Cote Saint-Luc adopts 2017 budget: City spending stays flat, average residential property tax increase of 1.9 percent

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The City of Côte Saint-Luc adopted an operating budget for 2017 that kept spending flat and the property tax at at 1.9% percent for an average single-family home in the city. This is in line with the Conference Board of Canada inflation rate forecast for the greater Montreal region.

“We do our very best to keep property taxes as low as possible,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “It was a challenging exercise this year given the higher than expected bill we received from Agglomeration of Montreal, the island-wide government.”

The Côte Saint-Luc City Council adopted the $68 million operating budget on December 12, 2016. About 42 percent of all taxes collected by Côte Saint-Luc are transferred to the Agglomeration of Montreal, which funds services such as police, fire, and public transit.

The property tax bills will be sent to homes by the last week of January. The deadline to pay property taxes has been set at February 27 for the first installment and May 29 for the second installment.

“The Council and senior staff worked very hard to balance our budget and to minimize any property tax increases for our residents,” said Councillor Steven Erdelyi, the council member responsible for finances.

Budget and tax highlights include the following:
  • Average increase in taxes for single-family home valued at $584,600: 1.9 percent (or $121)

  • 52 percent of single-family homes and condos will see a reduction in taxes

  • Increase in revenues from taxation: 3 percent

  • Revenues from property taxes: 87.7 percent

  • Revenues from compensation in lieu of taxes: 1.9 percent

  • Other revenues (eg, program fees, memberships, etc.): 10.3 percent

The three-year capital expenditures plan was also adopted on December 12. Approximately $14 million in capital expenses is anticipated in 2017. It will be used for projects such as water and sewer rehabilitation and repairs, renovations to the outdoor municipal pool, underpasses, improvements of facilities and parks and updating the aging vehicles in the municipal fleet.

End of year message

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Message from the Acting Mayor of Cote Saint-Luc

CSL Courier – December 31, 2015

Just as the seasons change so does life in the City of Cote Saint-Luc and at our City Hall. After ten incredible years at the helm, our esteemed mayor has accomplished a lifelong dream and has taken on the title of Member of Parliament. We are so fortunate as he will continue to serve us with integrity and passion and determination, now as our Man in Ottawa!

Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

I was honoured to join several Members of Council, our outgoing M.P. Professor Irwin Cotler, and several Cote Saint-Lucers at the official Swearing In Ceremony on Parliament Hill a few weeks ago. It was an extraordinary day, steeped in Canadian tradition and history that will long be remembered. Please join me in congratulating the Honourable Anthony Housefather, M.P. for Mount Royal and wishing him every success in his service to our constituency and our country.

My first public council meeting as Acting mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, November 9, 2015

My first public council meeting as Acting mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, November 9, 2015

In the interim I have stepped up to lead the city as Acting Mayor. I have been working hand in hand with the Members of Council and the Administration to ensure a smooth transition as we prepare for winter, build our 2016 budget and get ready to elect a new mayor in an upcoming byelection.

I am also excited to be celebrating 25 years since I was first elected to this venerable council, together with my friends and colleagues Councillors Mitchell Brownstein, Ruth Kovac and Dida Berku. It is truly an honour as I consider being elected to serve the public as a great privilege. I congratulate my colleagues on this important milestone in our political lives.

Celebrating demerger victory (June 2004) with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Mitchell Brownstein

Celebrating demerger victory (June 2004) with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Mitchell Brownstein

I also note the long and distinguished service of  Councillor Allan J. Levine who has served, remarkably since 1986.

 

As for Councillors Steven Erdelyi, Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom, our youngsters on council, they have deeply devoted themselves for the last 10 years.

 

All together, we have worked collaboratively and respectfully, for which I am very grateful. We have a dedicated and talented group of councillors here in Cote Saint-Luc, along with a dynamic and creative administration and staff led by Tanya Abramovitch, Nadia Di Furia and Jonathan Shecter, all of whom are focused on delivering quality services and programs to our residents. In addition we have hundreds of incredible volunteers who give of themselves, tirelessly, all for the benefit of our city and its residents.

 

In the meantime, as the seasons roll over, I invite you to enjoy all our city has to offer throughout the winter months. Our Aquatic and Community Centre is bursting with activity seven days a week. Whether its for a dip in the pool or shooting hoops or taking an art class drop by and get active. The CSL Public Library is open every day of the year and offers so much for every age. Whether you prefer to skate indoors at the arena or at one of the outdoor rinks or go for a brisk walk along one of our park paths we take this opportunity to wish you a safe, healthy and maybe even a warm winter. Safe travels to our snowbirds.

