• John Jantak

Residents opposed to new development plan to sign registry


About 30 residents attended a public information meeting at Vaudreuil-Dorion city hall on March 4 to voice their concerns about a new housing development planned for White Street.

Apparent opposition to a proposed new residential development in Vaudreuil-Dorion brought out at least 30 residents to a public information session at city hall to voice their concerns on Monday, May 4.

Olivier Van Neste, the city’s Director of Development and Regional Planning, provided a PowerPoint presentation of the development. Plans are to build 12 semi-detached triplexes along the north side of White Street and 14 detached town houses at the end of White. Currently a dead end, the street would be extended to allow for the construction.

Large scale development

Resident Maureen Burcome who lives in one of the two single family houses currently on White said many of the residents at the meeting live on either Rue Ruisselet or Rue des Méandres and are concerned about the project because of its scale.

The 12 semi-detached triplexes would each have a bottom owner-occupied unit and the two upper units would be rentals. Combined, there would be a total of 72 units in the three-storey structures. The dead end at the western tip of White would be extended to allow for the construction of the 14 new detached town houses.

Not in conformity with neighbourhood

“There were comments from people who live who live in the area saying they have a neighbourhood; they know their neighbours and they’re all in an area where there are detached houses. Now on the other side of White they’re going to have 12 semi-detached, six-unit triplexes,” said Burcome.

“It’s not in conformity with the neighbourhood they bought into and wouldn’t have bought into had they realized the type of construction that would have taken place. It’s a big change for an area that has single family homes. People feel the planned project isn’t congruous with the neighbourhood that was built and that people moved into,” Burcome added.

About 200 more people

The population in the neighbourhood is also expected to increase by about 200 people based on projections that there will be about 2.5 residents occupying each new unit, said Burcome. Residents are also worried about the expected increase in traffic as a new access road will be built from Henry Ford Road to connect to the new project. It’s estimated each new unit will have 1.5 cars.

Burcome also presented a petition that was signed by 112 residents opposing the project during the regular council meeting after the public information session ended. Residents opposed to the development will also be able to sign a registry the week of March 25 that would require the city hold a referendum on the issue.

More of a traffic issue

For Mayor Guy Pilon, the matter is more of a traffic issue than opposition to the new development. Residents have a difficult time entering and exiting their neighbourhood from Henry Ford, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours, he said.

“The residents want to keep the land the way it is because of the traffic. Everything is related to the traffic. They say they have problems to get out of the project. They have to wait five minutes at the stop sign. They think the city doesn’t do anything,” said Pilon.

Residents rejected bridge

The mayor said the traffic situation wouldn’t exist today if the residents had agreed to allow construction of a small two-way bridge to Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes because they wouldn’t have had to rely exclusively on Henry Ford.

Instead, residents decided to forego the vehicle bridge over the Quinchien River several years ago in favour of a small bicycle and pedestrian bridge. “They went against it. They said, ‘We don’t want to pay for it. We don’t want it. We don’t need it.’ Now they realize one exit is not enough – the bridge was the solution,” Pilon said.

Project conforms to CMM guidelines

As for the new development, Pilon said it will have its own entrance and exit onto Henry Ford. “It will not affect traffic at the corner of des Méandres and Henry Ford,” he said. The city has also set aside a buffer zone of about 55 feet as a protected green space.

The project also conforms to guidelines established by the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) for population density in Vaudreuil-Dorion, said Pilon.

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