Although an overwhelming number of Pointe-Claire’s residents were vehemently against the city’s plan to tear down the Pioneer Bar and allow developer Greg Koegl to put up a new building with 4 businesses and 15 luxury condo units – City Council has officially upheld the Demolition Committee’s decision to approve the project.
At a well-attended appeal meeting on Monday May 6th at City Hall Mayor John Belvedere and eight city councillors voted in favour of the development, after taking questions for over two hours. Passion ran high and after the council’s decision was read out, frustration turned into anger, name calling and taunts from disappointed residents – getting to the point where the Mayor and his council had to be escorted out by security guards.
In the City’s press release on May 8th Mayor John Belvedere states, “In accordance with the vision defined by the Pointe-Claire Village Special Planning Program and the Village Code, and after reading all of the letters we have received and hearing all of the representations that were made during this extraordinary public meeting, the members of City Council unanimously upheld the Demolition Committee’s favourable decision, which was made on March 21, 2019″
It also says that ‘In 2013, the City took steps to consult residents, entrepreneurs, and organizations active in the Village to learn about their expectations and points of view in order to revitalize the Village, as well as its economy, urban fabric, and social life to better meet their needs and expectations. This thorough, multi-phase process of consultations and studies, which took place over several years, allowed us to develop the Village Special Planning Program (SPP), and the Village Code… these new planning regulations for the Village sector were developed by professionals and specialists, then analyzed with citizens, merchants, and elected officials. They were submitted to citizens for their comments and later adopted by City Council.’
“When the project to construct a new building at 286 Du Bord-du-Lac/Lakeshore Road was filed at the City last summer, the sheer number of objections prompted City Council to impose a moratorium on all new construction projects in the Village Core. We wanted to understand what was going on and take the time to analyze the concerns and criticisms that were raised. That is our role,” the Mayor also states. “Only one real project was presented for this site, and even if groups of citizens would have liked to see other plans, the City is obligated to respect everyone’s rights, and only the project that was submitted could be taken into consideration. The opinions regarding the decision that was taken are not unanimous, and we understand that. It is important for everyone to have the right to express themselves and be heard. However, we were elected to represent the entire population, and City Council’s decision was made in compliance with laws and regulations, and while respecting the common interests and rights of all.” The end of this story does not to appear to be over as Claude Lesage, who leads a citizens coalition called Heart of Pointe-Claire is determined to continue the fight with a probable legal challenge.