CSL alert mass notification

And please stay in touch with your city all year long. Subscribe to the Cote Saint-Luc newsletter at www.cotesaintluc.org/subscribe. Also CSL Alert allows you to receive notifications about events that may affect your home or neighbourhood via phone call, text message and e-mail. Visit www.cotesaintluc.org/alert to sign up.

2015-11-30 Council portrait photo

On behalf of the council, I take this opportunity to wish you a festive and bright Chanukah, a joyous and spirited Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Glenn J. Nashen

Acting Mayor

 

Read the full edition of the CSL Courier (Dec. 2015)

CSL’s Westminster underpass getting redo

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“One phase is the railing that is on both sides of the walkway that is used by many residents and students,” Councillor Steven Erdelyi explained at the November council meeting. “The railing is in desperate need of being replaced.”

The councillor also said there were issues with the retaining wall, “both on the east and west sides.

“On the east side, the concrete retaining wall is in need of a full facelift that will involve removing the top layer of concrete and adding a new layer onto it, at the same time keeping the width of the sidewalk standard so that people can still travel,” he explained. “It will also involve complete replacement of the guardrails.

“On the west side, where you have some concrete blocks that are keeping the grass up, they will be removed and that whole side will be re-leveled so that it won’t need any concrete blocks.”

Erdelyi said he had been pushing for the project for several years, and that over time, the condition of the underpass worsened.

“It’s a situation that can’t wait any further,” he added. “The goal is to have the project take place just after St. Jean Baptiste Day, when it’s least used by drivers and pedestrians, and be done by the end of August, so as not to interfere with students, who we know use this as a valuable way to walk back and forth. Throughout the project, we’ll be looking at the safety of all residents and students to make sure the underpass is completely safe.”

Council regular Irving Itman has been calling for improvements to the underpass for years.

CSL votes 4-2 to sell land for new B’nai Brith residence

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The Suburban | Nov. 19, 2014 | Click to enlarge

The Suburban | Nov. 19, 2014 | Click to enlarge

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor supports his eight councillors for re-election and they endorse him as well

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Cote Saint-Luc Mayor supports his eight councillors for re-election and they endorse him as well

Cote Saint-Luc City Council

                                               Cote Saint-Luc City Council 

Mayor Anthony Housefather and all eight incumbent city councillors have announced their intention to seek re-election in the next Cote Saint-Luc municipal election. which will take place on November 3, 2013.

“Our council works hard as a team with integrity and transparency. We began this mandate with significant goals and we have achieved them,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather.”

“We built an Aquatic and Community Centre that is the pride of the city. We created a dramatic society that has enhanced our cultural offerings. We have created an urban agriculture program to improve health and we have continued to improve our infrastructure by revamping parks and playgrounds, rehabilitating streets, pipes and facilities,” the Mayor said. “We have overseen the successful Cavendish Mall redevelopment, a number of townhouse projects and the continued rejuvenation of our community. We were instrumental in convincing the English Montreal School Board to reintroduce a mainstream English high school in Cote Saint-Luc and have worked hard to support our excellent public and private schools and institutions.”

“We have continued to run the city as we would a business, with tight budgetary control keeping our shareholders – our residents – always in mind,” Mayor Housefather said. “I am very pleased that we have achieved these goals together, and I have full confidence that our council can do even more together in the future.”

Councillors Sam Goldbloom (District 1), Mike Cohen (District 2), DidaBerku (District 3), Steven Erdelyi (District 4), Allan J. Levine (District 5), Glenn J. Nashen (District 6), Mitchell Brownstein (District 7) and Ruth Kovac (District 8) have all thrown their support behind the mayor.

“It is great to have a Mayor who can get both lead and listen to his council, stated Councillors Mike Cohen and Dida Berku. “We compare Côte Saint-Luc to other municipalities and see how much our councillors are empowered to act and how constructively decisions are made and that results from Mayor Housefather’s leadership.”

“Anthony worked with us to lead the demerger movement,” said Councillors Ruth Kovac, Glenn J. Nashen and Mitchell Brownstein. “His leadership in allowing us to break away from Montreal has clearly proven to be the correct decision and he has shown that a city can be run in an ethical, honest and positive way. We are delighted to endorse him.”

