Important Zone Bylaw Consultations in August

By Tracey Arial

Two months ago, Verdun residents stopped a proposed bylaw change that would have increased the allowed height and density of buildings on the former site of the old CKVL-CKOI radio station and in the entire neighbourhood east and west of Gordon.

The borough plans to hold a consultation for another project in the same neighbourhood on Thursday night.

The project is just one of nine proposed changes to existing zoning bylaws that citizens must approve this week and next. Four boroughs—Plateau Mont Royal, Verdun, Ville Marie and Villerary Park Extension—will hold public consultations about major projects this Wednesday and Thursday and next Wednesday.

Notices about these projects include the words: “ce projet de résolution contient une disposition propre à une résolution susceptible d’approbation référendaire” or “these draft bylaws contain provisions subject to approval by referendum.”

This wording identifies projects that could change a neighbourhood’s character in significant ways. Such projects cannot be approved via major or minor exceptions (dérogations). Instead, Quebec’s municipal regulations require municipalities to follow a specific legal process to ensure citizens are fully informed.

The “referendum approbation” process is complicated, but it enables people who believe that proposed development hurts the character of their neighbourhoods to stop it.

If citizens do nothing, development projects automatically get approved.

Major developments of this type begin with an official notice about a public consultation.

Upcoming consultations include:

Wednesday, August 21 in Ville Marie

The Ville Marie borough plans to approve:

• the addition of a second storey on the new building that will be constructed after 1120-1128 St. Catherine West is demolished; and

• the expansion of the Musée de Beaux Arts by constructing a five-storey building at 2075 and 2085 rue Bishop and by expanding underground below the buildings at 1364-1390 Sherbrooke West and 2120-2162 Bishop.

The consultation for these projects will be held Wednesday, August 21, at 6 p.m. in the borough hall at 800 de Maisonneuve East.

Wednesday, August 21 in Villeray

• The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc Extension plans to demolish a building to construct a three-storey, eight-unit building at 635 and 645 d’Ailleboust; and

• construct a two-storey mixed-use industrial and residential building on lot 4,736,753 on Louvain.

The consultation for these projects will be held Wednesday, August 21 at 6 p.m. at 405 avenue Ogilvy on the second floor. (Notice:

Thursday, August 22 in Verdun

Verdun wants to demolish a building, build a new condo and change the zoning for a zone that surrounds and includes Willibrod Church.

Plans include demolishing a single-storey building to build a three-storey four-unit building as well as changing the rules for the entire square between Gordon, First Avenue, Verdun and Wellington. (Notice:

The borough also wants to propose changing the rules for every zone in the borough to allow underground and ground floor parking lots. (Notice:

Both projects will be presented during a public consultation to be held in Borough Hall, 4555 Verdun on Thursday, August 22 at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, August 28 on the Plateau

Plateau Mont Royal borough plans to consult about three projects on Wednesday, August 28 at 6 p.m. They are considering approving:

• the expansion of a building at 4056 Saint-Christophe (notice:;

• the modification of the appearance of a building at 3440, Rue Durocher (notice:; and

• the demolition of 1661, Rue Saint-Gregoire and the building of a four-storey building on the lot (notice:

The consultation will take place on the 5th floor at 201 Laurier Street East.

How the process works

Borough and city clerks must outline project details via legal notices published in a local newspaper, on the Montreal website and on or near the proposed development site.

Citizens then have five business days to obtain petitions from the clerk and get at least twelve people in neighbouring zones to sign them. If that happens, the borough or municipality must establish a wider register of the entire zone.

Registers about each project usually take place on a single day, although they can last for two or three days if many zones are involved. If lots of people who live, work or own property within one or many zones next to the proposed development sign the register, a wider referendum must be held.

Boroughs rarely hold such referendums. They usually choose to withdraw proposed projects instead.

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