The City of Côte St. Luc “100 percent” supports the latest version of Hebrew Academy’s expansion plans, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein told CSL resident Amos Sochaczevski following a public consultation on the issue last week.
Brownstein pointed out that Hebrew Academy made several presentations in the last year and that the city’s Planning Advisory Committee was satisfied with the latest one.
“The present proposal is excellent, and meets all the criteria of setbacks, and still meets their needs,” The Mayor told Sochaczevski, who owns The Suburban. “We want to work with Hebrew Academy to ensure the safety and security of the students — that’s the most important thing— and ensure that they grow so our community can grow.”
At a previous meeting attended by The Suburban in 2018, concerns raised included security related to a proposed sheltered parking structure, and the impact on property values. During that meeting, it was pointed out that the expansion was not to increase the student population, but to add more facilities within the school.
Sochaczevski pointed out that he lives close to Hebrew Academy.
“They are a model neighbour,” he said. “Yes, for one half-hour in the morning and in the afternoon, we have extra traffic on the street. But everything is very orderly and the students who walk to and from school are very well behaved.”
The resident added that “it annoys me that anytime someone wants to expand or come to our city, people come out to oppose. With the exception of five years, I’ve lived in Côte St. Luc since 1958, and I saw a tiny community grow and become a great suburb. The value of our homes has grown exponentially, mostly because of the schools, institutions and services available to us right here in our community. My home has extra value because it’s near a shopping centre and a school.
“I’m here to urge the city to help Hebrew Academy grow and prosper, and to continue to provide excellence in education and guide the next generation to become great citizens of our city and country.”
During the consultation, Brownstein said the city’s traffic committee has to come up with solutions “which make sense for the residents” for potential traffic flow and parking issues on Banting Road, which faces the western side of the school.