Council approved during its October 11 session a developer’s request for rezoning two large residential lots on either side of James Street from their existing Residential Zoning 1 and 2 states to Residential Zoning 4. The change in the residential zoning allows the developer a shorter setback on the individual townhouse sites and also a reducation in the amount of space allowed for parking.
Place de la Station is the local name given to James Street right-of-way route between Higginson Street and Nelson Street. The two vacant properties are irregular in shape and that has prevented past efforts at residential development.
Now Devcore Group, a Gatineau-based development company, proposes a 150-unit residential project for the site, that will include a mixture of townhouses and apartment buildings. The company’s plan for the development includes a proposal to change the section of the James Street right-of-way through the middle of the development into a pedestrian-traffic-only route.
During the September 29 public hearing session on the Place de la Station rezoning request, council heard comments from a few area residents expressing concern about the increase in the amount of traffic in the existing residential neighbourhoods surrounding the proposed development site. There was also concern that the reduction in designated tenant parking for the project would result in an increase in the amount of street parking in neighbouring areas.
Those concerns were repeated in 75-signature petition concerning the project that council received for review during its October 11 session. The petitioners stated they did not object to proposal for residential development of the Place de la Station area, but they feared the impact on neighbouring traffic and parking if the exceptions allowed under the rezoning remained unchanged.
Council also received a 24-signature petition supporting the project as a means to increasing the amount of available housing in Hawkesbury. The Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce also sent a letter of support for the project.
Daniel Landry, a planner who represented Devcore during the September 29 session, noted that the company has made use of underground parking for some of its other residential apartment projects in other municipalities. He indicated that could be a possible option for the development site plan.
Council approved the rezoning request for the proposed Place de la Station project. The next step will see Devcore Group present the municipality with a site plan proposal for approval.