Arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal

A co-owner residing on the second floor of a duplex wishes to expand her dwelling by adding a third floor and roof terrace.

The regulation allows for third floors in this area. However, the project is subject to a qualitative review under the Règlement sur les plans d’implantation et d’intégration architecturale (PIIA). The Borough opens a file – Demande de permis de transformation.

The citizen’s plans provide for a third floor with a surface equivalent to 88% of the second floor. The Borough and the Urban Planning Advisory Committee (Comité consultatif d’urbanisme (CCU)) deem the project to be non-compliant with the PIIA due to its significant risk of visual and shading impact. The Borough demands that the depth of the third floor be decreased and aligned to the adjacent building: the third floor surface setup would then be 60% relative to the second floor.

Our Intervention

In this type of situation, our office always attempts to bring the parties to a common ground before proceeding to in-depth file analysis. This is what we did.

• The citizen agrees to review her initial project.

• The Borough confirms its willingness to consider alternative propositions to address the required configuration.

• The citizen suggests two new configurations: one with a surface setup of 80%, the other with a surface setup of approximately 73%.

• The Borough rejects the two alternative propositions. It then indicates that the only acceptable configuration is the one that was originally requested (60%).

The citizen is subsequently notified that her initial project will be submitted for decision at the next Borough Council assembly. This project standing no chance to ever being approved, we obtain from the Borough to not submit it immediately. We then proceed to examine the complaint in depth.

At the end of our enquiry, we view the Borough’s approach as being problematic. The Borough declines our invitation to meet with us to discuss our findings. The OdM issues the following Recommendations:


« La Ville déclare régulièrement que le rôle des services responsables de la délivrance de permis est de venir en appui aux citoyens et de les accompagner dans leurs démarches destinées à améliorer leur projet, pour le rendre conforme à la règlementation et au PIIA.


Pour tous ces motifs, l’Ombudsman de Montréal Recommande à l’arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal :

De ne pas soumettre le projet initial d’agrandissement (configuration B) au Conseil d’arrondissement pour décision, puisque la citoyenne ne souhaite plus cette configuration; et

De poursuivre ses discussions avec la citoyenne ainsi qu’avec ses architectes, concernant la recherche d’une configuration alternative conforme aux exigences du PIIA, et tenant compte des préférences raisonnables de la citoyenne. »

The second Recommendation is rejected.

Our power strictly lies in issuing Recommendations: they are almost always accepted and implemented by the City administration.  Unfortunately, this was not the case for the current file.

Our office does not have the authority to impose its findings to the City administration. This file has therefore been closed.

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