Hundreds of West Island residents crowded into a Beaconsfield city council meeting Tuesday night to oppose the re-zoning of a wooded area in Beaconsfield.
An interim bylaw protected the 80-hectare green space of Angell Woods from development for the past three years, but now some city councillors are pushing for restricted residential development on parts of the property.
“People don't understand it would be something that would be very protective of the woods, but there's so much misinformation, there's so many rumours, that this needs to be delayed so that people have a chance to understand it better," said Beaconsfield mayoral candidate Rhonda Massad.
On Tuesday night, Beaconsfield council told residents it plans to wait to decide the fate of the 80-hectare woodland until after the Nov. 3 municipal election.
However, the city council did go ahead with the re-zoning of a small portion of the land close to the road.
That privately-owned section, known as Sunrise Lot, is now approved for residential development.
Kate Coulter, a member of the Association for the Protection of Angell Woods, said she’s disappointed with that decision.
"It's a buffer zone. It's a wooded lot. It's part of Angell Woods and it should be part of the whole preservation package," Coulter said.
Angell Woods sits between Highway 20 and Highway 40 and was originally owned by the Angell family.
Now the property is owned partly by private land developers, the Quebec government, the cities of Montreal and Beaconsfield and two conservation agencies.