Ste. Anne considers major new development plan
Project would almost double town’s population
Albert Kramberger, The Gazette, Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Ste. Anne de Bellevue is proposing an urban plan for its north sector which opens the door to development and could significantly increase the number of residents in the town of about 5,200.
The proposed plan involves rezoning part of an undeveloped 276-hectare area just west of the l’Anse à l’Orme nature park and north of Highway 40 to allow for single-family homes, semi-detached homes as well as multiunit residential buildings.
“It’s a mix of development, but you will have mostly semidetached townhouses and condos,” said Martin Bonhomme, Ste. Anne’s director general.
The planning program would allow for about 1,700 dwellings to be constructed in the town’s Ste. Marie sector, which could mean a potential 4,500 new residents.
“We’re looking at about 2.5 persons per dwelling,” Bonhomme said, adding some of the proposed condominiums will be aimed at seniors. “It’s a big increase. It’s a big project,” he continued.
The plan also involves extending Morgan Rd. from Ste. Marie Rd. north toward the Hydro-Québec servitude. Both sides of the extended boulevard are to be set aside for industrial development.
The town envisions a new commuter bus line picking up people along Meloche Blvd. and then using the proposed Morgan extension to head back toward Highway 40, Bonhomme said, adding Ste. Marie Rd. will also have to be upgraded to deal with any new development.
A section of undeveloped land along Ste. Marie Rd. will be designated for commercial use.
Just under 60 per cent of the territory, or 155 hectares, is to be designated for park or green space. About 115 hectares of that space is to be considered an eco-territory and will conserve wetlands.
The town also hopes to acquire the Braerob farmhouse, which has some heritage value, and about two hectares of surrounding land and restore it for public use.
“The town wants to restore this house for some kind of community centre for the project,” said Bonhomme, adding this property as well as much of the territory in question south of the Hydro-Québec servitude, is owned by developer Grilli construction. The north side of the Hydro servitude is owned by Investissement Québec, Bonhomme added.
Councillor Paola Hawa, who represents the area, opposes the proposed urban plan, stating no economic or traffic impact studies were conducted prior to preparing the draft. She said the north sector is often treated as a cash cow tax base by the city, which, she adds, provides few cultural or recreational services in that sector in comparison to the older south sector.
“We have nothing up north, that’s the point of it all,” she said. “The reality is that up here it’s all young families.”
Although Hawa expects a full house at the upcoming public consultation meeting, she said it doesn’t give residents enough of an opportunity to exact changes to the proposal or to offer alternatives.
She estimated another 2,500 vehicles could hit Ste. Marie Rd. under the proposed development plan, adding not all sections of this major east-west artery could easily be expanded.
Ste. Anne will hold a public consultation on its draft urban plan on May 28 starting at 7 p.m. at École du Bout de l’Isle, 190 Vallée St.