“There is no mayor we know who works harder than Anthony Housefather,” stated Councillors Steven Erdelyi, Sam Goldbloom and Allan J. Levine. “He is available 24∕ 7 by email and phone and gets things done smoothly and constructively. He has both intelligence and vision.”

While each member of council will run their re-election campaigns independently, the mayor has announced support for each of his incumbent colleagues.

“Sam Goldbloom (District 1) has been with us for two mandates now and has worked diligently on matters related to seniors, traffic and the library in particular,” said the mayor. “Sam has been an active member of both our Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society and Cats Committee. Before joining our council, Sam was integrally involved in many community organizations and that experience has served us well.”

The mayor noted that Mike Cohen (District 2) joined council eight years ago having worn many hats as a journalist and communications professional. “Mike has lived in Côte Saint-Luc most of his life and came to us having always been involved in our programs and activities,” he said. “We have benefitted from his expertise by ensuring the delivery of a well oiled communications plan for our citizens, from an enhanced website to various publications. His creation of District Information Meetings have been well received and caught on with other councillors. In addition, his decision to establish the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee has helped our city play a leading role in the area of animal welfare.”

“Dida Berku (District 3), emphasizes the mayor, has done a masterful job overseeing the city’s finance portfolio while also working diligently on matters related to the environment and the Cavendish Mall development and Meadowbrook. She also played a critical role in the introduction of a code of ethics in the city. “Dida’s legal and financial acumen and her incredible work ethic are invaluable for the city,” said the mayor.

Steven Erdelyi (District 4), the mayor notes, has devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the public works dossier and environmental matters in particular. “As a former high school science teacher and now a school principal, Steven is very detailed in everything he does,” said the mayor. “I know that when I give Steven an assignment, he will come back with even more meat on the bone than I expected.”

Allan J. Levine (District 5), a retired school teacher , has devoted much of his time and energy over the years to serving on the Planning Advisory and Audit Committees while being involved in all aspects of city life. “In this last mandate of ours, Allan has been able to marry his love for tennis with his duties as a councillor. “Allan has taken great pride in chairing our tennis committee,” the mayor said. “From the Côte Saint-Luc Tennis Club, to the reconstruction of the Wagar courts and the plans to refurbish those at Rembrandt Park, Allan’s love for tennis and ability to convince the council to move forward has made Côte Saint-Luc a tennis capital.”

Glenn J. Nashen (District 6) continues to be a great advocate for public safety, always looking for new ways to make Côte Saint-Luc an even safer place in which to live. “Glenn has been a volunteer with our Emergency Medical Services organization for many years,” the mayor said. “He continues to oversee that dossier, in addition to our Public Security, Emergency Preparedness and the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol – an extraordinary service which was his idea. Glenn is constantly in touch with our local Police and Fire Departments, ensuring that matters of public safety are in good hands.” Nashen also heads up the Traffic Committee and CSL Cycles program, and he is always looking at new ideas to calm traffic, increase pedestrian safety and expand our cycling network.

Mitchell Brownstein (District 7) has been instrumental in the growth of Aquatic and Community Centre programs. “Mitchell has a long history in regard to swimming in our community dating back to his role as manager of the old Blossom Pool,” said the mayor. “The evolution of our ACC was a dream of his as well as mine, so I spend a lot of time with him and our aquatic staff overseeing the growth of aquatics in Côte Saint-Luc. His ideas such as the Fun Card and the Dramatic Society have been highlights of our last two mandates. The Recreation dossier which he oversees is multifaceted and time consuming.”

Ruth Kovac (District 8) has the very important dossier of urban planning and co-chaired the construction duties of the ACC. “Not on ly did Ruth play a critical role in regard to the ACC,” said the mayor, “She also worked incredibly hard on the Cavendish Mall redevelopment. In addition, she chairs our Planning Advisory Committee, which oversees every new building permit request the city must deal with. We are also grateful to Ruth for the long hours she spends overseeing financial expenditures in the city, working on the Audit as well as the Emergency Preparedness Committees.”

In conclusion the mayor stated: “This has been an excellent council and a superb mandate during these last four years. Our group of nine has in fact been together since we demerged from Montreal. We have been an effective and business-oriented team overseeing the city. I have always believed in empowering each member of council and I am very pleased with the success that has come with my decision to assign portfolios to each councillor. We have accomplished everything that was promised and more. I would be proud to continue to serve with each one of these dedicated civic leaders.”

