Tensions flare in Pointe-Claire over Fairview development project

Divisions are growing on Pointe-Claire city council over a massive development project slated for Fairview.

“It’s clear the greatest wanted to upset the process,” said city councillor Eric Stork said Thursday.

Cadillac Fairview wants to build hundreds of housing units, a plaza and bike path near the new REM station. It would encompass a parking lot near the current shopping center next to the Fairview Forest.

It’s an area residents and environmentalists have been pushing to protect for years, and the city put a two-year ban on new construction in the area.

A draft bylaw on the moratorium was supposed to be filed Tuesday until Pointe-Claire Mayor Tim Thomas asked for it to be dropped from the agenda.

“(The major) basically threw a hand grenade in the room,” said Stork.

Thomas accused some of his fellow councilors of trying to clear the way for more development by making amendments to the draft.

“I really feel the citizens of Pointe-Clare should know exactly what’s going on,” he said. “We’ve had no public consultations.”

Stork disagreed, saying there would have been public consultations after the draft was filed.

“We were all caught by surprise by the proposal to remove the item from the agenda,” said Save Fairview Forest spokesperson Genevieve Lussier.

The organization has spent two years trying to protect the wooded area from development.

“I think as a group we’re certainly disappointed to see that things have returned like this,” said Lussier. “Our position is to save the forest.”

The mayor said the city will soon hold a special meeting on the issue.

The deadline to submit a draft by law is May 8.

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