CSL allows for drive-through restaurant

Three councillors vote against – would rather have trees!

Joel Goldenberg, July 18, 2012

The Suburban

Côte St. Luc council passed a first draft bylaw last week to enable the creation of a drive-through restaurant in that city, and specifically one planned for the parking lot of the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre.

Mayor Anthony Housefather said it is not known which restaurant will be setting up in the area near Côte St. Luc Road or whether it will have inside seating, but jokingly let it be known he would prefer a Krispy Kreme outlet. Councillor Ruth Kovac introduced the bylaw and Councillor Sam Goldbloom seconded. There will be a public consultation on the matter in the near future.

“We think this is a positive addition to the area and the city, to have another restaurant in Côte St. Luc,” Housefather said.

Councillor Mike Cohen said it has been many years since the McDonald’s drivethrough was on Côte St. Luc Road, albeit on the Montreal side of the street.

“There are a lot of people who work in the area, and if they want to get a quick lunch, they now have to go into NDG [or Snowdon],” Cohen added. “I’m rooting for Wendy’s to come into Côte St. Luc.”

However, councillors Dida Berku, Glenn Nashen and Steven Erdelyi voted against – not because they oppose the project per se, but because they want parking lots to be greened as they are heat islands.  Berku said that while the city does not “necessarily need a greening bylaw for parking lots, we can certainly take this opportunity to green our two major parking lots (Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre and Quartier Cavendish) which are major hot spots on the Côte St. Luc heat map,” areas that are hotter than others in that city.

Berku said that while the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre will be installing grass in three vacant spots in the parking lot, she and the other councillors believe “this will not green the parking lot or provide much needed shade.” She called for 10 trees to be planted within the lot’s 400 spots, and cited St. Laurent’s sustainable parking lot regulations, which calls for tree planting in parking lots with 20 or more spaces, for which the borough won a prize.

“I want to send a message,” with the opposing vote, Berku said.

Erdelyi agreed with Berku, and added that the CP railyard is another hot spot.

‘We’re not asking a great deal to plant a few trees, it’s a relatively small request,” Erdelyi said.

Nashen, who also voted against, pointed to what he has heard of the relationship between the health of the general community and trees, in terms of lowering temperature.

“I think we’re not doing enough and that message has to get out to developers across the island,” the councillor said.

Councillor Mitchell Brownstein agreed there should be trees, but voted in favour of the project.

Housefather agreed that property owners with large parking lots should be strongly advised to have green islands within them, and said the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre’s owners will be contacted to try and secure an agreement on planting trees.

“The council wants trees,” the mayor told The Suburban.