• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion registry signing will determine whether development referendum will be held


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A registry signing will be held in Vaudreuil-Dorion March 28 to try to stop a proposed residential development on White Road. Mayor Guy Pilon said the development conforms to density specifications stipulated by the Montreal Metropolitan Community.

Residents opposed to a proposed new housing development in Vaudreuil-Dorion will have the opportunity to sign a registry today (March 28) between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at city hall to determine whether the project will go to a referendum process or will proceed as planned based upon the number of signatures that are collected.

A total of 552 people can sign the registry. A minimum of 66 signatures are required for a referendum to be held regarding a proposed new residential area on White Road, east of Henry Ford Road and south of Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes near the Quinchien River.

Last existing green space

Resident Maureen Burcome, who along with some other residents is opposed to the development, has been busy advising eligible residents who can sign the registry to do so. They feel the last existing green spaces in the immediate area will be destroyed if development is allowed.

A promoter is planning to build 12 semi-detached triplexes with a total of 72 units along the north side of White Road. Another 14 detached town houses would be built at the end of White that would be extended to allow for construction.

Burcome said she’s gone door-to-door on two occasions and spoken to people about the registry explaining to them what the issue is all about. She’s also put up posters up at community mailboxes reminding people of the date and the time.

THE JOURNAL PHOTO/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.

Residents 'opposed to traffic'

Mayor Guy Pilon has a different take on the issue. He said people aren’t opposed to the development but rather to additional vehicles coming into the neighbourhood. A separate road will be built to ensure new residents don’t travel into the existing neighbourhoods, said Pilon.

The mayor said the entire issue of traffic wouldn’t exist today if a proposed bridge had been built several years ago over the Quinchien River that would have connected White to Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes. “The fact is people aren’t against this project, it’s about the traffic,” Pilon told The Journal during a telephone interview on March 27.

“I remember the night of the public consultation meeting very well because I was there with 150 people who were very mad and they told us they don’t want to pay for a bridge and second that, ‘We don’t need it.’ I still remember that phrase and the people who applauded when it was said,” Pilon recalled.

Bridge rejected

“A few years later, they came and said they have a problem with the intersection at Henry Ford. Of course they have a problem because there are probably 200 people who go there with their cars instead of being able to bypass Henry Ford because the bridge that was originally proposed was rejected,” said Pilon.

The problem is that for the people who live in the immediate vicinity, Rue des Meandres to Henry Ford is the closest road into and out of the area. Residents could drive eastward to Rue des Floralies but they would have to deal with traffic congestion at the eastern section of Cité-des-Jeunes, said Pilon.

Bridge can still be expanded

The traffic problem could be solved if the residents agree to allow the current bicycle/pedestrian bridge to be expanded, said Pilon. “If they still want the bridge, we will modify its size and everything. If they say no one more time, it will stay as it is forever. They will live with the fact that the link that crosses over the Quinchien River is not done,” he said.

Regardless of whether the development project goes ahead or not, the basic infrastructure work will still be done, said Pilon. “It’s their choice. The sewers will still go in. It just means there will be a lot less people to pay for them.”

City following density requirements

Pilon said he city is following the recommendations stated in the Plan métropolitain d'aménagement et de développement (PMAD) from the Montreal Metropolitan Community regarding density requirements for new developments in off-island municipalities such as Vaudreuil-Dorion.

“We will wait for the results and see the number of people who signed the registry,” said Pilon. “If there are 66 or 67 signatures, it means we’ll probably go ahead with a referendum because it’s only a few people who are mad. But if there are 200 or more we will stop it right there. We will not go against the people, but eventually we will have to do something

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