Municipalities create round table to talk urban planning

A round table involving a number of communities and West Island municipalities, including Beaconsfield and Ste. Anne de Bellevue, has been created to deal with the Montreal agglomeration’s upcoming new urban plan.

In all, 11 different cities have come together to consult on common issues pertaining to development associated with green spaces. Moving forward, a technical committee made up of city managers from each of the participating municipalities, such as Brossard, Laval, Rosemere and St. Bruno.

The round table is welcome news to Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa.

“Finding the delicate balance between development and protection and now we can all work together to pool our ideas and resources to work together,” are a challenge, Hawa told The Suburban.

One of the objectives of the round table will be to “convince the government that we need more tools to protect our green spaces. We will be working on providing concrete recommendations.”

In 2012, Ste. Anne de Bellevue’s previous administration presented a plan to develop its expansive tract of land in the northern section of the city. That did not go over well with many residents. At the request of the populace, Hawa said that the city has undergone an environment and traffic study and that an economic impact study is pending.

“We have to plan carefully and think about what we want our city to look like 20 years and more from now,” said Hawa. “We cannot rush ahead and only think in terms of the next two to three years. It is crucial that we set a long-term priority for any development.”

One suggestion raised at the round table was for any development involving a green space to strike a balance between growth, traffic issues and the environment at large.

Some of Hawa’s detractors have criticized her for spending money on the three separate studies. “We cannot go ahead and plan the next 50 years of a new community without seeking expert advice on how it will impact the environment at large.

“No one goes ahead and buys a house or renovates one without seeking advice from experts in construction,” said the mayor. “So when planning the future of our city, we want to be prepared.”

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