04/02/2013 02:17 EDT | Updated 06/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Bromont residents fighting mountainside condo development

Residents in Bromont are fighting to halt a development plan that could see a new, luxury home development constructed on the side of Mount Brome.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition objecting to the development plan and calling on the city to set aside the area as parkland instead.

The project has been in the works for several years, but the city and the developer are only now poised to come to an agreement.

"The city only told the population about two or three months ago, in a small [advertisement]," said Robert Désourdy, a resident of Bromont and former mayor of the city.

"I realized nobody really knew about it, so we [started] a petition."

In three days, Désourdy had 600 signatures opposing the project.

Preservation plans

The developer, Ski Bromont, plans to build between 50 and 55 homes about 400 metres up on the right side of the mountain, just past the ski hill. The residences would start at $800,000 a piece.

The project, the last phase of the Ski Bromont's residential development, has been in the works for two years, according to Luc Bougie, the company's vice-president of planning.

Bougie said steps will be taken to preserve the natural characteristics of the area.

"We're talking about 85 per cent of the forest will be preserved, the summits are preserved," he said.

Ski Bromont held a public information session last fall and said it responded to questions from the community.

Bromont's mayor, Pauline Quinlan, said the mountain has been developing for the past 50 years.

"There are many homes that have been built on the mountain and I barely see three or four of them," she said. "I barely see them through the trees. In the summertime I don't."

Quinlan describes the project as a win-win. She said city bylaws require any development project to retain 10 per cent as public space.

Opponents of the plan say that's just not enough. They'd like to see the city concentrating development on the base of the mountain and leave the top untouched.

"Mount Brome is certainly the heart of this city," Désourdy said. "If you lose your heart, what have you got left?"

Tonight, Bromont's city council is poised to make a decision on a revised plan for the project. The plan has already sent back to the development committee once and is coming back to council with new recommendations.

If the new plan satisfies the council, Ski Bromont could get the green light for the project. Residents say they are planning to attend the 8 p.m. meeting to voice their opposition.