West End Times | Sept. 12, 2009 | Click to enlarge

West End Times | Sept. 12, 2009 | Click to enlarge

Bill could kill bilingual status: Erdelyi ponders Bill 14

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Free Press. Feb. 26, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press. Feb. 26, 2013. Click to enlarge.

 

Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi gives an excellent summary of why we must oppose Bill 14 and actively campaign to defeat the proposed legislation.

 

 

 

 

Council votes to pay MMC

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Free Press. Feb. 13, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press. Feb. 13, 2013. Click to enlarge.

 

I have always voted against payments to the Metropolitan Community.  Cote Saint-Luc derives very little value for its nearly half-million dollar annual expense.  Of course, we are also bound by law to pay this amount and therefore have no choice.

I feel it is better for this expense not to be adopted unanimously and for the public to be aware of how we are overburdened with multiple layers of regional government costing us in dollars, in bureaucracy and in confusing, complex and contradictory regulations and services.

Quebec is the most heavily taxed territory in North America.  This has an impact upon our economy, job creation and personal and corporate wealth.  Do we really need to be spending $500,000 on the MMC?

Change needed at CSL-MoWest intersection: MoWest resident

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Change needed at CSL-MoWest intersection: MoWest resident

CSL engineering dept. recommends simple stop at corner: Housefather

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

January 23, 2013

The flashing lights stop signal at Westminster and Westover in Côte St. Luc should be dismantled and replaced with a walk signal to improve pedestrian safety, council regular Daniel Markuze told Montreal West council at the late November meeting.

The signal is located north of the Westminster hump, right at the border with Montreal West, and has been in operation since 1963.

“Right now, they’re just flashing and it’s an accident waiting to happen,” he added. “The problem is for pedestrians. We need something where you press a button and its all right for people to cross. It’s needed especially for older people. It’s dangerous there.”

Mayor Beny Masella said Montreal West originally shared the cost with Côte St. Luc to install the flashing light signal. “Côte St. Luc, from what we’re understanding, is not sure they want to replace the lights completely, which is a $200,000 job, or just to change the controller, which is a $50,000 to $60,000 job. We’ve told them we’d probably be willing to participate in the costs. They’ve done a traffic study at the intersection, they’ve collected their data and it was supposed to be presented to their council. We asked that it be presented to our council to see if all of this is warranted. We’re waiting for that data [regarding traffic volume] to get back to us so we can make a decision how we can participate.”

Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather told The Suburban Friday that his city has done traffic counts at that intersection “and intends to leave this as a flashing light stop sign for now.

“All information we have is being shared with Montreal West,” the mayor explained. “The costs of this light, which are at the border of the two communities, were originally shared between the communities but Côte St. Luc has been maintaining it since installation. The costs of repairing the controller or replacing the light are not justified based on the assessment by our engineering department of the traffic at that intersection and they recommend using a simple stop. If Montreal West has other suggestions we will certainly consider them.”

Côte St. Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi, who represents the area, said Montreal West originally installed the lights and Côte St. Luc helped pay for them and later, Côte St. Luc was in charge of their maintenance. Erdelyi said the current lights are 49 years old and need major work, and traffic studies have shown a 10 to one ratio between cars travelling on Westminster and cars on Westover. He said the data indicates a traffic light would not be necessary there, and that a regular or flashing stop sign are options. In comparison, at Côte St. Luc and Westminster where there is a button-controlled crossing such as what Markuze requested, “The ratio is roughly half and half between cars going on [the two streets]. Based on criteria from the Ministry of Transport, it doesn’t seem it’s necessary to have the traffic light” at Westover and Westminster.

And many more…

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Happy Birthdays to Councillor Steven Erdelyi, Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillor Mitchell Brownstein

Happy Birthdays to Councillor Steven Erdelyi, Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillor Mitchell Brownstein

Cote Saint-Luc City Council took a brief pause from its Monday night meeting to celebrate three birthdays.  All the best wishes to Mayor Anthony Housefather, an athlete and competitive swimmer who usually passes on the snacks, and Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Mitchell Brownstein.

 

CSL passes potable water restriction bylaw

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December 19, 2012

By Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

Côte St. Luc council passed a bylaw last week restricting the use of potable -fit for human consumption- water in the city.

Mayor Anthony Housefather explained that the Quebec municipal affairs ministry suggested that all municipalities pass such a bylaw.

