Eardley Road developers host their first Neighbourhood Committee meeting to hear from residents
Locals pack room for consultation on proposed housing project. On June 5, Dév Méta inc. and Nordev Immobilier, the developers of the 184 Eardley site, hosted their first Neighbourhood committee at the Centre culturel du Vieux-Aylmer. The site borders des Allumettières boulevard and Allée Riley and currently has a few vacant homes on the property. The developers stated that they wanted to have a different process where the residents are consulted and given the opportunity to voice their opinions and hopes for the project before the plan is developed.
The meeting was the first of five public meetings concerning the site, and the room was packed with residents who participated in the committee meeting. The meeting was run by Catherine de Grandpré, a third-party associate hired by the developers to remain neutral, listen to residents and take notes.
The first Neighbourhood committee meeting started with a presentation about the site and an introduction to the developers along with the team on the project. Luc Quenneville, president of Dév Méta spoke along with Pierre Ali partner & Executive Vice-president at Nordev Immobilier. Gatineau councillors Steven Boivin (Aylmer) and Gilles Chagnon (Lucerne) were also in attendance.
“We are in the beginning of the project planning stage, we spoke with the city to understand the city urbanism plan,” said Julie-Anne Boisvert-Lessard, Real Estate Development Director with Dév Méta inc. “Our purpose was not to come here and impose but to let residents get to know us and help us create a project that is beneficial for the community.”
The project should be a mixed building including commercial and residential spaces. The developers spoke of greenspaces to facilitate crossing the site from North to South and encourage active transportation. They also plan to include green outdoor living spaces to reduce heat islands and facilitate stormwater management. One of their guiding principles is sustainability in terms of construction as well as incorporating into the environment.
The developers also want to coordinate with public transport. The Société de Transport Outaouais (STO) was invited to participate in the meetings with Gatineau and the developers. However, later they pulled out of the meetings stating that they did not have the capacity to coordinate with the project at the moment.
They also hope to incorporate businesses such as bakeries, cafés, butchers, daycare centers, etc. so residents have local shops and services.
“We want a diverse clientele of various ages to foster a dynamic living environment. We value sustainability and the environment that will be incorporated into the architecture of the project. We want this building to not be too modern so that in a few years people don’t like it anymore. We want to create an elegant development that will incorporate itself well in the area,” said Maxime-Alexis Frappier, Architect of the project and co-founder of ACDF architecture. He also mentioned that they are looking into having an entrance on Eardley to avoid high traffic on the residential streets the site borders.
Some residents spoke up saying they found it frustrating that no concrete initial plan was presented. However, the developers highlighted that their goal was not to present a project but to hear from the community before the plan was developed. The next neighbourhood committee for this project should take place in August or September, the developers plan to present the project then.
Throughout the question period it was revealed that the site’s zonage allows for eight storeys and that the developers also own another site Ouest of Allumetière Eardley. However, they state that it is not yet a site they are talking about developing. They could also not confirm the number of units as the plan is not fully developed yet.
Residents voiced their concerns about how the development could affect the value of their homes. Others were concerned about damage to their property during construction as they will have to dig into rock. Quenneville responded saying that his team takes extensive videos of the area before construction and is prepared to take responsibility for property damage if it were to occur.
Another participant said they didn’t believe that this was densification but instead urban sprawling stating that this would be better suited to the downtown area. Three other participants thanked the developers for their initiative in consulting the residents.
“It’s always important to consult residents, I think this is a good approach to the project. This is the very first meeting and I invite residents to attend the other ones in the future as it is the best way for them to express their opinions about the project,” said Boivin.
Photo Caption: First neighbourhood committee meeting with developers of the 184 Eardley site at the Centre culturel du Vieux-Aylmer on June 6.
Photo Credit : Sophie Demers