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At the most recent Council meeting, in October, the other elected officials and I were excited to table a draft special planning program (PPU) for the Rockland sector.

The ambitious document sketches the main lines of development for the neighbourhood in the coming decades. This vision of the future – tailored to one of the Town’s main entry points, which is also home to a traditional shopping centre, among other things – is now officially the subject of a public consultation.

That the business model for shopping centres is evolving will come as a surprise to no one. But evolving doesn’t necessarily mean disappearing, and so much the better. In the case of the Rockland Centre, we have a high-quality corporate citizen we care about. However, changes also appear inevitable. That is why the aim of the Rockland Sector PPU is to plan for these coming changes, to deal with them proactively and to orient them in the right direction based on the needs and realities of neighbours in the area.

The Rockland PPU proposes five main orientations:

  1. Improve traffic flow: this point of entry to the Town is also a very busy, often congested exit point. The PPU proposes measures for reducing traffic on Rockland Avenue, which would improve traffic flow in the entire sector.
  2. Green the sector: the PPU proposes creating two new green spaces and an overall greening of the neighbourhood in harmony with the rest of our garden city.
  3. Ensure the site’s ongoing commercial viability: the PPU aims to maintain a sizeable and appreciated commercial offering in the neighbourhood by allowing the site managers to add new uses, in particular housing.
  4. Encourage public transit and active transportation: getting around does not always involve a car. We want improved public transit service, a quick link to the Town of Mount Royal REM station and a proper bike path all the way to the Acadie metro station.
  5. Eliminate a major heat island: when the time comes, the transformation of the Rockland sector should include underground parking. Huge expanses of asphalt and concrete baking in the sun is an idea whose time has come and gone.

Council is in no rush to finalize this file. At this point, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts about the Rockland Sector PPU. Consultation in writing is under way and continues through November 19. In addition, a live webcast, including a chat-style consultation, is planned for November 5, starting at 19:00. You will find complete details about the consultation in the news section of the Town website at www.town.mount-royal.qc.ca.

All further work on the file by Council members, the municipal administration and consultants will continue only after residents’ comments and concerns have been heard.

Philippe Roy

Mayor

90 Roosevelt Avenue

Mont-Royal H3R 1Z5