West Island mayor to developer: new seniors' home welcome, but not on green space

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By Iman Kassam & Adam Kovac

MONTREAL -- A West Island development plan has some residents outraged, as they say it would turn precious green space into a nursing home.

The small wooded area in Pierrefonds-Roxboro is a favourite spot for some locals, but the private developers who own the land plan to turn it into an eight-story, 348 unit seniors' residence.

Borough mayor Jim Beis said that while a new facility would be welcome, it would be better in a different spot.

“Since last week, there's been incredible push back from the community, knowing this facility could affect their quality of life,” he said.

The project has not yet been fully approved, as the land would need to be re-zoned. Beis said he hopes the city can purchase the land to keep it as green space.

“This is also a parcel of land that we submitted to the City of Montreal years ago in order for them to purchase it and they rejected it,” he said.

Robert Beaudry, the city councillor responsible for buying plots of land, said there are steps the borough must take before the city steps in.

“The borough can do some action to protect this land from development without investing a penny,” he said. “It allows us to invest in other green spaces we can't protect otherwise.”

A decision on re-zoning the land will be reached when the borough council meets on Monday.  

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