Côte Saint-Luc city council has given a second reading to a proposed zoning change for the portion of snow dump land on Marc Chagall Avenue. On April 7, we held a mandatory public question period and some people came out, asking us what type of project we expect for this land.
As Mayor Anthony Housefather explained, the city recently conducted an evaluation of this land located right at the corner of Kildare Road next door to Beth Chabad. It was determined that we do not have any practical use for it. Putting it up for sale, with a very clear set of zoning guidelines, would bring in some valuable revenue and perhaps add something worthwhile to this growing neighbourhood.
The next step is to approve the final resolution approving the zoning for commercial use. Soon after there will be a call for offers, in which case council will either accept the highest bidder (as long as it meets the criteria set out) or decide to hold off on permitting any development there at the present time.
As the councillor for the area, I have agreed to the zoning change. However, I have no idea what type of proposals we may receive. I worked very hard a number of years ago to have zoning changed across the street on Marc Chagall from commercial to residential. There was a very real possibility that a strip shopping centre would be built there. Nobody wanted that. This new proposal calls for a very small building, which would have a tenant on the lower level and some offices (possibly medical) on the second floor.
I will wait to see what proposals we receive and if the winning bid is in the interest of local residents, only then will I support it. For example, we will not allow a sit down restaurant, but a convenience store or bakery is permitted under the by-law. A pharmacy is also a possibility.
Some residents have expressed concern about parking on Marc Chagall and the new Beth Chabad. Well we have met with the latter group and discussed options for them to build a new parking lot. We will see how that progresses.
As for a new park on Marc Chagall, we wish to eventually relocate Isadore Goldberg Park, which is squeezed between a few apartment buildings on Sir Walter Scott Avenue, on the lot next to the new town house condominiums. What we need to do is put this in one of our upcoming Capital Works budgets. In the interim, we have asked our Public Works Department to sod the vacant land and perhaps even install some park benches. There is debris from the construction which we have asked the developers to remove.