• John Jantak

New Vaudreuil-Dorion high-rise development raises some concerns


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Residents addressed their concerns and asked questions about a revised four-building high-rise development project during a public consultation meeting at Centre Multisports in Vaudreuil-Dorion on Tuesday evening, October 30. The project could include a combined 17 floor/14 floor structure that would become the tallest building in the city.

A public consultation meeting to inform residents about revisions to a high-rise residential project in Vaudreuil-Dorion drew a lot of questions not only about the scale of the project, but also about the increase in population density, traffic and other issues.

About 80 people attended the meeting on Tuesday evening, October 30. It was held at the Centre Multisports instead of city hall because of the anticipated large turnout. The revised project is similar to the original plan in that it will feature four high-rise buildings that will be built on the south side of Rue Émile-Bouchard behind the Centre Multisports.

Revised proposal

The revised proposal features four two-tiered rental unit buildings that will be staggered in height. The first structure will have 17 and 14 floors and be built next to Émile-Bouchard, which will make it the tallest building in Vaudreuil-Dorion. The adjacent two-tiered buildings will have nine and six floors.

The second pair of buildings will have 15 and 12 floors, and eight and six floors respectively. The four buildings will have a total of 402 rental units. The descending height was made to provide unobstructed sunlight to residents living in the hockey player sector at Château de la Gare, just south of the new development.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A billboard at the site of a new 402-unit apartment rental development in Vaudreuil-Dorion announces details of the project and an upcoming public information meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30 at the Centre Multisports on Boulevard de la Gare.

Construction will proceed

Residents were told during the half-hour presentation that construction will go ahead regardless whether the revised proposal is accepted or not. If it isn’t accepted, the original plan to build four 12-storey units will be revived. A total of 352 rental units will be built and the ground floor of each building will be reserved for commercial space

Mayor Guy Pilon said the land is already zoned for multi-storey development in accordance with its municipal zoning regulations and the city could officially issue a permit to the promoter to begin construction the next day in accordance to the original plans.

Transit Oriented development

The project also falls within the scope of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) criteria established by many municipalities. TOD aims to concentrate future development near public transportation centres as vacant land dwindles.

The location of the Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) Vaudreuil train station at Boulevard de la Gare close to the new project makes the area a prime spot for high-rise development because of its alternative transit option, said Pilon.

School shortage

The mayor felt some people used the meeting to raise issues not directly related to the project, including the lack of elementary and high schools and motorists who speed and/or disregard stop signs.

Some people suggested it’s up to developers to set aside land for new schools, but Pilon said it’s a provincial matter. “I’ve had meetings with both school boards and told them the same thing. If they need land, come and see us. They said that even if we offered them 10 plots of land, the government will say no. The boards will still have to transport children to other schools within a 20 kilometer radius,” said Pilon.

“What the government doesn’t understand is they should start buildings schools now because they will need them within three to four years. But they don’t plan beyond two years. And the government already knows each time a new school is built, it will be filled beyond capacity when it opens,” he added.

Traffic issues

Other residents worry the new project will add to the traffic problems on Émile-Bouchard. They complained that some motorists ignore stop signs and speed near two schools. District 3 Councillor Jasmine Sharma said she will meet with residents to find ways to try to mitigate the problem.

As to how the new development will take shape, Sharma said it be will up to the residents to decide. “I hope they took in the presentation as a whole and understand what the issues are and what choice they have in the matter.”

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