For several years, concerned citizens have come to Dorval city hall to voice concerns over the growing number of character homes being replaced by new constructions. It has come to a head with issues surrounding the project to demolish and re-develop the home at 650 Monette, as the uniformity of the past is conflicting with the desires of the present.
There has already been one bungalow replacement on the street and it has caused problems, including upsetting the visual aesthetic and causing a bothersome water accumulation issue on a property next door. On July 12, about a dozen residents came to the Demolition Committee meeting where they spoke passionately about their neighbourhood.
“I grew up across from that house,” explains one woman, a second-generation Monette resident. “The owner was a friend and local icon. He would let us pass through his yard to go to the waterfront. What will happen now?”
This neighbourhood, like many in the borough, was defined by the 1960 era bungalow designs that were popular at the time. Most of the homes have been kept in the families that originally moved in and the children of yesterday are the owners today. For them, sentimentality is more important than the ideas of modern developers.
Questions of harmonization, regulations, servitude and more were brought up. Marginal tax rates and property values were also something that caused some worry among those attending.
Another point of contention was the right of passage that would fall into the hands of the new owners and worried many residents who have enjoyed unfettered access to the waterfront.
The council members answered questions as best they could, but there is not much that can be done to stop the re-development. The fear of ‘mini-mansions’ was also a source of discussion, but if property codes (both municipal and provincial) are respected in the new development, the new owners can build whatever types of homes they want to on their land.
Presently, the re-development plan includes three modern houses on the property in question.
Not over yet
As the meeting moved onto other subjects, many questions remain. The permit will now move on to the next stage towards acceptance. Both the residents and the new owners vow to continue the dispute, but all seemed willing to compromise.