Council rejects project at 390 Chemin McConnell, updated proposal to be discussed at December 5 meeting
City Council rejected plans to build a mixed residential-commercial construction project at 390 Chemin McConnell at its meeting on November 14. The project involved a 6-storey building with 91 units and commercial properties on the first floor. Construction would have removed a significant number of trees in a forested area on the site.
Councillor Murray called for vote a on the project at the council meeting arguing that it did not respect the city’s criteria to limit the number of trees cut down in a single project, especially trees of special environmental importance, “While the project does preserve some of the trees on the site, in my opinion it does not preserve a sufficient amount of woodland, nor do the new trees proposed to be planted sufficiently compensate for the existing ones,” said Councillor Murray. The project was rejected with 12 votes against, 7 in favour and 1 abstention.
Murray said that she is not opposed the idea of a mixed construction project in the area, and highlighted the fact that many of the units were affordable and large enough to accommodate families. However, she said that any potential project would need higher environmental standards, “It is a sector that is expected to significantly grow in density. The project is in woodland right next to a major ecological corridor, and I personally would like to see a proposal that better preserves the environment given that it is a sensitive zone where many of the trees will likely disappear in a few years’ time,” said Councillor Murray during the council’s preparatory caucus.
Councillor Murray said that the developer offered to modify the project proposal to reduce its environmental impact following the council’s decision. While she did not yet have details about the modifications, she said that the developer offered to re-plant a higher number of trees than initially proposed. Murray said that the updated project will be on the council’s agenda at its next meeting on December 5.
The woodland at 390 chemin McConnell is listed as woodland for protection and integration (Boisé de protection et d’integration). While this does not mean that construction cannot happen in this zone, the city’s by-laws state that projects must limit the number of trees that are cut down and avoid harming trees which are important for the surrounding landscape.