“We’ve reviewed this with all of our departments and we made many changes to the proposed draft bylaw,” he added.

Councillor Steven Erdelyi voted against the bylaw, saying it does not go far enough.

“It is a step in the right direction,” he said, pointing out that snowfall rates are dropping and McGill environmental professor George McCourt told a lecture in Côte St. Luc that only one percent of the Great Lakes system is accessible for residential and institutional use. “This is an opportunity for us to take a preemptive measure to further restrict the use of potable water, as many other cities have done. It’s a good start, but we could have gone further, so we won’t end up dealing with the problem further down the road.”

Councillor Glenn Nashen, who voted for the bylaw, said important steps are being taken towards water conservation.

“There are some new restrictions we didn’t have before – the watering of lawns, hedges, trees and other vegetable plants by portable sprinklers or porous hose is permitted only between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.. The notion is that a significant percentage of the water [generated] when one turns on a sprinkler during the day is evaporated and doesn’t actually serve the purpose it was intended for. Watering by in-ground automatic sprinkler systems is only permitted between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m…. during the least usage period. And most importantly, any of these systems may not exceed 45 minutes within these time frames.” Thus, a sprinkler timer would have to be used, at least overnight.

“This is quite significant, and I think this will cut down on those residents who leave at 7 or 8 a.m., turn on their sprinklers and it runs the entire day, perhaps watering half of the street. This will now be deemed in contravention of the bylaw.”

As well, water can be used to wash cars, driveways and exterior patios for no more than a 30-minute period.

Housefather added that landscape ponds will have to have a recirculation system.

“After Jan. 1, 2013, you cannot install a landscape pond that uses drinking water,” the mayor said. “There’s a number of places here where we’re really changing what we’re allowed to do in the municipality to preserve water. We try to find a reasonable balance between restrictions residents can live with without interfering with their quality of life and the important notion of preserving water as much as possible.”

Councillor Dida Berku agreed that the bylaw is a “good start,” and pointed out it can always be amended and perhaps strengthened. She added that information will be sent out to the public on the new restrictions.

 

Chanukah candles burn bright in CSL

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Chanukah, the festival of lights, comes to life each year in Cote Saint-Luc.  Chanukah decorations, both store-bought and child crafted, adorn front windows and doors and the Chanukah Menorah candles – electric, oil and wax – are prominently displayed in windows.

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, Rabbi David Cohen, Rabbi Mendel Raskin and Consul General of Israel Rabbi Joel Lion

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen and his son Jeremy, Rabbi David Cohen, Rabbi Mendel Raskin and Consul General of Israel Rabbi Joel Lion

Rabbi Mendel Raskin of Chabad CSL has been promoting public candle lighting in front of City Hall for 25 years since 1998.  I’m happy to have participated in just about every one of these ceremonies all of these years.

Rabbi Raskin in the lead car for the Chanukah parade

Rabbi Raskin in the lead car for the Chanukah parade

The candle lighting was followed by a bright and boisterous parade of vehicles with illuminated Chanukah Menorahs atop the cars and minivans, and even one limousine.  An impressive escort of police, public security and vCOP vehicles flanked the procession as it departed from City Hall to loop the city spreading the light of the Menorahs and festive music.

Russiona Jewish Youth Centre's Rabbi Moishe Reikhtman celebrates Chanukah with a Menorah burning pure olive oil

Another gem in the fabric of Cote Saint-Luc is Rabbi Moishe Reikhtman and his Jewish Russian Youth Centre.  Located at Cote Saint-Luc Road and Robert Burns the centre welcomes the sizable Russian Jewish Community in the area, particularly those with young families, teens and young adults.

Rabbi Reikhtman is an extraordinary individual who is outgoing, personable, compassionate and even educationally entertaining. He and is dynamic wife, Ayelet, have created a warm, welcoming environment to the Russian community.  Their festive and spirited gatherings each holiday in the centre are packed with Russian speakers from the West End.

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen with son Jeremy and Reverend Yitzchak Rosenberg

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen with son Jeremy and Reverend Yitzchak Rosenberg

Beth Zion Congregation’s Reverend Yitzchak Rosenberg was on hand for last night’s lighting of the giant Menorah at City Hall to sing the blessings.  Reverend Rosenberg has been a mainstay on the local liturgical scene for decades.

