Developer, activists at odds over Meadowbrook
A group opposed to seeing Meadowbrook golf course turned into a building site for condominiums is gearing up to fight the project, but the developer says the complaints are premature.
"Les amis de Meadowbrook" gathered near the golf course Wednesday to announce their plans to fight the project. They were joined by federal and municipal politicians, including Coun. Peter McQueen, a member of Projet Montréal, who said he will table a resolution at Montreal city council asking that all 57 hectares be designated an "eco-territory" or protected green space.
"It already has a fair amount of biodiversity. It's very interesting for migratory birds," said Patrick Asch, a wildlife biologist and member of Les Amis. "It's the only space that's easy to rehabilitate around the whole greater southwestern Montreal community."
The developer, Groupe Pacific, has said it hopes to build more than 1,500 condo units on the half of the property that falls under the jurisdiction of the borough of Lachine. The other half is in the city of Côte Saint-Luc, which has rezoned the territory as recreational to prevent condos from being built on the site.
Groupe Pacific says it plans to go public with its plan in about six weeks.
Montreal considering strategy
The City of Montreal said Meadowbrook was considered for protection in 2004.
"At the time, Meadowbrook, as a golf course, didn't fit those criteria," said Alan DeSousa, vice-president of Montreal executive committee. "That's not to say that Meadowbrook doesn't have value as a green space, but it did not fit the definition."
Montreal's agglomeration council recommended the city determine an appropriate strategy for Meadowbrook in 2009, DeSousa said, adding the city will be coming forward with a strategy for the area.
"I have had no contact with anyone with regard to a project on Meadowbrook," DeSousa said. "We will have to evaluate any proposal that comes forward, but at the present time I have nothing on the table."
At the Friends of Meadowbrook news conference, Outremont MP Thomas Mulcair said he had a message for city officials: "You can't talk sustainable development and then take out bulldozers on a precious area like Meadowbrook. It's got to be saved."
Developer defends project
Groupe Pacific said it wants to build an environmentally friendly project that will open up to the community an area that's previously only been used for golfing.
Criticisms of the project are premature, said the company's vice-president of development and legal affairs, Suzanne Deschamps.
"They cannot have the entire picture, because I have not made that public and I believe that once they do see what we intend on doing, that probably we'll be able to enter a dialogue."