A real estate project in Verdun raises questions

The Borough of Verdun will demolish the building located at 633, rue Strathmore and expand the one located at 3493, rue de Verdun. About fifty citizens are opposed to this real estate project by the Borough of Verdun, arguing that it will lead to a deterioration in the quality of life of residents and density problems.

« The garage on Strathmore is going to be three stories, it’s going to completely block out the sun and we already only have two hours of sunshine. [par jour]. Eyesight will also be affected. On [la rue] of Verdun, there will be 12 dwellings which are supposed to be family, so problems of density, noise and parking, ”says Jordan Plenzich, who lives nearby.

Indeed, this particular real estate project in Verdun for the construction, modification or occupation of a building (PPCMOI) makes it possible to derogate from certain provisions of the zoning by-law, in particular those relating to the maximum number of dwellings and parking spaces.

Although 50 signatures of citizens opposing the project were collected on September 21, real estate development will go ahead within the next 24 months.

It is that 63 signatures were necessary to contest it officially and to generate the holding of a referendum.

“There are 50 people who took the time to come to the town hall that day to oppose it, I think that means something”, explains the Verdunoise Juliette Jarvis.

To formally challenge the development, citizens of the H02-08 zone had to vote at the Borough Hall on September 21 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Too restrictive a time slot, says Juliette Jarvis.

« If we had been able to take the signatures of the people surveyed on the spot, I’m sure we would have collected at least 140. But not everyone can afford to go and vote during the day, there also has reduced mobility issues. I know that the Borough proceeded in a legal manner, but these laws are archaic”, continues Ms. Jarvis.

We don’t necessarily want there to be no buildings built there, we simply want a dialogue between the Borough and the citizens.

Juliette Jarvis, Verdunoise

For Nicholas Harvest, this project represents a symptom of the gentrification of the sector.

« It’s sad though. The voice of 50 citizens is worth less than that of a private promoter”, mentions the one who sits on the board of directors of the Citizens’ Action Committee of Verdun (CACV).

“Demographic change in Verdun is driven by the speculative machine. We are always told that there is no land for social housing, but when we have it, we give the project to the private sector. The Borough will have no control over the price of rents,” he continues.

I think that in Verdun, what is happening is a social purge. Looks like we’ve become a tourist spot.

Nicholas Harvest, Verdunois and member of the board of directors of the Citizens’ Action Committee of Verdun

Future housing should be rental, family and some will be universally accessible.

“The problem is that there is no obligation for the developer to rent to families or people with reduced mobility. There is no guarantee […] We don’t want Verdun to become a neighborhood with exclusively condos,” adds Juliette Jarvis.

« In the rules of art »

The Borough of Verdun claims to have acted in a completely transparent and legal manner in the file of this real estate project.

“The project has been publicly running since May 3. The Borough did things according to the rules. As of May 10, an information panel has been installed on the site. Moreover, this is a private project and the land did not belong to the City », can we read in the email received by Subway.

The Borough also indicated that the real estate developer had complied with the By-law aimed at improving the supply of social, affordable and family housing through a financial contribution.

“With the sunshine study, the impact is deemed reasonable,” Mayor Marie-Andrée Mauger had also indicated to the borough council on June 28, in response to a question from citizen Juliette Jarvis.

« It’s not unanimous, but by a majority, the council is in favor of this project, » continued the mayor. In fact, councilors Sterling Downey and Céline-Audrey Beauregard had voted against the project.

Chronology of events

May 3: a first draft resolution is adopted.
May 10: a public notice announcing the holding of a public consultation meeting is given.
May 17: the public meeting is held. The referendum approval procedure is explained.
June 28: a second draft resolution was adopted.
August 15th: a public notice is sent.
From August 15 to 23: period of opening of a register. The 8-day deadline, provided for by law, has been respected.
September 6: the final resolution is adopted.
September 21: 63 signatures needed to demand a referendum on the project. 50 signatures are finally collected.

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