• John Jantak

No referendum for White Road residential development


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

A sufficient number of residents opposed the triplex plans on Vaudreuil-Dorion’s White Road so council has opted not to move forward with any development plans for the time being.

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion will not hold a referendum related to two new housing developments proposed for White Road. The unofficial announcement was made exclusively to The Journal during a telephone interview with Mayor Guy Pilon on Tuesday, April 9.

Mayor Pilon said that he and all eight councillors unanimously voted against proceeding with a referendum related to the housing projects during an internal caucus meeting on April 8. The official announcement regarding the cancellation of the referendum will be made at the next council meeting on Monday evening, April 15.

Housing projects cancelled

The cancellation comes just over one week after city council announced the results of a registry signing at the previous council meeting on April 1. Out of the minimum 66 signatures required for the city to hold a referendum on the issue, 186 people out 552 eligible voters signed the registry. Pilon said there was no point in proceeding with a referendum based on the number of signatures that were collected.

The cancellation means the housing projects – 12 semi-detached six unit triplexes and 14 single family homes – have been scrapped. It does not mean the land will remain vacant in perpetuity. Pilon said that eventually something will be built on the lands in question. He didn’t specify what future construction could take place or when.

Local residents spearheaded opposition

Opposition to the development was spearheaded by local residents Maureen Burcome, Francine Legault, Sheila Comerford and Sylvie Besner who met with area residents on Rue du Ruisselet, Rue des Méandres, and other neighbouring streets to tell them about the potential new development.

They group felt the construction would destroy one of the last remaining natural green spaces in the area and change the low-key dynamic of the neighbourhood that consists of single family houses, especially with the planned construction of three-storey triplexes.

Traffic worries

They encouraged area residents to go to city hall to sign the registry if they opposed the project. Besner was elated when she found out 186 people signed the registry. “I was hoping for 120 signatures but 186 signatures was a nice surprise. It brought our neighbours together. There were a lot of people from different cultures who got together for a common cause,” said Besner.

Many residents were also concerned about increased traffic on Henry Ford Road from the new development. They worried that up 200 more vehicles would crowd into an already busy artery if the housing project went ahead, even though Pilon stated the new project would have its own street to access Henry Ford.

Eventual development

Pilon has been very pragmatic about the entire situation from the city’s point of view, saying the registry results were democracy in action but insists the land will be developed some time in the future. “People didn’t want this project but eventually there will be something there, that’s for sure,” said Pilon.

The city is still planning to build a new sewer system and install water pipes on the vacant land later this year and eventually create real streets. No time line has been given as to when another new development would be proposed.

“We’re going to wait and see what happens eventually,” said Pilon. “For now it’s a ‘no.’ We’re cancelling this project. We’ll see if we can facilitate something in the future.”

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