Beaconsfield's willingness to raise the bar from two to four allowed storey dwellings in the Elm Plaza sector drew some heat Monday night at the public consultation regarding the zoning bylaw changes that will affect the entire city.
Many frustrated residents came to city hall to show their disapproval of the plan which was unveiled during a presentation held by head division of urban planning Stéphane Quesnel. Resident of Bolton Avenue Jason Rossie came to the meeting representing the citizens living around the strip mall. He relayed to council the fears and concerns expressed to him by his fellow citizens.
"We've met on several occasions to discuss the zoning issues. I can assure you that the residents are opposed to a four-storey building. We all agree that Elm Plaza in its current state may not have lived up to expectations. It probably does need a remodeling of some sort. But a four-storey rezoning is something we are strongly opposed to. Hopefully, we can come to a nice resolution on this issue," said Jason Rossie.
Other residents including Caroline Boulay and Sharon Rempel expressed concerns about a potential four-storey dwelling, concerns that have been heard before by the council at the last council meeting. They claimed the change would affect their quality of life, their privacy and level of sunlight in their background.
As for councillor Rhonda Massad, she expressed her uneasiness at having to vote on a zoning change bylaw that encompasses changes across the city crumpled together with the controversial issue of Elm Plaza. She suggested to her fellow councillors that this item be separated from the rest of the bylaw.
While the citizens complain, The Chronicle has learned that the Elm Plaza building has been sold last week and that the leases to the commercial dwellings would not be renewed by the new owners.
The council has now one week to discuss removing the proposed bylaw change at Elm Plaza before the adoption of the bylaw next Monday. A notice of motion would follow the adoption of the controversial measure on October 31 and the population residing around Elm Plaza would then have the chance to start a register requiring 12 signatures to summon a referendum on the issue.