by Rhonda Massad
Last Monday, March 16, more than 170 people headed to Beaconsfield City Hall to exercise their democratic right to sign a registry to block a zoning change proposed by Council to change the lot on Praire Drive and Beaurepaire from commercial to residential. Only 116 names were required to stop the process.
Council hoped the proposed zoning change would allow for a 22 townhouse project to be placed at the site of the old ESSO station that was closed about five years ago. For the process to have come this far two petitions with 28 signatures combined were deposited to city hall instigating a referendum for residents in the area.
The project raised concerns with residents about traffic, densification, sound and decontamination of the 53,500 square foot lot.
According to resident of the area Mike Martel the weekend prior to the vote saw pamphlets delivered door to door by the builder presenting the project, Jean Houde, Beaconsfield City Councillor for the district Wade Staddon and a group of residents who simply found the project too dense for the already traffic troubled location.
“In the end I am happy our effort at least brought the project to the full attention of the district,” Martel said, “people were free to decide whether or not they were for this project or not.”
“What do we hope goes there in the future?” Martel responded when asked. “Something that fits that particular area and is welcomed by the citizens, be it residential or commercial. We were against the quantity of proposed townhouses, the density, the impact on traffic that is already a problem, the parking problems that will ensue since the only place for visitors to park is on Prairie Dr., as well as the potential for a 6 year construction site.”
Councillor for the district Wade Staddon previously stated that he found the project suitable for the area and that it had had a favourable response from the Urban Planning Committee comprised of Beaconsfield residents.