Vaudreuil-Dorion residents hope to preserve their piece of paradise
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
(Left to right): Francine Legault, Maureen Burcome and Sheila Comerford hold a city map that highlights two new residential developments proposed for White Road. They would prefer if one of the last remaining green spaces in the neighbourhood was left untouched.
With Vaudreuil-Dorion still in the midst of a residential construction boom that includes several high-rise rental apartment buildings, a group of residents is hoping to save a small forested area near White Road from development.
Maureen Burcome owns a bungalow on White that sits on just over 1.5 acres of land that has a large barn-type shed. Her house and property is surrounded by tall grasses and there are large coniferous trees in the distance near the Quinchien River. She’s owned the property for 47 years.
Residential zoning change
In January, Burcome received a letter from the city notifying her there would be a zoning change and was asked to meet with city representatives to preview what was coming. She was given a colour aerial map that showed her property surrounded by semi-detached triplex units including one on her property if she ever decided to sell.
A total of 12 semi-detached triplex units will be built in phases for a total of 72 dwellings. The bottom unit would be owner occupied with the two units above rented. The end of White would also be extended for the construction of 14 detached houses.
Lots of wildlife
Burcome feels the new developments will destroy one of the last remaining natural green spaces in the neighbourhood. Her neighbours Sheila Comerford and Francine Legault feel the same way. They both live du Ruisselet Street near White.
“There are a lot of children and people who can walk their dogs here. It’s incredible to believe but there are still foxes, rabbits, raccoons, ground hogs and a lot of birds in the woods. When you walk down here at night there are fireflies everywhere. It’s very enchanting. All this will be gone if they take the woods away,” Comerford told The Journal during an on-site interview on February 23.
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Allure of the forest
The allure of the forested land is what attracted Comerford to buy her house near the woods 12 years ago. “We would have never would have chosen it otherwise. I guess we didn’t think about whether they were going to develop it, but it certainly will make a big change for us. We may have to consider if we’re going to move because of what they’re doing,” she said.
The residents are also concerned about the eventual increase in traffic when the dwellings are built in an area that already has a lot of congestion. “It’s like the city doesn’t try to plan ahead and say how much traffic volume is too much. It doesn’t seem to be a part of their plan. The volume is intolerable now. Add these projects and I don’t know how we’re going to cope,” said Comerford.
Detached houses and triplexes
“A contractor bought the land surrounding Burcome’s house one year ago with the intention to build the triplexes. This project is being done to make sure it conforms to the density requirements specified by the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM),” said Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon.
“The only thing that will be done right now is to buy a little part of land from Madame Burcome to create an entrance into the new development to go onto the land behind her house. The good thing she should be happy about is that her house will be hooked up to the city’s sewer system,” Pilon added.