Angry Pointe Claire residents prevent controversial demolition

Anthony
Anthony Abbondanza
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A dozen angry Pointe Claire south residents were successful, during a Monday night demolition committee meeting at Pointe Claire City Hall, in their bid to prevent a developer from building two homes on a subdivided lot – for now.

The committee, chaired by city councillor Aldo Iermieri, rejected a request for a permit to demolish a 28 Fifth Avenue home, purchased by Luc Vallee, owner of Les Construction Rogival. Vallee intended to demolish the home he purchased back in June from Marcel Guimond and Christina Webb, and squeeze in two, two-storey dwellings.

“We are not convinced this house needs to be demolished,” said Iermieri after taking a 20 minute recess to discuss the impact of the demolition on the surrounding homes.

He did, however, caution residents the decision could be changed in the future.

“There’s no need to demolish this house,” said Jerry Turner, a resident of 38 Fifth Avenue. “Having two homes on this property is not in character of the street.”

The homes on Fifth Avenue were built mostly as summer cottages back in the 1930s, only later to be restored, creating a unique and “small town charm” added Peter Bunce, whose 29 Bayview home sits behind the 63-year-old clapboard house in question.

“I’m surprised and happy with the decision,” said Bunce after the decision was rendered. “It’s nice to see the city listen to its residents.”

On the other side, Vallee was visibly upset.

After receiving a “favourable recommendation” from the planning advisory committee, as Iermieri disclosed, and what seemed like the approval of Paul Bissonnette after the city councillor told the residents “there are no lots available for construction in Pointe Claire right now…People want to move here,” he and Suzie LeBrasseur Bazinet, his archictect, were shocked to learn of the demolition committee’s sudden change of heart.

According to Vallee, the residents aren’t helping themselves.

“It’s a fire trap. I don’t even know how people were living there. I’m flabbergasted right now,” the owner told the Chronicle following the heat meeting.

The home, he claimed, is disintegrating as mildew has invaded the entire home.

“I don’t see a valuable reason why it shouldn’t be demolished,” he added.

And while Vallee intends to reapply for the permit to demolish the home, the residents are gearing up for what could be lengthy fight.

“We’re just going to get stronger as group,” Turner said of the Fifth Avenue residents’ resolve. “We’ll be 50 next time instead of 12.”

It’s not the first time Construction Rogival has built what Bunce called a “2 for 1” densification project.

In fact, Vallee has done it five previous times around Pointe Claire – without the obstruction of the city.

@AAbbondanza1

Organizations: Les Construction Rogival

Geographic location: 28 Fifth Avenue, Pointe Claire

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