The involvement of so many leaders from local synagogues has helped to make Cote Saint-Luc a strong and vibrant community.  The participation of so many residents is a wonderful experience.  Mayor Anthony Housefather and the entire City Council was invited to the stage by Rabbi Raskin to officiate over the lighting of the candles by Councillor Steven Erdelyi who was hoisted in the city’s “cherry-picker”.

Rabbi Raskin told the crowd that the lights of the Menorah would spread peace and goodwill too all people of all religions.  Mayor Housefather rejoiced in the upbeat spirit of the holiday and wished all residents well for a joyous holiday and a wonderful new year.

Watered down tree protection

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Free Press, December 19, 2012 - Click to enlarge

Free Press, December 19, 2012 – Click to enlarge

After several years of disagreement on how to apply the bylaw and months of debate on reworking the regulation City Council adopted a new tree protection bylaw last evening, or more specifically an amendment to the exiting bylaw.

Given that the logo of the City of Cote Saint-Luc is a stylized leaf, it is somewhat ironic that the new bylaw actually makes it easier to chop down a tree on private property.

Now, a resident may claim that a tree is impeding sunlight or blocking one’s view in order to gain permission to cut down a tree.

Council will no longer have any power over tree replacement as the decision to fell a tree is now conferred upon the Director of  Urban Development.

What’s worse, any tree that is cut down need only be replaced with a single tree regardless of the size of the tree to be felled (unless more than five trees are cut on the same lot in a given year, a rare occurrence).

Unfortunately, not one resident appeared at the special meeting convened to review the bylaw.

In supporting the proposal, Councillor Ruth Kovac exclaimed that Cote Saint-Luc will not have a net loss of trees.

Councillor Dida Berku, a passionate defender of the environment responded that the bylaw will have the opposite effect since a resident can now replace a 50 year old tree with a two inch sapling.

Whereas Council occasionally required two or more trees to replace larger ones, this will now only be triggered if a resident neglects to apply for a permit.  In that case, two for one plus a fine will be required.

Berku went on to say that, “More trees will be cut and less will be planted.  This dilutes the intent of the original bylaw which was based upon best practices in the region.  The new bylaw permits you to cut a healthy tree, and this is plain wrong,” Berku said.

Our inventory of trees is directly linked to public health according to the Montreal Public Health Agency. Urban Heat Islands are spreading across the Island of Montreal and are evident around Cote Saint-Luc’s two shopping malls.  Earlier this fall, Council had the opportunity to require the shopping centre owner to shade its parking lot with small islands of green space and trees but chose not to.  Berku and I, along with Councillor Steven Erdelyi voted to require the centre’s management to plant more trees but we were outvoted.

According to Erdelyi, a June 2007 study by the Montreal Agglomeration measured tree coverage for the entire island.  The study noted that while 20% of the island is currently shaded the target is set at 25%.  At that time, Cote Saint-Luc had 15% shading while TMR boasted 25% shading.

In speaking against the new, watered-down bylaw I said, “My tree benefits my neighbours and their trees benefit me. It’s in the public interest to protect trees.”

There are many options for maintaining one’s property when it comes to trees.  Pruning a tree will amply serve to prevent over-shading or restricted visibility without the need for chopping.

Mayor Anthony Housefather summed up the debate in stating, “Council had conflicting visions between those who believe one should have complete freedom versus some restriction.  Despite our differences on this bylaw everyone is in good faith. It’s great that we can all work together, even if it’s not a perfect compromise.”

I voted against this bylaw, along with Councillors Dida Berku and Steven Erdelyi.

Bronwyn Chester identified this 200 year old Bur Oak at the corner of Wavell and Melling. It is possibly the oldest of its kind on the island. Will it be next on the chopping block?

Bronwyn Chester identified this 200 year old Bur Oak at the corner of Wavell and Melling. It is possibly the oldest of its kind on the island. Will it be next on the chopping block?

CSL Shopping Centre to get drive-through restaurant

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Isaac Olson, The Free Press

September 11, 2012

On August 27, the Côte St. Luc city council, in a special meeting, approved a zoning change that paves the way for what will be the only drive-through restaurant in the area.

Representatives of the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre (located at 7073 CSL Rd. near Coronation Ave.) applied for a zoning change to allow the construction of a drive-through in the mall’s parking lot, explained Mayor Anthony Housefather in an email.

