Borough council meeting, April 12, 2021
Angry residents want referendum on Monkland residential project
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 15 avril 2010
An NDG resident created quite a stir at the Apr. 12 borough meeting with her complaints about the proposed construction of a four-story residential apartment building at Monkland and Draper. The site currently houses a restaurant, a beauty salon and a local chain corner store.
Hélène Boulay was one of 10 area residents who showed up to tell councillors that they don’t think that the project should have moved forward on March 1. She gave many reasons why she’s angry with the way recent construction projects in the neighborhood have been handled, including “questionable” modifications to historical buildings and the lack of information for local residents on consultations and referendum procedures.
“I first saw a City sign in mid-February so I spoke with Peter McQueen and enquired about referendum procedures,” she said. Based on his advice, she planned to attend the next council meeting. “Unfortunately, my father got ill and I couldn’t make it. Now I hear that it’s too late for a referendum.”
“It’s an aberration,” argued the taxpayer who owns two properties on Melrose. She is concerned about a 30-unit condominium building that provides no setback space from the sidewalk. Fifteen parking spaces would be lost, one year after many parking spots on the street were removed. She fears that the parking problem will worsen with many new residents in the area, as will traffic problems on Draper and neighbouring streets. “What are we going to do about all the new traffic this will generate? Where are we going to put all these people?” asked the taxpayer.
Another resident, Claude Bergeron-Doucet, expressed her concerns about an increase in traffic close to the school, while a third resident, Roger Côté, is requesting that the entrance to the project be on Monkland rather than on Draper.
“Tonight we’re being told that nobody showed up to oppose the project,” thundered Ms. Boulay to enthusiastic applause from many residents. She questioned why consultation for the project was being held in Côte-des-Neiges, far away from NDG’s Monkland Village where issues of interest to affected local taxpayers should be debated.
Michael Applebaum replied that it was up to the local residents association to come forward in a timely manner if it wanted to stop the project. He said that Boulay had been misled by Projet Montreal councillor Peter McQueen if, as she reported, he simply told her to come to the council meeting. “The public notification process was carried out in due form and public notices were published in the newspapers. Demolition committees were convened. Your local councillor had a responsibility to follow up on your concerns. Well, he never did. In fact, he seconded the proposition when it came to the vote,” reminded the mayor.
Michael Applebaum proposed delaying approval of the project. “Be assured that I will personally ask that our department provide explanations and answers to your questions. I assure you that if your councillor doesn’t do his work, I will do it myself,“ he promised.
Councillor McQueen protested and requested a clarification with respect to the timeframe allowed at a specific point in the consultation process. The mayor called him to order repeatedly and McQueen was drowned out by the mayor while Boulay voiced her concerns about the conduct of the meeting.
“You’ve been bashing this councillor tonight. We obviously have a whole lot of people here supporting us. I would like to know what exactly we have to do to present a petition from those who are not interested in 30 additional units on a little street, a project that will create who knows how much more traffic in the area,” she exclaimed.
Michael Applebaum said that the project will be discussed at the next council meeting. He asked that Urbanisme head Daniel Lafond be clear as to where the project stands, now that the referendum process is over. Lafond is also to further explain the process whereby residents have a right to petition and hold a registry.
Council voted in favour of delaying any decision to proceed with the project until the next council meeting.