In the summer of 2014, citizens bought, via their small construction business, a “shoebox” type property which they planned to replace with a building containing four condo units of three bedrooms each, for families.

In December 2014, after many discussions with the Borough’s architect and an employee from the permit office, the citizens apply for a Demolition permit.

In May 2015, nearly six months later, no “agent du cadre bâti” has been assigned to process this application.  Discouraged by the delays, the citizens send a default letter to the Borough and turn to our office.

We quickly begin discussions with the Borough and pursue them all summer long.  We ask:

  • That a clear timetable be established for the citizens and the Borough’s next steps; and
  • That the Borough proceeds to the preliminary analysis of regulatory compliance of the application, including the architectural review of the replacement project.

In July 2015, the citizens file their official application for a Construction permit and pay the file analysis fees:  most of the documents required at that time were already in the Borough’s file, but they have to be submitted again.

On August 12, 2014, the file is presented to the Comité de démolition (Demolition Committee) which rejects the Demolition permit, without explanation and despite the favourable conditional recommendation of the Direction du développement du territoire et des études techniques (DDTET).

The citizens appeal this decision to the Borough Council.

The OdM deems it important to communicate to the Borough Council members some information likely to enhance their comprehension of the file and to contribute to their analysis, before they make a decision.  Namely, we submit that:

  • Although it is legitimate for a Borough to change its approach and ways in order to better preserve certain types of constructions, it appears questionable that such new rules be applied to files already underway and in regard to which citizens have spent many months to make their applications complete, in collaboration with the Borough.


  • If a Borough wishes to change the rules in force, in order to protect certain types of buildings, it would be desirable that it does so through amendments of its regulations so as to ensure that the rules are clear, for all citizens.


On October 5, 2015, the Borough Council authorizes the demolition of the building, by unanimous Resolution.  The Council adds that the replacement project must satisfy the conditions previously stated by the DDTET.

On October 14, 2015, the project is submitted without modification, to the Urban Planning Committee (Comité consultatif d’urbanisme (CCU)).  The CCU concludes that the objectives and criteria of the Plan d’implantation et d’intégration architecturale (PIIA) adopted by virtue of the Règlement d’urbanisme (Planning regulations) are not satisfied.  It reiterates, therefore, the conditions stated by the DDTET, in August 2015.

The parties initiate discussions to determine which modifications should be brought to the project, to comply with the PIIA.

On December 9, 2015, an amended project is submitted to the CCU which issues a favourable recommendation, subject to some conditions:  these are executed.

On January 19, 2016, the Borough Council approves the issuance of the Construction permit.

Thereafter, our office maintains close monitoring so as to make sure that the citizens will officially get their permits, before the expiry of their funding program.

The Demolition permit is obtained on January 20, 2016 and the Construction permit, on January 29, 2016.

Post Mortem

The citizens spent significant amounts of money and time for the preparation of their file and for the production of the many plans and reports requested by the Borough.  They had to invest a tremendous amount of energy to make their file progress.

The OdM had to be present at every step to obtain details or explanations regarding certain Borough’s requests and, sometimes, to object to them; to facilitate the relationship between the citizens and the municipal representatives; and to convince the citizens, who were exasperated by the long process, to revise certain elements to satisfy the requirements of the PIIA.

Although they obtained their permits, the citizens remain bitter.  They deplore the long delays, the lack of clarity regarding the requirements of the Borough, the inaccuracy of some of the information provided to them and the fact that documents already in the possession of the Borough were sometimes requested again.

It must also be noted that many Borough architects and agents succeeded themselves in this file.  This turnover was certainly detrimental to the coherent and efficient processing of the file.

The policy changes regarding how applications should be handled when a demolition permit and a construction permit are requested for projects submitted to the PIIA also seem to have had an impact on the management of this file.

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