As of press time, the Free Press was unable to confirm which restaurant is eying the property as Gregory Menzies of First Capital Realty Inc., which owns the mall, was unwilling to reveal the business until the deal is finalized.

As the by-law was being drawn up, councillors Dida Berku, Glenn Nashen and Steven Erdelyi have reportedly voiced concerns, not because of the construction, but because of a desire for more area parking lots to be “greened up” rather than remaining heat islands.

On Nashen’s blog, he states he is in favour of having a restaurant open there as it would be a popular spot and conveniently located for CSL and NDG residents alike, while providing local jobs. However, he wrote, “What irks me is that this zoning amendment provides an opportunity to request, or demand, that the shopping centre provide more trees on its lot to create shade on what is one of the hottest spaces in the area.”

Studies indicate an increase in morbidity and mortality linked to higher temperatures, he stated, and, in Montreal, heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense with urban heat islands worsening the situation.

“CSL has no location or specific desire to add drive-throughs,” stated Housefather, noting no building permit has been issued. “It suited this one property … Safety on the site is the responsibility of the property owner, but the city worked with the property owner on a traffic configuration for the parking lot that made it safer than it is today.”

 

CSL promoting ‘alternative transport

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CSL promoting ‘alternative transport

Joel Goldenberg, July 18, 2012

The Suburban

 

Côte St. Luc council passed a resolution last week to promote alternative and active means of transport, such as public transit and walking for exercise, specifically on Sept. 21 or 22 through a special event to be organized by city staff.

The City of Montreal has a car-free day on Sept. 22, but Côte St. Luc is not going as far as that.

The Côte St. Luc resolution was introduced by Councillor Dida Berku, and seconded by Councillors Glenn Nashen and Steven Erdelyi, and points out that on Aug. 1, the Eleanor London Library will be hosting a lecture called “Leave the car at home: Get walking. Get healthy.”

The city has also resolved to “actively support public transit solutions when and if they are available and meet residents’ needs.”

Côte St. Luc is also asking Montreal’s bus service to “move forward with a shuttle service” to the very busy Côte des Neiges hospital district, which includes the Jewish General and St. Mary’s hospitals, and numerous medical buildings along Côte des Neiges Road.

Côte St. Luc’s resolution also asks the Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT) and Montreal agglomeration to support a train station within the municipality, and authorizes the city to participate in the AMT’s blog, “which is offered in order to promote the interests of the citizens of Côte St. Luc for more access to AMT train and bus services, which will encourage and allow our residents to benefit from these public services which they support financially.”

 

More seniors than youth struck by cars in CSL: stats

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More seniors than youth struck by cars in CSL: stats

New light mechanism at busy Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster

Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

July 11, 2012

Côte St. Luc is the only city on the island of Montreal where senior citizens exceed young people in terms of those hit by cars at intersections, Councillor Steven Erdelyi told his District 4 meeting at the Waldorf residence last Thursday.

“Based on a study, which was a few years ago… at every other city and borough on the island, there’s more children up to 18 [hit by cars],” he added. For this reason, and also as a result of past complaints, a crossing guard was installed at the busy corner of Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster Avenue for two hours during the day, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.. The intersection is in Erdelyi’s district, and is frequented by numerous seniors, as the Waldorf residence and B’nai Brith House are in close proximity.

“Some said, let’s put the crossing guard there in the [early] morning because of the kids, but I said the problem is not so much the kids, it’s the seniors,” the councillor said. Erdelyi told The Suburban that the data collected for the pedestrian victim study was from about 2003. He added that the data did not indicate who was killed or injured. But the data did say which were the most dangerous intersections with the most injuries- Cavendish Blvd. and Kildare Road was first, Cavendish Blvd. and Mackle Road was second and Côte St. Luc Road and Westminster was third.

“It’s important to make sure senior citizens can cross the road safely,” Erdelyi said. In that vein, the councillor spoke about new traffic light mechanisms at Côte St. Luc and Westminster. “All the buttons [for the walk signals], all the poles have been replaced,” he said. “The structure there is about 30-40 years old, and it was time to replace it.” Erdelyi said that when the walk button is now pressed, a beep sound is heard, confirming that it’s working. The walk signal does not come on immediately, as the traffic light cycle continues. “If you don’t press the button, the walk signal will not come on. If you do want to cross, you need to press the button and be patient and wait for it.

One of the problems we have there is many people don’t wait.” A sonar beeping signal for the visually impaired will be coming in the future.

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