Kirkland recently gave the go-ahead to what is expected to be one of the last major developments of single-family detached homes on the island of Montreal.

The future Village Lacey Green, planned on a huge lot near the Pointe-Claire station of the Metropolitan Express Network (REM), will include 47 detached single-family homes, real estate developer Prével confirmed to La Presse.

As the metropolis works to densify its territory, will these new bungalows be among the last in the Montreal agglomeration? “I don’t have a crystal ball, but for sure the trend is to densify more,” company president Laurence Vincent said in an interview. “It’s going to be hard to do more,” said urban planner emeritus Gérard Beaudet, a specialist in urban land use planning.

This type of residence represented only 1% of housing starts on the island in recent years. Its construction is largely discouraged by the rules adopted by the municipalities of the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) to counter urban sprawl and protect the environment. Its development is even more difficult in transit-oriented development (TOD) areas, such as the Village Lacey Green.

The project is located near a future REM station, an area that provides for high-density urban development. But a previous proposal by Prével – without bungalows – for the same land had sparked an outcry in this residential area in the west of the island. The new version, which provides for a total of 1,000 apartments, is better accepted by the residents’ committee set up to discuss with the company.

The inclusion of the detached houses in the plans, “was to meet a [requirement] of integration,” she says, not a request from potential buyers.

Residential buildings of up to 12 stories are planned for the part of the site closest to the REM station. It is their very high density that makes it possible to build less densely in the section reserved for bungalows. “If we look at the average on the site, we meet the criteria,” said Laurence Vincent.

At Kirkland City Hall, we are delighted with this development plan, which represents a compromise between density rules and the refusal of the current inhabitants of the area to see residential towers growing in their backyards.

“The planned development offers a mixed neighborhood on a human scale, inclusive and intergenerational,” said Mayor Michel Gibson in a written statement. “The significant diversity found there in the types of housing offered (single-family homes, 2- and 3-storey townhouses as well as multi-family buildings) is the result of a fruitful consultation with the citizens of the surrounding area and responds to the needs of a diverse clientele. »

Through his communications teams, Mayor Gibson had accepted a request for an interview on this project, only to cancel the interview after La Presse refused to provide him with his questions in advance.

“The high-density sector will be located on the eastern portion of the site and will be concentrated within the 1 kilometer radius of the TOD zone of the Pointe-Claire REM station,” he added, still in his written statement. “With a mobility axis to the REM, this sector will be developed around a large central park. »

Emeritus urban planner and professor at the University of Montreal Gérard Beaudet is not shocked by the project to build detached single-family residences in this sector, even if the bungalows are “a little incompatible with the idea of ​​having TODs “.

However, “it can be justified insofar as we try to have a space of transition between the existing and the potential for redevelopment of this huge piece of land,” he said. “Maybe we could do a little better, but given that we’re meeting the [density with the overall project] goals, why not?” »

For the urban planning professor, the Village Lacey Green development is likely to be one of the last to include a significant number of detached single-family homes in Montreal. Developers need gigantic land to adopt the same strategy as Prével.

“There is still a lot of land available” in the east of Montreal, but “the bungalow on the island of Montreal, it has to be high-end, because the price of the land is much too high. He added: “In the East it is unlikely because the market is not the same. »