More details are now available on a major residential and commercial subdivision proposed for the former PPG lands in Hawkesbury.

On June 24, a public meeting of council was held where proponents and planning officials presented information on the 12-phase project. Citizens also had the opportunity to comment on the proposal.

Planner Christine McCuaig of Ottawa-based Q9 Planning and Design presented the project to council. The developer is 8362505 Ontario Inc., and Anthony Assaly of ASCO Construction is one of the partners in the company.

The total amount of land included in the development is 30.6 hectares. It is divided into two parcels, designated as 11-16 and 14-1.

When all 12 phases are complete, there will be 50 single-detached houses, 160 semi-detached houses, 98 townhouses, and two apartment blocks totalling 430 units for a total of 740 dwellings. There will also be a 6.47-hectare commercial area, 1.15-hectare park, and a two-hectare stormwater collection pond.

The helipad used for air ambulance needs at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital is located on the development lands on Industriel Street. Negotiations will take place for continued use of the helipad by the hospital.

Road access to the development will be from Industriel Boulevard, Alexander Siversky, and Duplate Streets. There will also be an entrance from County Road 17.

McCuaig said an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) is required to redesignate the land from community and commercial and trade and industry to the residential and trade and industry designation. A zoning by-law amendment is necessary, so the land is zoned R2, R3, R4, and CR to comply with the proposed residential and commercial uses.

According to McCuaig, the proposed development complies with the requirements of Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) for land use planning. She said a traffic study, servicing and stormwater management report, environmental impact statement, environmental site assessment, geotechnical study, noise study, and planning rationale have been undertaken.

“I think it’s fair to say everyone is quite aware of the need for residential housing at this time,” McCuaig remarked. “What we’re proposing is suitable for the ultimate best use of the site.”

Town of Hawkesbury Planner Céleste Cordonnier said subdivision agreements and site plan agreements would follow the adoption of the OPA and ZBA.

United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) Director of Planning and Forestry Louis Prévost also attended the meeting. The subdivision plan will not be approved until the official plan amendment is adopted by both the Town of Hawkesbury and the UCPR.

Murray Chown, a Senior Planner with Ottawa-based planning firm Novatech, commented on behalf of Jean-François Bertrand, owner of Hawkesbury Home Hardware, which is located on Alexander Siversky Street.

Chown said the store had relocated from a previous site on Cartier Boulevard to avoid future usage conflicts with surrounding residential neighbourhoods.

“Our concerns are limited only to the proposal to develop residential uses,” said Chown, adding they are not opposed to the project itself.

“Some of those units may need to be redistributed in order to address our concerns.”

Chown explained how the PPS allows encroachment upon uses, but only if potential impacts to adjacent industrial manufacturing, or other uses are minimized and mitigated.

“The onus is on council to consider which steps you can take to protect the ongoing operation of the Hawkesbury Home Hardware.”

Chown recommended consideration of providing for land uses that are conflicting but compatible with both in between the hardware store and residential area.

Residents of Berthiaume and Clément streets also expressed concern about preserving the wooded area that goes from McGill Street the west to the area behind the fire station on Spence Avenue.

Resident Jacques Castonguay called the woods a natural barrier between the residential area and Highway 17.

Anthony Assaly assured the residents their concerns will be considered, and that the development group is composed of people who believe in community responsibility.

Mayor Paula Assaly also assured the residents their comments will be taken seriously before a decision is made on the OPA and ZBA.

“They will be taken into consideration. They will be read again.”

She was confident there will be an understanding to ensure the development goes well.