Future elementary school in De la Fontaine park - Resumption of Process to Adopt Zoning Change

VERDUN, QC, Sept. 19, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Claude Trudel, Verdun Borough Mayor in charge of public safety and security on Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee, hereby announces that there will be a special meeting of Borough Council on Thursday, September 22 to adopt the second draft to amend Zoning Bylaw 1700-85. This amendment is essential for authorizing the construction of a 3/18 school on a small part—less than 10%—of De la Fontaine park, located in the L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood of Verdun.

"We intend to pursue our regulatory process in order to allow Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board to proceed, as quickly as possible, with setting up this second elementary school. The future of our youth depends on it," stated Mayor Trudel.

"Our responsibility is to sit the students down in class and educate them. This second L'Île-des-Sœurs school is crucial in carrying out our educational mission and we are delighted to note that the regulatory process is advancing," stated Diane Lamarche Venne, Chair of the school board.

Moreover, within the recent discussions between the Borough and the school board, it was agreed to seek the Québec government's support in this regard. "We are considering sending a joint formal request to the Québec government for financial assistance to cover part of the money needed to comply with the working committee's recommendations," stated Mayor Claude Trudel and school board chair Diane Lamarche-Venne. The working committee made up of L'Île-des-Sœurs residents was given the responsibility of submitting suggestions to help harmoniously integrate a school in an existing park, while preserving this site's original purpose of being a place for relaxation, sports and recreational activities.

Demographic studies
Recent demographic studies clearly show that the residential developments of recent years in the L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood have only had an insignificant impact on the sharp increase in the number of children in this neighbourhood. The data compiled indicate, instead, that immigration and the updated portrait of families are contributing to this increase.

Make way for families, Make way for children!
Mayor Trudel once again appealed to Verdunites, asking them to reflect on the place they collectively intend to grant families, and youngsters in particular, in their priorities. "It's a question of common sense, civic-mindedness, solidarity and commitment for our community-oriented and family-oriented future," he maintained.

Review of the facts
Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board was awarded an allowance of $10.5 million last April for construction of an elementary school (3 kindergarten classes and 18 classrooms for elementary grades) in the L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood. In order to make it possible for the school board to carry out its project, the Verdun Borough must provide it with a piece of land. In the L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood, the only piece of land owned by the Verdun Borough that is suitable for accommodating a school is De la Fontaine park, where the building and the school yard would occupy only slightly less than 10% of the area there. Nevertheless, setting up a school in this park requires a zoning change, the first draft of which was submitted and adopted unanimously by the Council members.

In the face of strong opposition from a group of residents living in the adjacent area, Borough Council decided to form a working committee to improve the project and to temporarily suspend the process that was to lead to the final adoption of the required zoning bylaw.

This working committee's report, which was made public on August 31 and fully adopted by Borough Council, contained the following recommendations:

  • Spot zoning will be adopted.
  • The school will be a 3-18 institution (3 kindergarten classes and 18 classrooms for elementary school grades), without any expansion possibilities and will be built on the park's parking lot, the dog run and the grounds presently occupied by the pool chalet.
  • Part of the school will serve as a "pool chalet".
  • The school yard will be located in such a way as to minimize the impacts on the neighbourhood.
  • The school yard will have to comply with the principle of "green" school yards.
  • Motor vehicle access to the school will solely be via boulevard de L'Île-des-Sœurs.
  • Rue Place de la Fontaine will be closed in order to expand the park.
  • Following construction of the school, if there is a notable increase in traffic on rue Berlioz from boulevard de L'Île-des-Sœurs onward, measures will be taken to ease the situation (for example, no right turns on rue Berlioz at rush hours).
  • Indoor parking inside the school building
  • A green roof on the school
  • The trees affected by the construction will be relocated or replaced.
  • At the end of the construction work on the school, there will be more trees in the park than there are now.
  • The school yard fence will have to be made out of ornamental ironwork.

It should also be pointed out that 24 other sites—both public and private—were analysed and had to be rejected for various reasons.

SOURCE VILLE DE MONTREAL - ARRONDISSEMENT DE VERDUN

For further information:

Source:  Verdun Borough and Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys

For information: :
Francine Morin
Responsable du protocole et des relations publiques
Verdun Borough
514-765-7282
francine.morin@verdun.ca
francinemorin@ville.montreal.qc.ca

Jean-Michel Nahas
Bureau des communications
Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys
514 855-4500, ext. 4656
jean-michel.nahas@csmb.qc.ca

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