By Robert Frank
Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough’s decision to rezone a commercial site at the corner
of Perron and Gouin Boulevard has raised residents’ ire.
At the Feb. 6 borough council meeting, Martha Bond of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro
Proprietors & Residents Association objected to a housing plan that would
triple the height of the one-storey facility currently on the site.
However, the borough dismissed her objections and subsequently approved the
proposal which, according to mayor Monique Worth, will permit Centre
Bienvenue Inc to construct a 21-unit facility of up to three storeys.
“Current zoning is neighbourhood commercial with a maximum of two storeys,
and the building that is currently there is only one storey,” explained Ms. Bond, who
owns a nearby 1830 heritage house.
Councillor Christian Dubois argued forcefully in favour of the rezoning, stating
that Quebec law gave the borough “no choice” but to provide housing for people
with certain needs.
“It’s a provincial law,” he continued, telling Ms. Bond that “if you want to, you
can go to Quebec City to argue it yourself with the provincial government.”
Mr. Dubois later abstained from the borough council vote on the rezoning, stating
that he had a personal interest in the project.
Ms. Bond told the council that she is concerned that development is bringing urban blight to the borough.
“We have to respond to people who are in need of lodging,” Mayor Worth said of
the building, which is currently used as a day centre for handicapped people. “There
shouldn’t be any debate about it.”
“You are undemocratic,” retorted Ms. Bond. “My entire street has been rezoned by you during the past five years.”
Mayor Worth responded by inviting Ms. Bond to run for borough council herself.
Two Centre Bienvenue officials who attended the meeting declined to discuss the project, stating “we have nothing to say to the news media.”