Have your say: planning for housing subdivision by Luskville falls



Kate Aley

Approximately 15 people gathered at the Luskville Community Centre on April 29th to take part in a public consultation meeting regarding the future Domaine des Chutes subdivision. Participants included mayor Roger Larose, councillors Nancy Draper-Maxsom and Brian Middlemiss and urban planner Jalloul Salah.  Other participants included members of the Municipality of Pontiac’s (MoP) Planning Advisory Committee (PAC/CCU) and five members of the general public.

The Domaine des Chutes housing project runs from the corner of Hwy. 148 along the Ch. Hotel de Ville towards the entrance to the Luskville Falls.

“Between the Creek and Ch. Hotel de Ville, we’ve approved 39 subdivisions,” explained Mr. Salah. “The municipality will keep [back] three lots for preservation because there are [...] mature trees there. The other 36 lots will be for sale.”

The entire area of the subdivision is 112 acres, with Phase I, sited between the creek and Ch. Hotel de Ville, being about 59 acres.

The purpose of the consultation was to solicit input from the public on proposed changes to existing by-laws to enable the Municipality to provide direction to prospective home owners and builders. 

In his role as urban planner for the MoP, Mr. Salah explained the project and the proposed by-law changes.

This information is available on the MoP website here in English and here in French.

The current draft of the modification of zoning bylaw 177-01 will create a new zone, referred to as zone 56, within the existing Zone 18. This change is required to enable specifications on what can be included in the project. The proposed specifications for the new zone include, the numbers of buildings per lot (no more than three), the set-back from the road (10 m.) and the floor area of the dwelling (min. 175 and max. 300 m. sq.) Only one driveway will be permitted for houses within Domaine des Chutes and pools in yards that face Hwy. 148 or the entrance to Gatineau Park are prohibited.  Lots with an access to the creek running through the subdivision will have further restrictions in regards to construction work and tree-felling.

The Domaine des Chutes subdivision differs in nature to others in the area in that the land owner is currently selling lots to individuals, not to a builder. Therefore individuals will be able to hire any contractor they wish. As a result, there are a number of rules that need to be followed; the MoP is also making some strong recommendations for builders.

These include the kind of materials the house may be built of (wood, brick or stone only), the colours of the exterior (natural tones to complement the surrounding countryside) and use of energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems. 

One lot has been set aside to create a park and natural recreation area.  Three meters on the project side of Ch. Hotel de Ville are also being allowed for eventual widening of that road.

Concerns raised by the public on Friday night included the availability and quality of water for the individual houses and how this housing subdivision might negatively influence visitors to the Gatineau Park. It was also recommended that the MoP prepare information for prospective buyers and builders on non-mandatory aspects of the by-law, such as information on energy efficient technologies and how to maximize solar gain.

The evening event was the start of a short week-long consultation period, during which local residents are invited to send in comments and concerns about the Domaine des Chutes building site.

The deadline for input on the bylaw changes is Friday, May 6th. Please send your comments or queries to Jalloul Salah at the Municipality of Pontiac.