Martin C. Barry
The future of the Rosemère Golf Club and the pending redevelopment of the Place Rosemère shopping mall were among the issues raised by residents during public consultations held by town officials Feb. 19 and 22 on Rosemère’s future urban planning orientations.
In the spring of 2018, Rosemère town councillors, working with residents, drafted a vision for the future development of the town.
Through the process, they were able to identify factors that could help in developing a new urbanistic vision for Rosemère, while still managing to preserve the North Shore town’s identity.
The latest consultations were part of a second and final phase of the process, before the councillors and urban planning staff draft a new urban development master plan to guide development in Rosemère over the next decade.
According to basic and virtually unchanging tenets of Rosemère’s current urban planning vision, the hub of the town remains the “village” core along Grande Côte Rd. (where the library, municipal pool and other facilities are located across the street from the Metro supermarket and mall).
Widely varying opinions
In the meantime, the sprawling Rosemère Golf Club grounds and Place Rosemère along Labelle Blvd. are regarded as a regional hub. “We’re trying to get a feeling from the population as to how they feel about all these things,” Mayor Eric Westram said in an interview Feb. 22 with the North Shore News, noting that the variance in opinions in some cases is quite wide and may need reconciling.
“Everything that is going to come out of last Wednesday’s consultation and today’s, plus the two previous consultations and the two focus groups, will be letting us know where the population is at on all the issues so that we can find a consensus. We’ve always said that we wanted to keep Rosemère as green as possible.”
Place Rosemère’s future
As town councillor Philip Panet-Raymond reflected, not everything is within the control of town officials. “The future of the shopping mall to some extent is in the hands of the owners,” he said during the consultations, held at the Externat Sacré-Cœur school.
According to Panet-Raymond, Rosemère officials are currently waiting for a proposal to be made by the mall’s owners (Toronto-based Morguard) to partly modify the mall’s vocation to something that could integrate a new concept into the current all-retail configuration.
“Retailing has changed over the past 10-20 years,” he said. “It’s had an impact on that mall and its ability to maintain its value. That mall was reassessed in terms of value and it’s gone down a little bit, which in turn has an impact on the taxation generated.
Town open to changes
“We were encouraging the mall ownership to come back to us with a plan that updates and modernizes it, and that would also allow us to, you know, potentially put some rental residential in there,” said Panet-Raymond.
“We’re open to upgrading that mall. And they’ll do their homework in terms of what works and what doesn’t. They’ll do demographic studies to determine what should be there and what will be profitable.
“Because obviously if businesses at the mall are working and are profitable, we’re happy. Because then the tax base for us goes up and allows to do more with that tax revenue towards improving the lives of our residents.”
Golf course’s future
As for the Rosemère Golf Club, whose future as a golf course looks dim given the dismal state of golfing as a sport, Councillor Panet-Raymond said the town has been in discussions with the owner, a developer who would eventually like to build housing on at least part of the large property.
“We have received no plans as yet from them,” he said. “But we are consulting the population for purposes of getting some ideas for our own plans.” He said the town is currently following a guideline that sets a 50 per cent threshold, meaning that at least that much green space would be conserved if there were to be redevelopment.