Dear Mayor Copeman,
Thank you for the 23/5/17 public consultation regarding development impacting Vendôme Village residents. It is our pleasure to present you, per your request, with a summary of the key points raised by the residents at the meeting. We trust that you and the borough team will rectify the zoning documents circulated prior to this meeting, take immediate action as promised (points 4 thru 6 below) and be guided by the strong community consensus as you work on the Ilot Maisonneuve:
1. Neighbours agree that the important characteristic of the neighbourhood is its residential character and this character should be supported with any and all zoning proposals and not threatened as it is currently is. Vendôme Village residents dispute the conclusion that it is preferable to have commercial on the ground floor on the north side of de Maisonneuve and no residential on the south side. Part of the site on which the MUHC is now built was in fact zoned for residential building prior to the construction of the hospital. This loss of residential zoning in the area could be regained along De Maisonneuve. Residential on the south side would work very well and reinforce the residential character of the area. The consensus was that residential zoning is preferred to commercial and this is valid for the south side of de
Maisonneuve as well as the north side.
2. The commercial needs of the MUHC should not be driving any zoning changes in the neighbourhood. Their commercial needs could be satisfied elsewhere such as in the area adjacent to the hospital; Décarie south of De Maisonneuve and St-Jacques.
3. Before considering any zoning changes affecting an increase in heights, the borough should focus on correcting the overcrowded and dangerous conditions on De Maisonneuve Boulevard – the interface of cars, buses, pedestrians and cyclists
4. The density in the area, particularly on the north side should not increase. Neither in height nor in coverage as this will threaten the residential character of the neighbourhood and increase pressure on parking.
5. There should NOT be a cadastral change for the lots that are located along the north side of De Maisonneuve at Vendome and Grey. These properties currently straddle two zones. Moving the boundaries of the cadaster poses serious problems for the adjacent homes, which would see a significant reduction in sunlight, privacy as well as risk of encroachment on their residential land. Moving the boundaries of the cadaster would advance the gradual invasion of commercial buildings in the neighbourhood and the erosion of residential properties on Grey and Vendome.
6. Specifically, you committed to supporting a 2-storey limit on the two lots in question on the north side of de Maisonneuve between Grey and Vendôme. We would request no change to the FAR / COS (Floor Area Ratio / Coefficient d’occupation du sol) and immediate revision of the Sommaire décisionnel du dossier 1173558022.
7. In 2003, the residents of Vendôme Village set in motion the referendum process following a proposal to modify zoning on the north side of De Maisonneuve (Projet de règlement P-03-092). Following the public consultation, which was held on December 15th 2003, the OPCM recommended against the proposed zoning change and instructed the borough “to focus its attentions on the impact of further developing De Maisonneuve Boulevard on the surrounding residential neighbourhood”. The question residents are now asking is, “why do we have to go
through this again?” Incidentally, Mr. Richard Gourde was the Chef de division par intérim-Urbanisme at the time and, therefore, should be familiar with this file.
8. Parking is a major problem in the neighbourhood. Any increases in density will increase the problems around parking. Indoor parking is not a solution as it would only increase traffic in the area.
9. The option of making De Maisonneuve one-way westbound, as it is everywhere else in the city was received positively. This would provide additional space for cyclists and pedestrians and could relieve some of the overcrowding. The buses could form an exception in the short block between Décarie & Marlowe and be given a dedicated bus lane.
10. The consensus was that the city should reduce the zoned height on the south side
from 10 storeys to a maximum of 8 storeys. The highest existing building on the site (5100 De Maisonneuve) is 8 storeys.
11. Even though the Provigo project is no longer on the table, the point was made that it shouldn’t ever be allowed. This large commercial project would add to the traffic problems in the area, attract oversized delivery trucks as well as excessively bright signage such as that of the A&W on the corner of Vendôme & Sherbrooke Street.
12. The city should have a mechanism to charge more taxes for abandoned properties that attract graffiti, squatters and worse. These properties are kept vacant waiting for zoning changes favourable for development and the owners are being rewarded for their patience to the detriment of the people maintaining their properties and paying high property taxes.
13. Everyone supported the introduction of a large green space in the neighbourhood.
Once again, we appreciate the opportunity to have a voice in shaping our community and
the decisions that affect our everyday lives. It is in this spirit that we invite you to work with
us on the challenges and issues facing Vendôme Village.
Jo-Anne Wemmers, Larry Karass & Chantal St-André, Alex Barta, Anouk Laurent & Louis Boyer Elizabeth Shapiro, Sue Montgomery, James and Pamela Luck, François Lachance et Camille Laberge,
Ron Pilon, Sophia Buckiewicz Aynsley, Barbara Karasek,