Mount Royal residents challenge shopping centre plan

By P.A. Sévigny

As a result of an open letter that has already been distributed to the local media, several Mount Royal residents are presently beginning to have their doubts about the leaks that revealed a local promoter’s plan to build a massive new commercial shopping centre in the town’s industrial park located immediately to the west of the Décarie Expressway.

As the letter was written following several media reports that the mayor described as “…badly written,” its authors hope the mayor will take the initiative and provide the town’s residents with a complete and factually transparent description of what is really supposed to be the town’s new billion dollar project.

Among several issues raised in the letter, its authors are seriously concerned about a massive increase in car traffic that’s bound to alter and affect the quality of life in nearby neighborhoods, including the new construction in the Blue Bonnets complex as well as in the Triangle development immediately to the east of the Décarie Expressway near the city’s two metro stations.

Aside from Snowdon Councillor Marvin Rotrand’s dire warnings about a possible influx of up to 60,000 cars per day making its way through both the borough and the city, other issues include both noise and ambient air pollution that are bound to define what it’s like to live near the near what could become one of the busiest commercial centers in the city.

To his credit, Mayor Roy did attempt to answer at least some of the questions that were posed at the town’s regular municipal council meeting, but according to the 15 people who signed the open letter, the town’s community will require a lot more than a few leaked media articles and the mayor’s assurance before residents will accept the new commercial centre as little more than a done deal.

Even after Mayor Roy is known to have immediately called Côte des Neiges–Notre Dame de Grâce borough Mayor Russell Copeman to discuss future traffic issues after news about the new project first appeared in the local media, the letter than goes on to repeat what several of the city’s urban planners have to say about the immediate and possible toxic effect the project may have upon local business interests and the fragile economic environment that defines commercial street life in the city’s west-end boroughs.
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