Île-Perrot schedules third public consultation on condo project
By Jules-Pierre Malartre
IMAGE COURTESY VILLE DE L’ÎLE-PERROT
Though the promoter of the ‘Azur’ condominium project has shelved the plans for the previously proposed nine-storey, 180-unit structure on the site of the former Vieux Kitzbühel restaurant, a third public consultation is scheduled for April 12 to again solicit feedback from area residents.
On March 25, in the wake of the unceremonious demise of the second public consultation for the Azur condo development project, the Town of l’Île Perrot issued a press release stating, “The promoter has withdrawn its initial project for the redevelopment of this site. Concretely, the proposal for the (nine-storey) 170-unit building is no longer relevant.”
“It was sort of an insult, to even try to propose such a (expletive) project,” one resident said on social media. “It should never have occurred,” another added. Some residents felt cornered by the city’s approach. “They were offering us a choice between death and illness. We want health. Health is two floors.”
Third public consultation
While the abandonment of the original building may seem welcome news to residents who felt most impacted by that project, their rejoicing was cut short. On March 25, the city also sent out an invitation to yet another public consultation slated for April 12.
While the invitation states, “… the four, seven and nine-floor concept with 170 condos is no longer being considered,” it says that some residents expressed that two, four or seven floors would be a maximum. The press release then asks the question, “Could the building have three or four floors? And if not, for what reasons?” The invitation also asks what the issues are regarding the height of the building. “What would be acceptable and why?”
‘City is not listening’
Some expressed the feeling the city is not listening. A few hours before the second public consultation on March 16, residents sent a 174-signature petition clearly stating they would not accept any project above the two-floor limit prescribed by the city’s zoning by-law. The second public consultation devolved into chaos as the attending residents realized the presenters were not getting that point.
“We don’t want this project – is that clear enough?” Said Fernand Saey, a point he reiterated during an interview with The Journal after the city sent the invitation asking, essentially, once again, if the residents would accept more than two floors. “This is like a child asking for the 100th time to have another candy before supper,” one resident commented.
THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Residents have repeatedly expressed that they don’t want another large condominium project like the eight-storey ‘Luxeo’ structure visible in the background from the current proposed site.
Quality of life and property value
Some residents feel there are more issues at stake than the ones associated with the future redesign of the project. Their concerns touch on quality of life and property value for any version of the project that requires a change of existing by-laws, but they are also concerned with the city’s approach to development, densification, and reclamation of waterfront property for access by the public when compared with what is stated in the city’s urbanism and development plans as well as in the PMAD (Plan Métropolitain d’aménagement et de Développement).
In the invitation, the city states their approach, from the beginning has been one of ‘…listening and transparency,’ yet some residents feel many of their questions and comments are being ignored and that they are being herded in a very specific direction. “They were asking their questions. If (our answers) did not fit into their frame, it did not work,” one said. “What insulted me was that they kept asking what we did not like about the project, and what we would change to make it acceptable.” She feels that the residents have already stated very plainly, and repeatedly, what they did not like, and what they wanted, both during the public consultations, in letters and through the petition. The invitation sent March 25, in the wake of all the feedback received from residents, still states that answering the questions regarding the affectation of the land and the number of acceptable floors will allow the city to ‘…better understand the concerns of citizens who live near the land.’
Some feel this process is a cautionary tale not only for their neighbourhood, but for the entire city. “The city should not even be entertaining this,” a resident said. “Changing the zoning will dramatically reduce the value of our properties. It creates a situation where people don’t know where they will be building next.” When The Journal asked about the city’s plans regarding further densification of other neighbourhoods and the status of development in the TODs (Transit Oriented Development zones), Alexandra Desrochers, the city's press liaison, answered that there were no other projects requiring changes in the by-law presently on the table and that development of the TODs had not been abandoned. Yet, given the current trend, some residents are afraid. “It’s going to repeat, and repeat and repeat. It’s already happening, the Luxeo was one, this (Azur) is another one. Next thing you know, there will be 16 of these. It’s going to look like Nuns’ Island.”
The third public consultation will feature the workshops that were scrapped during the previous meeting. The invitation said that the workshops would not be “focus group,” as one resident called them. “This is (an effort to) divide and conquer,” the resident added in response.