Place du Musée:
Citizens insist massive project be halted
A group of residents in the northwest of the Le Plateau development and on the neighbouring street, Kilroy Crescent, opposes city-approved plans for high-density construction on the streets near the Amérique-Française elementary school. Under Phase 8 of the plan, high-density buildings with up to 72 residences will be built along Amérique-Française Street, D’Orsay Street and Vanier Road, and Francfort Street will be extended to Kilroy Crescent -- two of several changes that will dramatically increase the number of residents and the number of vehicles on the streets (which have no sidewalks).
In their February 11, 2015 submission to the city, the group asked these plans be withdrawn. They want the apartment and condo complexes replaced by single-family detached and semi-detached homes; for Francfort Street to end at the intersection of Moscou Street and not connect to Kilroy Crescent; for speed attenuation measures installed on Francfort and Dublin Streets; and for Parc d’Orsay to be expanded. They also want the city to commission a comparative study of le Plateau de la Capitale, indicating the appropriate amount of park and recreational space in relation to the population it serves.
The “Regroupement des residents voisins à la Place du Musée”, under President Pierre-André Poirier, also wants a multi-functional path and trees behind homes on Dublin and Moscou Streets, with one path leading to the parc d’Orsay and to the primary school.
Return to original zoning
The group insists the city return to 2008 zoning, permitting only low-density homes with adequate backyards just to the south of the homes from 2 to 16 Kilroy Crescent and with a fence along the backyards of 16 and 18 Kilroy Crescent.
The group also fears that extending Francfort Street is a pretext to extend sewer, water and other infrastructure services to homes on Kilroy Crescent, where wells are currently used. The massive development planned for the area, the group points out, threatens the quality of those residents’ drinking water.
The group’s memorandum claims many families bought homes in the Dublin/Francfort area, convinced that the cul-de-sac would keep their neighbourhood safe, with little traffic. They would like a fenced-in walkway along Francfort Street to protect pedestrians.
“The park space must be increased so that it matches other parks in the development. We want to work with the city,” the document states. However, nearly a year after initially filing papers, the group is still waiting for an appearance before a judge, as the court has continually bowed to Gatineau’s requests for more time to study the issue. A recent article in the Bulletin d’Aylmer drew renewed attention to the struggle; in its city council wrap-up, March 25, Councillor Maxime Tremblay was quoted that “the city worked with a Le Plateau developer to reduce the size of a planned seven-storey Place du Musée residence. ‘This structure will be lower, and the developer will keep the higher density projects for the Coeur du Plateau.’” The article prompted calls to the city inquiring for specifics, and at the following annual meeting of the du Plateau Residents’ Associations (separate from the Regroupement opposing the development plans), Councillor Tremblay was asked to explain his statement.
City, neighbours at a standstill
The former councillor for the Plateau, Alain Pilon, told the Bulletin, “First of all, there is no agreement, not at all. We still don’t have a court date.” Councillor Tremblay acknowledges that there is no agreement regarding the northwest corner of the Place du Musée development. He told the Bulletin, “When I spoke in council about an agreement to lower a structure, I was referring to Phase 6, near rue du Conservatoire and rue de l’Amérique Française. Regarding the other area (near Kilroy Crescent), the decision was made a long time ago and was confirmed after the election by the mayor, the Urbanism Committee, and council. That being said, I worked with the developer on Phase 6 and I am comfortable working with the developer on Phase 9. I can’t comment any further because it is now in front of the court.”