Meadowbrook could be ‘exceptional park’: mayors
By MONIQUE BEAUDIN, The Gazette, June 9, 2010
MONTREAL – Standing in Maisonneuve Park, which used to be a golf course, two Montreal borough mayors yesterday called on the city to protect the site of the west-end Meadowbrook golf course.
Gesturing to the park behind him, Rosemont-La Petite Patrie borough mayor Francois Croteau said Meadowbrook could be turned into a similar public park.
“There were plans to build the Olympic towers here, but citizens mobilized to protect this beautiful, marvellous site,” he said. “This is what can be done with very little intervention – an exceptional park that very few people know used to be a golf course.”
The 57-hectare Meadowbrook course straddles Cote St. Luc and Lachine. It is privately owned by Groupe Pacific, which plans to build 1,500 housing units there in an environmentally friendly development.
It doesn’t make sense, Croteau said, to do a “green” development on a green space, when renaturalizing Meadowbrook would protect biodiversity on the island.
Croteau and Plateau-Mont Royal mayor Luc Ferrandez called on Lachine to change the zoning on its part of the golf course. Doing so before Groupe Pacific requests a building permit would protect the borough from being sued by the developer, they said.
Neither Lachine mayor Claude Dauphin nor a spokesperson for Groupe Pacific could be reached for comment yesterday.
The mayors say there are many other sites on the island for a development like the one Groupe Pacific is proposing.
Ferrandez said this is not a fight between environmentalists and developers. Groupe Pacific’s project is “exceptional,” Croteau added.
“We are all for having families in the city, and we are all for development, but in the right place, not on land that is valuable for all Montrealers and for the future of nature,” Ferrandez said.
Montreal’s public-consultation office and an agglomeration council committee have recommended the city protect the golf course as a green space, a move supported by the Green Coalition, David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club.
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