How do you design a town’s future look? What does it take to preserve an identity and pass on an urbanistic heritage to the future generations?
One of the key elements of Mayor Westram’s political program before being elected was the Rosemère Urbanistic vision. The necessity came after the realisation that Rosemere lot division and building permit requests were not done based on a clear line of understanding of what was wanted in different areas and were examined on a case to case basis.
A heritage for future generations
“You could have a two-floor duplex being built right by a 1955 bungalow. We wanted to create a vision where you could tell people what type of house suited each area” emphasized mayor Westram. The idea was that rather than looking each individual demand as it came in overall the image was clear and people knew what can or cannot be done. “We wanted to have a heritage for future generations and it is one of our biggest achievements. It took 2.5 years to complete” said Westram.
Public consultations and report
The 10-15-year plan was supported by ten public consultation sessions since 2018, at which nearly 1,700 respondents expressed their views.
One such consultation was a survey for the town’s infrastructure and equipment which was conducted in February 2018 to better understand the expectations and concerns of Rosemère residents. The survey provided an opportunity for 523 respondents to express their views. Of these, 82% agreed that the Town should invest in improving the quality of its infrastructure and facilities, while respecting residents’ ability to pay. Similarly, more than half of the citizens surveyed (55%) indicated that they would accept that the Town implement a major investment plan for the improvement of municipal infrastructure and facilities.
Following the public consultations held on February 19 and 22, the Town of Rosemère released the independent report prepared by Provencher-Roy, a specialized firm that is assisting the Town of Rosemère in this important process. Further to the release of this report, Town Council is also presenting its position paper on all of the public consultations held over the past two years regarding Rosemère’s urbanistic vision. This position, in terms of land-use planning, is in line with the aspirations of residents. The vast majority of the citizens that participated are homeowners (97% compared to 3% of citizens who rent). “Thanks to the commitment of the participants, who have the development of their Town at heart, the steps taken over the past two years have enabled us to establish an urbanistic vision that meets our residents’ needs and reflect their values,” stated Westram.
Town Council’s position will guide its next Master plan and its various bylaws. In other words, this position paper reflects Town Council’s vision for the development of Rosemère’s territory. All future redevelopment and development projects will therefore have to be consistent with this vision.
The Town Council, in its urbanistic vision, will make the land on the site of the former Golf course subject to compliance with an overall development plan (ODP). All projects that are in line with this ODP will then be submitted to the residents for approval. In addition, it should be noted that the City will conduct a study on the current environmental potential of the site of the former Golf, as well as a study on its market value. The municipal council wishes, like its fellow citizens, to preserve a threshold of 50%, as a minimum, of the site of the former Golf in green spaces.
Mayor Westram said that the site is already rented every Winter for different activities including cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Right now, the golf course is privately owned and the current owners paid about 20 million dollars to acquire it, planning to develop it fully something that the city did not allow them to do. The mayor had to give a stern warning to the citizens that were trespassing during the summer. “We had people using the golf course like their private property and we had to put an end to that. The area is nor adequately lit, it is dangerous and above all it is illegal” said mayor Westram.
“It was always a dream of mine to have a big community park in the middle of Rosemère but the land is expensive and at the end of the day the citizens will have to agree to use their tax money for a purchase of that magnitude” concluded the mayor.