beaconsfield for 43 years who can find nothing suitable. “I agree that we need a building like this with elevators so that people 70 and above can enjoy Beaconsfield.”
“This was a public consultation,” said Mayor Georges Bourelle. “There will be a process of registry and if there is opposition, there will be a register process. You have the last say as residents.”
Council will vote on the zoning change By-law 720-110 at the October 24 meeting.