Lachine residents fight for referendum on new condo project they say is too high


Some Lachine residents are trying to rally and get enough signatures on a registry today to force a referendum on a new condo project  that they say is too high and doesn't fit in with the neighbourhood.

The Le Marinier condo building will be one floor higher than the three storey building that Frank Tonchin lives in - he and his wife bought in seven years ago, reassured by a bylaw that said a higher building couldn't be built next to them in Old Lachine. Tonchin and his neighbours are also concerned about a potential decrease in the value of their property.

"Yes, I have a view. I wouldn't expect to keep 100% of my view. But now they want to take all my view, all my sunlight, privacy will be taken away by the extra floor. It's just not right," said Tonchin in an interview with CJAD 800.

They also question the modern look of the building that looks out of place in the older part of the borough.

"The mayor is trying to push through part of a commercial project into this potential condo development when there's empty storefronts one block away all over the place," said Tonchin.

His neighbour Nathalie Bergeron said they're worried the borough is setting a precedent by skirting the bylaws.

"The city is changing its regulations to fit its needs without thinking of residents who are already well-established, taxpayers who have been paying their taxes and who are now going to be impacted by that decision," said Bergeron.

Mayor Maja Vodanovic said that technically the new building is four storeys but with an added mezzanine for commercial property, it'll be taller. She insists they negotiated for more greenery and to have the building pushed back.

"We tried to make it better and the urban planners worked really hard to create more greenspace, to have more underground parking and it was a big negotiation with the promoter," Vodanovic told CJAD 800.

"It was a compromise. We did what we thought best."

Residents also complain there wasn't enough advance notice about the registry; the mayor said they did everything by the book.

Vadonovic said if 174 residents sign the registry, they'll respect the decision for a referendum.

Residents opposed to the project have until 7 p.m. to sign the registry at the borough hall.